India's leading elevator manufacturers are undertaking massive capacity expansion and targeting 8-10% sales growth this year on the back of likely revival in the real estate market after the implementation of RERA and GST. The growth will also be seen on account of new product development, advancement in the existing ones, and excellent support services.

Elevators & Escalators - Manufacturers focus on Expansion

McKinsey report says that currently, around 340 million or one-third of the Indian population lives in cities, which, by 2030, will be more than double with India having 68 cities with a population of over 1 million. This is another reason (besides RERA) why multinational elevator firms such as KONE, Schindler, Johnson, OTIS, Mitsubishi, thyssenkrupp, etc, are expanding their production capacities. These major organized players who account for a lion's share in the ₹10,000-crore elevators and escalators market in India, are collectively investing around ₹700-800 crore in their manufacturing units for expansion.

Strengthening Production Capacity
Amit Gossain
Mr. Amit Gossain, Managing Director, KONE India (a subsidiary of the Euro 8.8 billion KONE Corporation of Finland), feels that India's current elevator and escalator market of 50,000-55,000 units per annum, is likely to grow by 8-10% this year, and will be provided for by the latest technology products and best services to customers. Moreover, the recent notifications of RERA by various states is a big positive for the sector in the long run. This will not only bring in more accountability in the sector for all stakeholders, but also lift the end-user confidence.

Analyzing the spurt in demand, KONE India, with over 20% market share, has recently commissioned the construction of its second manufacturing plant at Oragadam, Chennai, which will be operational by early 2019.

Johnson Lifts, a Chennai-based home-grown manufacturer of elevators and escalators, has announced a heavy-duty escalator manufacturing facility at Oragadam, with an initial investment of ₹100 crore. The company has two other manufacturing facilities in Nagpur and Chennai.

Aura lobby view

Schindler India, the Indian arm of the Swiss major, is also investing ₹170 crore to expand its manufacturing facilities by setting up India's first escalator manufacturing line near Chakan, Pune.

Sebi Joseph, President, OTIS India
India's oldest lift maker OTIS has expanded its manufacturing line in Bengaluru with an investment of around ₹100 crore. Says Mr. Sebi Joseph, President, OTIS India, "We're amongst the top five players in the market. We have recently expanded our facility in Bengaluru and will now start an escalator line within the facility. We are building high-speed elevators in Bengaluru and (working on) other localization programmes keeping in mind the demand."

German mobility solutions major thyssenkrupp has opened a ₹300 crs. elevator manufacturing facility in the country. The 84,000 sqm facility at Chakan, is the company's first in India. The initial annual production capacity is planned for 6,000 units, which will get extended to 10,000 units in the next few years. The new facility has a manufacturing & logistics centre, a customer showroom cum experience centre, a training centre, a R&D centre and a workforce of around 350.

Bharat Vishnani, Managing Director, thyssenkrupp Elevator India
Mr. Bharat Vishnani, Managing Director, thyssenkrupp Elevator India, said that the government is focused on building new housing complexes, airports, malls, railway stations & harbors and thyssenkrupp is poised to play an important role both in supporting the development of different regions and contributing to wider Indian goals of sustainable and efficient urbanized growth.

Continuing its growth trajectory, Toshiba Johnson Elevators (India) Pvt. Ltd. (TJEI), a 100% subsidiary of Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corporation, Japan, aims to achieve top market share in the targeted segment by achieving a sales target of 2000 units per year by FY2022. Comprehending the evolving preferences of Indian consumers, TJEI has expanded its product portfolio to cover all spectrums of the market – from premium to upper-middle elevator market. TJEI will be now focusing on two segments – the premium and luxury segment where TJEI has already established itself as a significant player.

Elevator without rope

With an augmented focus on 'Made-for-India' products, TJEI plans to set up a Multi-Purpose Facility (MPF) that will act as design centre, training centre, and service centre amongst other roles. TJEI will also introduce advanced technology services covering Tier 1 and major Tier 2 cities. With its commitment to provide safe and efficient vertical transportation through its innovative, state-of-the-art global product range, TJEI endeavours to contribute to the growth of urbanization in India.

R&D & New Launches
KONE's 'Neo' a good product for small homes and apartments

Says Mr. Gossain, "Expansion of our production line and investment in R&D is our current focus as we want to develop new products as per market requirement and include integrating digital technology into our products. Our recently launched gearless elevator KONE Neo has a speed of 0.6 meter per second and is ideal for use in small homes and apartments. For construction of tall buildings, we have introduced a new hoisting technology called KONE Ultra rope. This superlight carbon fibre core rope is 90% lighter than an equivalent steel cable, thus ensuring more than 50% reduction in moving masses and 15% reduction in energy consumption. It also allows an elevator to travel upto 1 km in a single run, which is double of what's currently possible with a steel cable."

Kone Elevator

"Providing the best people flow to provide a memorable user experience is our priority. We're providing solutions with all the right features, ensuring smooth and safe rides for users. We are not only looking at better aesthetics, but also at more economical and safer world-class solutions," he adds.

Safety is at the top of KONE's agenda in R&D. For this, it has a multi-year agreement with technology giant IBM to provide cloud-based technologies and services. The company uses IBM's supercomputer Watson's IoT Cloud Platform to connect, remotely monitor, and optimize management of millions of escalators, doors and turnstiles in buildings and cities located worldwide. Now, instead of a customer calling a service engineer, KONE with this tie-up, is able to predict and resolve 'selected' technical issues "remotely".

Gossain is quite optimistic that with the Indian government's focus on infrastructure development, there will be a lot of scope to improve people flow using high-tech escalators and elevators.

thyssenkrupp Home Solutions is looking to advance home mobility in India with its new H300 Home Elevator.
thyssenkrupp Home Solutions has launched its new H300 exclusive elevator that uses gearless cog belt drive technology and gives a silent and safe ride. Being a SIL3 certified lift, it sets a new benchmark for home elevator safety with its groundbreaking functionality and safety parameters.

With vastly reduced pit and headroom space requirements, the lift complies with all standard dimensions and configurations, and meets the most stringent requirements for safe accessibility. A patented metal shaft makes it weatherproof and suitable for seismic conditions, and ideal for private homes. The pricing is also very competitive when compared to retail prices in neighboring countries.

The new range of home lifts promises to offer customers an all-in-one solution to improve their comfort and mobility at home. The H300 cog belt technology ensures whisper-quiet operation with an extra-gentle start and stop, while its wide selection of bespoke interior finishes can accommodate each customer's individual design preferences.

According to Mauro Carneiro, CEO of thyssenkrupp Home Solutions, "The H300 is a perfect fit for the Indian market, designed with ultimate sensitivity for upmarket and trendy tastes and uncompromising on quality and safety; simply the best the industry can offer!"

Toshiba Johnson Elevators introduces ELCOSMO-TJ – a high-end compact machine room type Passenger Elevator
The Made-for-India high-end compact machine room elevator ELCOSMO-TJ has been developed by Toshiba Johnson Elevators (India) for the low and mid-rise segment, which is a rapidly growing elevator market in India. Like other Toshiba Elevators, ELCOSMO-TJ offers leading edge technology in energy consumption through a highly efficient PMSM motor, high quality VVVF drive system, LED lighting and several other benefits as a standard package to the users.

Junichi Kyushima, Managing Director, TJEI
Says Mr. Junichi Kyushima, Managing Director, TJEI, "India is not just the world's second largest market, but also the fastest growing market for Toshiba Johnson Elevators India. In the last 5 years, TJEI has registered a Y-o-Y CAGR of over 20%. TJEI has expanded its product portfolio to cover all spectrums of the market – from premium to upper-middle elevator market and it will be now focusing on two segments – the premium & luxury segment where TJEI has already established itself as a significant player; and the ever-growing mid-rise buildings of the Indian real estate market – the mid-sized offices, commercial spaces and residential condominiums, where TJEI will further consolidate its market position in the upper middle segment with products 'Made-for-India'. We're continuing to strengthen our partnership with Johnson Lifts - the leading and most experienced Indian company with a strong presence in the market for over 50 years, and we are also focusing on building strong customer relationships."

He adds, "Our 'Made-for-India' model ELCOSMO-TJ is competitive both in terms of cost and delivery time, as some of the components are manufactured in India in collaboration with M/s. Johnson Lifts Pvt. Ltd. The elevator is a perfect blend of latest technology and simplicity of design that best suits Indian vertical transportation needs. ELCOSMO-TJ is available in the passenger carrying capacity range starting from 544 kgs to 1020 kgs, and travel speed options of 1m/s and 1.75m/s."

"We have plans to set up a dedicated multipurpose facility (training + distribution centre), and we will plan manufacturing too. ELCOSMO-TJ is a combination of localized and imported equipment, but over time, its localization will increase. The company has also installed the fastest elevator at GIFT City in Gujarat; it can climb at a speed of 4 m / second. Globally, it has set the record for fastest elevator at 16.8 m / second and has kept this record for over a decade. In India, Toshiba has delivered one of the fastest elevators that can climb at 6 m per second; it is installed at One Avighna Park - one of the most premier locations in Mumbai. Our ability to offer comprehensive and flexible solutions keeps us ahead of competition."

New Look Unveiled for Otis Elevators
johnson lifts
Otis unveiled two new aesthetic design themes for its elevators in India that reflect Indian warmth and culture as well as the "new age" modern India with its sleek design for architects and designers. The two new interior themes, named Aura and Atmos, will be available in a select range of Gen2® elevators manufactured at the Otis factory in Bengaluru.

Each theme has a set of colours, materials and finishes conceptualized by a team of industrial designers incorporating feedback from architects, real estate developers and passengers. It captures a theme of organic continuum and understated elegance, symbolizing the rich legacy of Otis in India for the past 125 years.

The Aura theme reflects the warmth of Indian culture, with an opulent look and a warm, welcoming feel. The materials and colours used showcase current interior trends. Highlights of this design are the intricate work of mirror patterns on the ceilings and walls illuminated with soft lights.

The Atmos elevator range captures modern India, with a blend of technology and nature. The space delivers passengers to a place of panoramic clarity, freshness and calm. Cool colours, soft lighting and mirror panels offer a sense of vastness and muted edges characterize this look.

Says Mr. Sebi Joseph, "Indian customers have consistently chosen Otis as the brand they trust. They have always viewed Otis products as those that are safe and technologically advanced. These new aesthetic packages will further enhance our ability to support building designers and owners in providing a stylish and contemporary environment for passengers."

Sanjay Sudhakaran, Director, Sales and Marketing Strategy, Otis India, said, "Elevators are personal spaces with short and memorable moments of engagement. It's our endeavour to make this as fulfilling as possible."

Johnson Lifts forays into public service heavy-duty escalator segment
John K. John, CMD, Johnson Lifts
Johnson Lifts Private Ltd., manufacturer of elevators and escalators, has forayed into the public service heavy-duty escalator segment, for which it has set up a manufacturing unit at Oragadam with an investment of ₹100 crore. Mr. John K. John, CMD, Johnson Lifts, informed that the Oragadam facility is equipped to test every escalator in-house before shipping. This enables customers to inspect their product before it leaves the factory. Johnson Lifts had bought the technology from SJEC, a Chinese firm, for the venture, and the entire funding was through internal accruals.

johnson lifts
According to the company, the indigenous content in these heavy-duty escalators is close to 80% component-wise and 65% value-wise. There was a surge in demand for such escalators following the announcement of several metro rail projects across the country. There was also a huge requirement for outdoor escalators following construction of foot over-bridges.

GST and RERA to bring Transparency & Value for Quality Services
The Indian elevator market, currently estimated at 50,000-55,000 units annually and valued at around ₹10,000 crore, is expected to grow 35-40% and cross 70,000 elevators per annum mark by 2020-21.

With GST and RERA, not only will there be greater demand for elevators, but there will be transparency and value for quality services. The growing market will throw up new challenges such as demand for high-speed elevators, emphasis on energy-efficient products, and gearless elevators. The need for innovative and eco-efficient products is also increasing with the 'Green Building' concept gaining significant ground in India. Servicing and maintenance is a crucial factor for customers, and to meet these requirements, leading players are enhancing their manufacturing capability to produce high-end products and deliver the best support services.

Room for improvement
The need of the hour is a suitable legislation in all the states for an effective mechanism to control the installation of lifts and escalators which are safety critical equipment.

As per the industry players, a uniform Lift Act would not only help in improving product safety by using new technologies but also support in optimizing development, manufacturing and installation costs.

Elevator & escalator manufacturers in India are quite optimistic that infrastructure status to real estate along with interest subvention, will help the sector in recovering from the current slowdown phase. Also, with the Indian government keen on infrastructure development, there will be a lot of scope to improve people flow through high-tech escalators and elevators.
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