The escalator market in India is gradually picking up

The escalator market in India is gradually picking up

We will continue to innovate and provide value to our customers in line with the market trends, says AMIT GOSSAIN, Managing Director, KONE India


What is KONE Elevators India’s total market share? What would be your strategies to increase your market share?
Our market share in India is about 20% and we are continuously looking at market dyamics and product & market expansion

Which are the sectors which will act as a catalyst for the growth of elevator and escalator industry in India?
With urbanization on an increasing trend in India, growth is expected in all segments. With so much of metros, airports & stations coming up, the infra growth is seemingly visible. The residential sector is also bound to come back very soon.

Given the design consciousness that has set in the premium real estate projects what are the elements KONE Elevators India has incorporated in its elevators to ensure they are visually appealing?
Customers who want to differentiate their buildings choose design as one element whether in the architecture and landscaping of the buildings or in the components that go within the building. Also architects are very keen to leave their signature on the buildings and are always looking for new ways to create an ambience in buildings that people will take notice of. It is not uncommon nowadays in big projects to use internationally renowned architects to design the building. It is these types of customers who are immediately attracted to new design concepts, new materials and the flexibility to customize the design to suit their needs.
Customers expectations differ according to the projects that they are working on. There are functional buildings where something elegant but meeting budget is important and for others where customers are trying to maximize the value of the building by providing elements that are clear differentiators and then there are customers who want this building to be their star collection. Also buildings use different materials, themes , lighting, and differ in the use of space. Customers want to have designs that would fit their building, They want choice, they want well thought out designs and they want the ability to customize when needed. They want to pay for what they need, nothing less nothing more. They also expect things to be functional, easy to maintain and easy to use. And KONE design collection takes these into account. Our recent gearless, residential product KONE I MonoSpace, have cars designed around the 5 elements inspired from Vaastu.

What are the initiatives KONE Elevators India has taken under the “Make in India” campaign?
We have a world class factory in Chennai which manufactures Indian products at global standards. We will continue investing here to make sure we are able to cater to the needs of the changing Indian market.

Can you please brief us of the IoT initiatives taken by KONE Elevators India? 
KONE’s partnership with IBM will help ap into the IBM Watson IoT Cloud Platform to connect, remotely monitor and optimize its management of millions of escalators, doors and turnstiles in buildings and cities worldwide. The system will analyze vast amounts of data from sensors embedded in equipment helping to identify and predict issues and minimize downtime. Instead of having to call in a service engineer, KONE will be able to predict and resolve selected technical issues remotely by running tests and making commands over the cloud.
With real-time insight about the operation of its equipment, KONE’s plans to drive further innovation and develop new solutions and services to improve the flow of people in some of the world’s busiest cities and buildings. Using IBM’s open standards-based Watson IoT Cloud platform, KONE plans to allow a vast developer ecosystem via Application Programming Interfaces (API’s) to build new applications to make a smoother, safer and more personalized people flow experience for building users. For instance, community-based systems could help people pre-order elevators during the busiest times of the day or speed up evacuations during emergencies. 

What are the training programmes KONE Elevators India conducts for upgrading engineers and service technician’s skills?
There are fixed training modules from both global and local for various roles. Our well-equipped training centres  ensures that our people acquire the necessary skills required for quality installation. There are also various competency development programs for the service technicians to ensure the elevators are regularly maintained with no interruption to the customer and end users.

What are the key features imbibed in KONE Elevators India’s elevators to ensure operational safety?
All our solutions strictly adhere to the Indian Standard codes; Curtain of light, Car door lock, Over speed governor are some of the features that ensure safe mobility

In the Union Budget 2017-18, the government has announced that 500 railway stations will be equipped with elevators and escalators for the differently-abled. What type of opportunist you foresee for KONE Elevators India? How are you going to leverage on this opportunity? 
Yes, as I mentioned earlier, infra growth is on and for any public utility purpose, the solutions have to be customized to ensure usage by any kind of people. There is a good opportunity to create clear differentiators in this segment. Features like braille buttons, voice announcement systems, special safety features etc. are required. As an insightful organization, we are able to understand the end user requirements in a public transport segment and provide the right kind of solutions.   

The growth of shopping malls, commercial centers and investment in airports has given immense scope for escalator in India in the last few years. How is market for escalator shaping up? What are the technological innovations taking place in this space?
The escalator market in India is gradually picking up. In commercial establishments people flow.KONE has installed the first pitless Autowalk (Travelator), first of its kind in Asia at the Mumbai International Airport Project-Sahar.- KONE InnoTrack (4 autowalks  in the airport). KONE developed the world’s flattest autowalk technology, which makes designing locations for and installing autowalks considerably easier.  The modular-based flat technology platform and the reinstallation possibility enable the use of InnoTracks also in buildings and premises in which autowalks have not been used before. An InnoTrack can be installed without changes on the floor structure, which enables the easy installation of InnoTrack in both existing and new buildings giving economy in space. These features make InnoTrack a solution for a wide range of different locations and premises with a need for efficient traffic flow. The new technology utilizes the KONE PowerDisc™ machinery, which has proven itself as a reliable and energy-efficient solution in KONE’s elevators.

Which are the green and smart elevators KONE Elevators India has introduced in the last two years?
Environmental Excellence is one of KONE’s key strategic initiatives. The initiative has clearly defined objectives and is monitored on a monthly basis by KONE’s executive board. We believe that Environmental Excellence creates value for all our key stakeholders – customers, shareholders, employees, and society as a whole. The challenge is to seek new management approaches that provide both for the needs of urban residents and protect environmental resources on which human life depends. The need to give due respect to our Green Environment is increasing and has been the most remarkable realization of the century/our times. With an increase in urbanization, benefits for infrastructure growth are increasing and therefore the need for sustainable solutions.
KONE’s eco-efficient™ elevators differ from conventional elevators. There are a wide variety of features that make energy-efficient elevators different from conventional elevators. In our case, the most important solution is KONE EcoDisc®, a lightweight, highly-efficient hoisting machine. KONE EcoDisc® consumes 70 percent less energy than a hydraulic drive and 50 percent less than a geared traction elevator drive. KONE has also been the pioneer in introducing inverter drives and regenerative systems for elevator use. These solutions can recover up to 25 percent of the total energy consumed, which can then be used as one source of energy for the building and can be used, for example, to light the building. Also, when the elevator is idle, it still consumes energy. The standby energy is mostly consumed by the car lights, control devices, car ventilators, elevator drives and control systems. This standby energy consumption can account for 25 to 80 percent of the total energy consumed by the elevator, depending on its design and usage. Less frequent usage, for example, in a small apartment building, means that a higher percentage of the electricity can be saved by reducing standby energy consumption.

What are your plans for KONE Elevators India for the next three years? Are there plans to launch new products, or new office in the offing?
We are continuously improving our competitiveness through our development programs: employee engagement, customer focus, innovative solutions for People Flow, service leadership, delivery chain excellence. Cost effective products, faster delivery, meeting the changing customer requirement, strong R&D, etc, are the need of the hour.
We will continue to innovate and provide value to our customers in line with the market trends. We have made our best even better to provide better ride comfort, better aesthetics and more eco efficient solutions. We have a best in class production unit, which can provide support to the ever-increasing needs of the customer. We have made necessary investments to increase our existing capacity to enable us provide the necessary support to meet market demands.



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