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Locks on wheels

We take a look inside the archive room at Godrej Locks Solutions and Systems in Vikhroli and at new lock technologies that will now be on display at their swish Mobile Experience Center

The quintessential, trustworthy Godrej lock has been a part of the lives of millions of Indians for generations. On May 7, the company completed 119 years in the lock business.

The first ballot box used for free India’s elections was made by Godrej and is housed in the Archives room. pics/sameer markande
The first ballot box used for free India’s elections was made by Godrej and is housed in the Archives room. Pics/Sameer Markande

We had a brief glimpse of the past and the present, at their archive room inside the company’s Vikhroli (E) campus, which is also open to student visits on request.

Godrej manufactured grenades such as this one that were used in World War I
Godrej manufactured grenades such as this one that were used in World War I

The well-lit room has several cabinets that display several decades-old lock technologies of India (many patents are held by the company), be it for the complicated looking safes that look straight out of a 1970s Bollywood potboiler, to locks that can serve as kettlebells. The room also houses a variety of keys and locking systems sourced by the company from across the globe, for research purposes and certain pieces from the new age.

One of the earliest heavy locks by the company, which weighs several kilos and was used to bar big gates of monuments, temples, etc
One of the earliest heavy locks by the company, which weighs several kilos and was used to bar big gates of monuments, temples, etc

After rewind time, we returned to the present — a new Mobile Experience Center (MEC) — a massive Volvo bus that has been customised by Dilip Chabbaria. This is a step towards introducing their iconic products to the public.

In inside view of the Mobile  Experience Center that will go on tour soon
In inside view of the Mobile Experience Center that will go on tour soon

“We wanted to engage with the architect and interior design community, and present the range of products. This mobile interactive unit will create an ambiance for the products and also help us reach the consumers directly,” says Shyam Motwani, executive VP and business head at Godrej & Boyce Mfg Co Ltd.

A very popular product by the company was the Home Savings Safe, a rather cute but heavy metal ‘piggy bank’
A very popular product by the company was the Home Savings Safe, a rather cute but heavy metal ‘piggy bank’

Through this unit, the company plans to capture both Business to Business and Business to Consumer models of customers. They plan to increase the number of buses to their fleet and an app too.

Inside the bus, one can check everything from fluorescent-coloured trendy locks, the latest in their traditional Nav-tal range, door handles and knobs in various designs, to hi-tech security systems that will be launched by the company in this quarter. Apart from the sleek vibe of the bus that gelled with the design sensibilities of the locks, we liked the touch screen where visitors can write comments that will be mailed to the company.

Email: michelle.francis@ godrejinds.com for archive visits.

The MEC will open to public later this month.

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