Movers & Shakers Interview with Mr. Iksoo Jun, Founder & CEO - Dadam Micro Inc.Published Date: 1/18/2021
With more than 28 years of experience in the industrial embedded systems design, manufacturing and field application including Hyundai, POSCO etc, Mr. Iksoo Jun as a founder and CEO of Dadam Micro Inc. specializes in embedded internet devices networking solutions such as cloud computing based remote control and monitoring, smart home with intelligent home networking system for home control and security services. Dadam Micro’s main business area is to provide smart home control products with wireless technologies and currently having business relationships with America and Japan etc.
Before founding Dadam Micro Inc., Mr. Iksoo Jun was an chief manager of R&D division of POSCON Corp., the industrial leader in industrial automation market, IBS(Intelligent building systems) based on open architecture control and information systems which was co-developed based on embedded real-time software and hardware technologies from Silicon Valley of USA. After working with POSCON until 1990, Mr. Iksoo Jun founded Dadam Micro Inc. in May, 2000 and has served as corporate CEO for 20 years.
Mr. Iksoo Jun graduated from Seoul National University and holds a Bachelor's Degree of electrical engineering in 1985, and also received a Master's Degree from the Korea University in adaptive automatic control engineering in 1999. He had taken Stanford-Korea SEIT Program - Strategy and Entrepreneurship in the IT Industry Program of Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 2002.
Vishal Sapru (VS), Co-Founder, Cognitio Research Inc. had an opportunity to conduct a Movers & Shakers interview with Mr. Iksoo Jun (IJ), Founder & CEO Dadam Micro Inc.
VS: Can you provide our readers with a brief overview of Dadam Micro Inc. and the vision behind its formation?
IJ: Dadam Micro Inc. was founded in May 2000 with the vision of being the world market leader of intelligent embedded systems with smart convergence technologies. We have been doing our best in the development of core technologies and products designated for integrated home networking systems, new & renewable energy devices, intelligent IoT, and wellness & bio-technology preparing for the 4th industrial revolution.
As a company with extensive experience and entrepreneurship in developing and marketing embedded systems hardware and software solutions in diversified areas, our key business strategy is now set to focus on developing those products that will make our daily lives better and more convenient even for the future to come. We always try to ensure that our key clients and customers receive highly competitive solutions for the sake of the success of their business.
We are currently expanding our business portfolio to include digital healthcare devices and services with state-of-art biotechnology sensors, the latest IoT connectivity technologies, and intelligent back-end processing.
Dadam Micro Inc. is doing its best to firmly establish its company values as a leading company with cutting edge products and services for the Smart Home and Digital Healthcare/Wellness markets. We are putting in all of our efforts to achieve the company vision and goal with the latest smart technologies.
VS: Please, elaborate on the features of your puripot air purifiers and their likely impact on the market? How different is it from the products that are already available in the market?
IJ: Function: Puripot air sterilizer has an electrochemical photocatalyst unit coated with nano-porous structured titanium dioxide materials. It uses 460nm wavelength visible blue light to generate hyperactive hydroxyl radicals that ultimately break down harmful substances by destroying the molecular bonds—effectively cleaning the air without producing any harmful byproducts. (*Harmful substances: odors, harmful gases, viruses, bacteria, substances that cause sick house syndrome)
Differentiation: The term ‘puripot’ was coined as a combination of 'puri', derived from the ideas of cleansing and pureness from ‘purification’, and 'pot' in the sense of a container of clean air. That’s how ‘‘puripot” was born. Puripot has been launched as a differentiated air purifier with a small but unique technology for the purpose of being portable. Puripot's proprietary air purification technology (Titanium Dioxide Photocatalyst) was awarded the Innovation Award at CES 2019 and CES 2020, the world's largest electronic show.
Impact: The biggest strength and differentiation of ‘puripot’ is that it uses a semi-permanent filter that does not require a filter replacement. The honeycomb unit, which is a titanium dioxide photocatalyst filter, is used semi-permanently without a replacement, so it is very economical and convenient as the trouble of replacing the filter is saved. Dadam Micro Inc developed technology that is eco friendly, as it does not generate ions and ozone.
VS: Introduction of new solutions always comes with challenges either from the market, existing products, customers, and the settling period of the product/technology itself. What are some of the likely challenges you are expecting to face in the market and what strategy do you have in place to overcome them?
IJ: Puripot was launched in 2018. As the issue of 'fine dust' is continuously on the rise, there was a great need for air purifiers, but the ones on the market were simply limited to the function of clearing fine dust.
However, Puripot has focused on air care quality that is different from the existing products in the market due to its 'sterilization' and 'deodorization' functions. Unlike HEPA filters, it does not merely capture harmful substances, but rather completely removes or decomposes it.
Most of our customers still demand fine dust removal functions, but the hottest topic in 2020 was 'COVID-19' -- the war against viruses. Naturally, consumer awareness of sterilization has increased and the need for indoor air care has risen also.
Regarding filters, many consumers are familiar with periodical filter replacement. However, Puripot's own technology, “PCO,” is an eco-friendly technology that can be used semi-permanently, completely removing viruses and harmful substances. It is difficult to make consumers aware of PCO technology, but through various channels such as videos, images, and SNS, etc., we directly communicate with consumers' questions.
VS: How would you describe the unique value proposition of puripot air purifier products and can you list its key competitive differentiators? Are there any unique features of your product that address unmet customer needs and competitors are unable to replicate and replace?
IJ: PCO (Photo Catalytic Oxidation) is a technology that generates an air purification material (OH Radical) that decomposes odors, viruses, and bacteria using a catalyst applied with light and nano-tech. Photocatalytic technology, like symmetry of the photo-synthesis process that generates oxygen with sunlight the photocatalyst technology does ultimately decomposes harmful substances, unlike other existing filter technologies, so there is no waste and no exceptional maintenance costs.
Coated Catalyst - Titanium dioxide (TiO2) - Catalysts are substances that make chemical reactions fast and smooth, without consuming themselves. Titanium dioxide is used as a catalyst in the PCO technology’s process to produce purifying substances. Titanium dioxide is chemically stable and harmless to humans, so this is added to processed foods like candy and donuts.
Purification Substances - Hydroxyl radical (·OH) - Purification substances generated by photocatalytic reaction (·OH) has a strong oxidative decomposition function, so it removes bacteria, viruses, odors, molds, etc. Hydroxyl Radicals (OH) are generated and disappear continuously every one-millionth of a second, so it can never come out of the product. This means the technology is extremely safe because it completes air purification inside the product.
Why Blue Light?
The shorter the wavelength, the stronger the light.
Existing PCO technology uses ultraviolet (UV) to make purification materials easily. However, this becomes a problem because it reacts with oxygen in the air to produce ozone (O3), a toxic substance.
To combat these side effects and risks, puripot developed a catalyst recipe and a special nano process. We made it possible to create a purifying material even with visible light (460nm Blue Light) that we often encounter in our daily life. In short, this technology poses no health hazards.
(*Visual light: safe light visible to the eyes of a person with wavelengths of 400 to 700 nm.)
VS: What strategy do you have in place to offer the best value to customers for the price, compared to similar offerings from competitors? Also, what process are you deploying to gather customer feedback so as to ensure that the product development and innovation match market and customer needs?
IJ: I think technology and performance are fundamental these days. Smart customers are thinking about technology and reliable effects and expect a luxurious and qualified design. That’s why we aim for innovative and luxurious designs, like the ‘Apple’ of air purifiers. And we are aiming for qualified CS with all our heart.
We have a platform that is available 24 hours a day to collect and respond to customer feedback in real-time. Also, the reason we went through Wadiz several times is that through it we can get sincere opinions from our customers. Crowdfunding companies can launch products that are not currently in the market through the support of customers, so it is a platform with very high customer participation. That's why you can't just hear the voices of customers, you have to listen. When we listen to all of our customers' voices, they can become our ‘fansumers’ and our best advocates.
VS: Could you elaborate on how well your product is being accepted and adopted in the marketplace? Are there any client testimonials that can be shared with us? Also, do you foresee your product to have influence (trendsetter) on the overall direction of the market?
IJ: Currently, puripot products are being sold on the largest portal site in Korea, Naver. It has over 900 reviews and it's rated at a 4.5 out of 5 stars. In addition, we had launched three products through the largest crowdfunding site in Korea, Wadiz, Makuake in Japan and Indeogogo in USA.
In 2018, we raised almost $50,000 in Wadiz, which is very successful for an electronic product like P1, the first puripot launched. The F1N newest product, launched this year, has raised around $300,000 during over first and second Wadiz crowdfunding.
Usually, crowdfunding raises less than the first round, but ours achieved twice as much funding and we are currently preparing for the third round of funding. In addition, we have received funding for three types of our products on Makuake, Japan's largest crowdfunding site. At the latest funding, F1+ had received about USD 320,000 in funding.
You can also browse and purchase our products through Amazon USA, Japan, and AE.
VS: Continued innovation is the key to success for any company. How is the process of innovation managed at Dadam Micro Inc.? And what do you want the company to accomplish in the next 2 to 3 years?
IJ: We do not stop development even after the product has been launched. Research, development, production, marketing, and AS are all steps in progress from start to finish. Every small part and every pain point is checked and improved.
Our ultimate goal is to connect the brand image of puripot for recognition as an air sterilizer, and to make puripot synonymous with air sterilizers. For brand marketing, we are promoting it in both domestic and international markets. We plan to achieve 8 million US dollars sales in Korean domestic market and 30 million US dollars in global market in 2-3 years.
VS: There are vendors in the market with complementing or similar products. How do you compare yourself with such competitors in regards to offering a Best-in-Class solution?
IJ: The biggest strength of puripot is that it uses a semi-permanent filter that does not need to be replaced. It is very eco-friendly, economical and convenient without the hassle of replacing the filter by using the honeycomb unit, which is the main site of secondary filtering and the titanium dioxide photocatalyst filter. Its performance is very powerful, as it works for viruses, germs, fungi, VOC, and so on.
In general, HEPA filters collect dust, so it is safe to replace them regularly. However, based on 24-hour use, the filter needs to be replaced every 3-6 months. On the other hand, the photocatalytic filter in puripot products is economically reasonable and technically excellent because it removes fine dust by decomposing the dust rather than collecting it.
The strength of puripot is its unique and attractive design along with its technology and performance. Puripot is designed so that consumers do not feel inconvenienced as ease of use and simplicity the biggest priorities behind its design. Puripot can control power, air volume, and LED mood lighting with just one or two buttons. It is designed so that consumers can use it intuitively and easily -- it is a simple and universal product.
VS: What channels do you intend to use for marketing and product positioning? Do you plan to form any strategic alliances and/or partnerships and will the focus be regional or global? How do you plan to build and strengthen the brand equity of your offering?
IJ: We’re executing all channels in both domestic and overseas markets but now it’s time to reorganize. We are in the stage of selection and concentration. With an air sterilizer that is excellent for sterilization and deodorization, we plan to introduce the world's best brand, puripot, with its cutting edge technology, design, and price.
VS: To conclude - what do you think the future holds for your company and the product? Any other information you may want to share with our readers that may be important and we missed asking?
IJ: Due to COVID, these days we are feeling more deeply how important the phrase “to live and breathe” is to human life. We launched puripot with the mission to provide clean air to protect our loved ones.
In the modern urban environment, the indoor air environment is inevitably more serious than the pollution of the outside air environment. Puripot focused more on the prevalent indoor air pollution throughout the year, rather than the external air pollution that mainly occurs only in certain seasons.
As a result, we succeeded in developing blue light PCO (photocatalyst) technology that decomposes and removes bacteria, viruses, and harmful gases (VOC) and we are continuously striving to make our products safer, with stronger performance.
We are aiming for a future vision of becoming a global brand that everyone in the world truly loves by entering the global market with Korean Made technology.
Thank you for contacting us. Dadam Micro Inc. will continue to satisfy customers with good products and services.