Company: Liquiguard Technologies
5807 N. Andrews Way, Fort Lauderdale
What it is: Liquiguard Technologies is an R&D company and manufacturing operation of more than 60 specialty protective coatings. “Product-wise, we strive to innovate unique coatings to address everyday problems related to things like slip-and-fall accidents due to slippery floors,” Abbas A. Sadriwalla, general manager of the company, said in an email. The coatings are water-based, environmentally safe, biodegradable and biologically nonhazardous, he said. The company’s motto is “Protection Without Pollution.”
How it began: Liquiguard was founded in 2003 and has been operating since 2008. Sadriwalla, who moved to the U.S. from India in the early 1970s to study aviation, has a wide-ranging background — “technical, industrial and entrepreneurial,” he said, “encompassing everything from innovation, manufacturing, procurement, import/export, wholesale, distribution and retail.” Educated as a chemist, he has worked in the rubber-products and plastic-products industries. In the past, Sadriwalla has founded companies involving computers, pagers and Wi-Fi, among others.
After his IT company went out of business during the recession, he regrouped. “I decided to go back to chemistry and innovation that had always been my primary love and fascination,” he said. “With the global drive toward greener technology, I saw a tremendous opportunity to use my skills to develop unique products that were eco-bio friendly, user-friendly and helped conserve our depleting resources. Seemed like a definite win-win for all.”
Management team: Saddriwalla is CEO, general manager and director of research and development.
Number of employees: Six.
Website: www.liguiguard.com. The company also has 10 more websites that represent its most popular products. The latest is www.Graphixon.com, for its proprietary “Graphixon” finish, which the company recently patented and which lets images be applied to materials that don’t accept conventional printing.
Products and services: The company said its line of coatings help all kinds of objects to last longer, saving money: They can be used on fabric, wood, leather, metal, stone and more. Perhaps its best-known product is SolidStepCote, an anti-slip clear coating used for bathtubs, showers, pool decks and elsewhere to prevent slip-and-fall accidents. GripCote-Ultra, another strong seller, is designed to prevent area rug runners, mats and other coverings from slipping and moving around on floors.
How products, services are sold: Much of the business is done via distributors, resellers and installers; online sales also drive the business. “Overall, as innovators, our goal is to find suitable partners, with a strong customer base and sales and marketing expertise. We permit them to re-brand our products under their brand,” Sadriwalla said.
Among the company’s clients: “Our solutions are sold nationally and globally and purchased by homeowners, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, retirement communities, restaurants, automotive dealerships, school systems and commercial buildings,” Sadriwalla said. Major bathtub manufacturers, such as Best Bath, Bath Fitters and Liners Direct, use the company’s anti-slip coating to pre-treat bathtubs before shipping them to customers, he said. Villeroy & Boch uses Liguiguard’s products in their bathroom-fixture division. Recently, the company has sold one of its anti-slip coatings, GripCote-X, to Amazon for use on their anti-fatigue mats in their warehouse and packing facility.
Competitors: Companies that offer anti-slip coating, including National Sealing Co. in Fort Lauderdale.
2011-12: $65,000; 2012-13: $85,000; 2013-14: $440,000; 2014-15: $517,000; 2015-16: Not yet available.
2012: The company began to introduce its products into the marketplace, beginning with SolidStepCote, a water-based anti-slip coating for all flooring surfaces.
In September, the company was approved for a patent for Graphixon, a transfer/lamination technology that enables the imprinting of high-resolution, full-color 2D and 3D graphics on several types of material. “Whatever one can visualize and print on paper can now be adorned on leather, vinyl, canvas and many other materials easily and permanently,” the company’s website says. Graphixon has possibilities for handbags, shoes and other accessories and apparel, for instance, Sadriwalla said. “Our process also can be used for applying images, graphics, etc., to wood veneers and aluminum plates such as those used in road signs,” he said. “We have already received inquiries from the likes of Louis Vuitton, Adidas, and other majors in automotive, RV, yachts, and similar luxury market.”
Major key to success: Focused innovation and deployment of cutting-edge chemical technologies and raw materials, and a continued use of quality products.
Strategy for next steps: The company expects to continue its innovations and file for more patents, such as for its newly developed corrosion-protection system. Sadriwalla expects the patents to raise the company’s profile “while we continue to do what we are best at, innovating and providing the best bang for the buck.”
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