Inspired to Enrich Lives
Pipkin showing off Belkin´s new devices durong the new brand identity launch of Belkin in KL.
Models with a selection of Belkin smartphones and tablet accessories.
Belkin chairman Chet Pipkin tells Rozana Sani why he wants technology to constantly enrich lives.
Flying from halfway across the world and being in a different time zone seem to be taking a toll on Chester J. Pipkin a.k.a. Chet Pipkin, founder, president, CEO and chairman of Belkin International Inc. But the minute he´s asked what had prompted his company to launch a new identity in Kuala Lumpur, the 50 year-oldâ€™s face lights up.
From being known as a connectivity solutions provider, Belkin is now committed to deliver "people-inspired products", its new brand promise that stems very much from its well-loved history.
Pipkin shared: "It pretty much goes back to the early 1980s, when I started a fledgling computer accessory company called Belkin Corp in my parents´ home in Los Angeles. My mother´s dining table was our workspace before she had us move to the garage.
"The initial motivation was selfish, really. I wanted to hook up an Apple IIc (Apple Computerâ€™s first endeavour to produce a portable computer) to a parallel printer but it was complicated. So we created the cable that could hook the printer to the computer."
As the company grew from producing predominantly home networking equipment, Pipkin and his team continued to research the innovations that could improve the company´s products and services. Ideas were gleaned not only through conventional means such as focus groups and surveys, but also people-watching to identify emerging trends.
"The fact that technology was evolving quickly and becoming mainstream, plus having a household with seven children to manage, was a huge motivation for me to come up with innovative solutions," he said with a grin.
Feedback from customers and partners, he adds, is an integral aspect to the development of Belkin´s products - acknowledging the connection between people and the experiences they value most. Ultimately, Belkin is about delivering products that are desirable, fun and can help enhance the daily lives of as many people as possible.
"With more than 1,000 employees globally, Belkin has come a long way, having evolved tremendously over the past two decades with continued innovation in response to the changing connectivity and mobile landscape," noted Pipkin.
Under the new brand identity, Belkin has broadened its product categories to include IT solutions, smartphones and tablet accessories as well as home entertainment and automation solutions, all aimed at injecting new life into mobile devices for a more enriching user experience. These products help users optimise connectivity, impart character and extend the functionality of their smart devices.
Scheduled to reach our shores in the first quarter of next year is Belkin WeMo, a cloud-based line of modular home automation products that will allow household electronics to be controlled from anywhere using a mobile application on a smartphone or tablet. This range has the Home Control Switch and Motion Sensor as its first products aimed at bringing remote convenience to users.
According to Pipkin, WeMo is an ideal solution for parents who want to check on their children, say, whether they are still on the PlayStation when they should be in bed.
"You can switch off the device from halfway across the world. It can even adapt and notify you if the situation at home is different from the usual."
Besides his business, Pipkin is passionate about charity work, especially supporting underprivileged youth in the areas of education, energy and technology. Among the efforts he has pushed for is getting the California Superintendent of Public Instruction, Delaine Eastin, to establish the California Education Technology Task Force to bring Internet access to all California public schools.
"At the end of the day, all of us share the same universal values. And it´s Belkin´s mission to make it easier for people to fully use technology to make their lives better," said Pipkin.
by Rozana Sani
Published Date : 14 May 2012