August 27, 2012, Twenty first century matches and how to use them

Every day we are surrounded by thousands of brands that fill our lives with appliances, clothes, beautiful cars and great food. But as soon as darkness falls, we lose sight of most of them. And now it is turn for the fireflies of the modern world to appear on the land and they turn up in the forms of street lamps, lamps, lighting fixtures, flashlights, torches etc. They are the very things that once made the human life operate around the clock and opened for us lots of extra opportunities. Now we can study, work, have parties, entertain yourselves and even go for a walk at the time when the sun goes down and darkness comes over the scene. These human inventions made that saying “Moscow never sleeps” work.

Such a thing as a pocket torch seems to be an ordinary object – most of us would think there is nothing special to it. But when you face a huge range offered by a hoard of flashlight manufacturers you get nearly shocked. Here His Majesty “the Market” comes to work, creating a series of various kinds of flashlights fit to make nightlife even more comfortable under any circumstances. On the store shelves one can find torches of all shapes, sizes and purposes starting from tiny key-ring types for lightning keyholes, small enough to be kept in a lady’s clutch bag, to floodlights, headlights, pendant torches, camping and garden lights, powerful search lights and even some special flashlights for emergency vehicles. And this range doesn’t take into account differences in power sources (such as on-board rechargeable or simple alkaline batteries) or light sources. Nowadays the modern LED technology has already started dominating the market as LEDs provide considerably more light, use less power and serve much longer than usual ones.

However, only a few people now remember that five-six years ago it was not so easy to choose a flashlight for one’s needs. That time you could only find quite expensive imported products of foreign brands such as General Electric, Osram, Philips, Neolux costing from 2.5 to 3 thousand rubles, (surely, not everyone could afford it) which were considered the most high-tech products for professionals. And on the other hand there were countless numbers of so called " no-name" uncertified items without any warranties and quality guarantees, most of them made in China. In most cases, these items turned out to be disposable throwaways, the only mystery about them being whether they would last another day. It was not worth repairing them as buying a new one usually cost cheaper.

In 2005 the Russian company Topservice tried to reverse the situation. By that time it had succeeded in taking 10% of the market of batteries from the Chinese and European manufacturers, being the second largest player after the battery giant Duracell. In the end Topservice has become the largest distributor in that segment in Russia. The company worked with Samsung and Panasonic and has opened its own production in China, achieving much higher product quality in comparison with those that buy the items in the free market of the country. After the decisive success in the field of batteries the president of the Topservice Group Alexander Saveliev, although pleased with the achievements of the company didn’t stop and kept moving further. He was the first who realized that the market of flashlights didn’t provide enough supply to meet consumer demands. Following that well-known saying “nature abhors a vacuum” he filled up the gap with Kosmos brand flashlights -created and developed within the company.

Intuition had not failed the businessman and the recently created brand had met the hopes and expectations of the consumers who were happy to accept a high-quality alternative to expensive imported brands at significantly lower prices. The quality of these products was backed up by the warranty service the company offered to their customers, which was absolutely unthinkable for the Chinese "forgeries". It didn’t take long for consumers to get used to the brand of the familiar Russian name, since most of them took the products under the brand of “Kosmos” as the conversion line items of one of the defence industry plants, to which our people had always had profound respect and trust as the quality of the Soviet military products had never been in question even for the Western countries. Having achieved a good reputation (co-branding with the best-selling film "The Night Watch" played an important role in this – the movie identity and characters were presented on the packing of the company’s flashlights), Kosmos continued working on extending the product range and the sphere of its influence. And there were lots of opportunities for doing so as modern technology made it possible to manufacture some quite impressive varieties of different flashlights. The market of consumer goods gradually moved towards a wider and more specified assortment line following the simple economic need to satisfy customer demands. Growing interest of Russians to such activities as hunting, fishing as well as a rebirth of the country tourism in its more modern forms brought grist for the producer’s mill.

One of the unique models developed by Kosmos is its Flashlight 2008L, which structurally combines two different types of flashlights: a powerful floodlight with an accent light beam and a full camping lantern similar in luminous flux to a full-scale lighting fixture. If you use it in the lantern mode you can place it directly on the surface of its reflector or hang it on a special hook. Since this model uses LED light sources it consumes several times less power than the one using traditional light sources.

Kosmos today produces about a hundred types of flashlights and each of them finds their own buyer. The company’s product warranty and strong after-sales support allows Kosmos to receive feedback from their customers and helps find out exactly what characteristics they expect from an item and what they don’t like about it. So we really keep an eye not only on the quality of our products but also on its function issues and we continue working in this direction. We thus create models that truly match the market needs and requirements and that is, what Chinese manufacturers are very weak in.

Our flashlight model 678Ex with a five-watt high-power LED operating in the conjunction with a massive cooling radiator leaves all competitors far behind. Using a smart circuit protected against full battery discharge makes this flashlight a breakthrough model in the field of innovative engineering.

In the 2000s several new technologies were introduced in the area of energy-saving fluorescent and, later on, LED lamps. They began rapidly developing and that luckily became accessible and relevant for the producers. The market volume of lamps is really huge nowadays - if in the former USSR the vast majority of them were produced at one largest plant, today dozens of manufacturers and hundreds of distributors are fighting for a market share. Having attained a good reputation and achieved Kosmos brand recognition, Topservice Group managed to break into the market of compact fluorescent lamps and seize more than 20% of its volume. It is an unthinkable market share for a Russian manufacturer. The tactics used for market penetration was the same as the one that had already been proved and justified in the field of batteries and flashlights. The company guaranteed to their customers that the quality level of their goods would be high and would never be comparable to the so-called Chinese low-grade products. While prices for Kosmos items were steadily two to three times lower than those of their Western counterparts. Success was predetermined and Kosmos soon became the umbrella brand that united best-selling batteries, lamps and flashlights.

Technological advance has become a real trigger for the Kosmos brand lately. For the last five-seven years we have seen some striking revolutionary changes in the market so now the vast majority of Kosmos flashlights use LED light sources. This allows to generate more powerful flux while consuming considerably less energy and increasing the lifetime of the lamps. Certainly, the process dependent parameters of a LED item are much better than an ordinary tungsten filament that dates back to the time of Edison, Lodygin and Yablochkov. These great achievements require highly advanced equipment and strict quality control. This lead us to another important competitive disadvantage of Chinese no-name suppliers as their diodes often break down or tend to loose brightness quite quickly.

This hand torch is a nice example of a good quality and technologically advanced product, which ideally meets both special technical requirements and is convenient for day-to- day application. The source of light in it is a powerful, high-performance US LED CREE LED (CREE is the market-leading innovator in the LED-chip industry). And the opportunity to work at the depth of 50 meters under water and the use of dry- reed slot makes this model an excellent tool for enthusiastic divers.

But progress can’t be stopped. The cost reduction of new advanced engineering achievements has brought to the market yet another alternate light source - xenon lamps - the former optional accessory for luxury cars, used today for such purposes as powering mobile phones flashes. The application of innovative technology forced the company to create a new brand KOSMOS PREMIUM, detaching the subsidiary segment of premium high-tech models from the more widely-used ones. In fact, Alexander Saveliev made a bold push for something that had been long a priority of world-famous manufacturers only, the so-called business elite. And he did it substantially on faith, gambling on innovation, both in terms of technology and product styling.

A xenon floodlight is the first, but not the last of the premium line of flashlights. It is equipped with a powerful 35W lamp with the light output of over 3000 lumens, and it is very useful as a search floodlight. It works from the in-vehicle monitoring system (IVMS) of cars, boats or ATVs. The brightest possible beam of light, a shock and moisture-resistant case and stylish modern design, all in one KOSMOS PREMIUM product, have allowed the company to create not just an ordinary product but a real multifunctional work of art. It has been the first experience for us in our product line to use xenon lamps with cold fluorescence having considerably larger light output than a usual lamp. This model has become a personal favorite of car owners since it was brought into production.

Indeed, having plants in Belarus, Russia, China, Japan and Korea, obtaining valued expertise and achieving lower production costs, there was no other option for Kosmos but to continue its expansion to the Western countries, and first of all to Europe . Today, the brand is already known and is sold in twelve countries of the world. The European market situation turned out to be the same as it was in Russia. A big gap between the Chinese no-name products and the European expensive brands frankly presented Kosmos wit a strong competitive advantage. And the rest had been done by the Soviet and Russian astronauts long before Mr. Saveliev started his business activities – owing to their achievements the Russian word Kosmos meaning “space" is now widely known and respected all over the world.