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Business Observer Sunday, Jul. 5, 2020 1 month ago

Area TV remote control company clicks on opportunities

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Clean Remote's biggest challenge is choosing the best opportunity to pursue.

Despite the damage it has wrought on thousands of businesses, the coronavirus pandemic has presented some companies with opportunities like never before.

Tampa-based Clean Remote is one of those companies.

Founded in the 1990s in New Jersey and based in the region since 2001, Clean Remote does what its name says: it manufactures and sells replacement TV remote controls for the hospitality and health care sectors. The remotes, says Clean Remote president Michael Monsky, are designed with a non-porous, sealed membrane surface that can reduce bacteria and germs by as much as 99%. “While the CDC recommends that hotels clean and disinfect remote controls daily,” Monsky says, “standard remotes have gaps and crevices around the buttons that can harbor dirt and germs.”

One of the largest hotel TV manufacturers in the industry, LG, is one of Clean Remote’s latest opportunities. LG Business Solutions USA recently announced a partnership with Clean Remote to offer hotel operators a free Clean Remote with every new LG hotel TV. “TV remotes are the most touched object in a hotel room, making them a hotbed for germs and bacteria, so this is an attractive solution for hoteliers, especially now,” LG Business Solutions USA Vice President of Hospitality Mike Kosla says in a statement.

Clean Remote, under an entity called Command In Hand, has gone through several iterations and starts and stops over the past 20 years, says Monsky. The remote works with some 200 TV brands, and costs around $10. It can be bought on Amazon and other websites, with discounts for buying in bulk. The company, which says its remote is backed by a bevy of scientific and academic studies, offers a free sample on its website, cleanremote.com.  

Monsky says he’s fielding calls everyday now for deals and partnerships, with several other big brands, in addition to LG, checking in. The company has sold at least 13 million clean remotes over the last five years, he says, and while he declines to disclose sales figures, there have been several years of growth. But the pandemic, he says, is both raising the company’s profile, and sales, to levels it’s never done before.

Now the company’s biggest challenge is deciding which avenues to pursue. “There’s not a day that goes by where we aren’t getting to or three opportunities,” Monsky tells Coffee Talk. “Sometimes we wouldn’t get those in a year.”

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