In 2008, Olexandr's school friend Yevhen Humenyuk asked for advice on choosing a security system for the house. They did not find a suitable one in Ukraine, so they ordered it from Russia. It turned out to be cheaper there. Friends came up with the idea to make a business out of it.
Initially, security systems were brought in small batches by passenger trains from Russia. Then they switched to direct purchases from China. This happened when the entrepreneurs discovered that the instructions for the security system were translated to Russian from Chinese. The success of the business idea exceeded expectations - sales grew. In Ukraine, such systems cost $600-700, and Konotopskyi and his partner set a price of $320. At the same time, all sales went through the online store created "on the knee".
However, the capabilities of Chinese sensors were not suitable for the professional market. The sensors did not report a low charge level, they had a small range, and had a lot of other disadvantages. If the sensor was breaking, the security company could not find out about it. Chinese manufacturers could not improve quality, and it was expensive in Taiwan and Europe.
This is how the company Secur appeared. Two founders invested $5,000 each in fixed assets and working capital. The devices sold well among end users, but entrepreneurs wanted to reach out to integrators and security companies. They promised growth in turnover and a stable sales market.
The company Secur, which specialized in the resale of Chinese alarm systems, became the predecessor of Ajax Systems. The desire to improve a low-quality Chinese product by creating a product that is unprecedented in terms of innovation and financial availability, however, drove the process of finding its own effective technological solutions. Then Konotopskyi decided to conquer the B2B segment with the help of a central unit. He planned to do this in Ukraine. A trip to Shenzhen, the Chinese capital of contract electronics manufacturing, instilled confidence in the entrepreneur.
In 2010, he agreed with his childhood friend Andrii Novatskyi, a graduate of the Instrument Engineering Faculty of KPI, and programmer Mykhailo Konvisar, an acquaintance from work at MTS Ukraine, to develop a hub for sensors. In fact, it was just a board, "stitched" with specially created software for it. It was made at the "Electronmash" plant in Kyiv. The device was called modestly - GS 101, but it was he who became the prototype of the current futuristic Ajax hub.
In 2011, he reconsidered the approach to the organization of the process and decided to create a sensor. In this niche, the level of competition is lower due to the greater number of physical problems that sensors must consider in their work. The result exceeded expectations. Sensors for movement, opening, breaking glass, as well as a receiving device were created, which included sensors for security centers of other manufacturers.
The first sales by security companies took place after four months of "cold" calls. Konotopsky says that out of ten presentations to business clients, eight of them ordered the system. The dynamics of sales growth were fantastic. And then suddenly there were mass complaints from customers. It turned out that the next firmware quickly drained the battery.
"We apologized for a long time, checked the entire warehouse, stopped sales for a month, and reflashed. Some companies refused to work with us for three years, although there were those who supported us" says Konotopskyi.