Finnish company KONE has over a century-old rich history of enhancing People Flow and has become leading company with innovative, safe, and eco-efficient solutions in elevator and escalator industry across the world. In a bid to consolidate its manufacturing operations and to gear up for the emerging business avenues in India’s infra sector, KONE has set up a hi-tech, modern factory for manufacturing elevators in India at SIPCOT Industrial Park in Pillaipakkam, Sriperumbudur near Chennai, at an investment of ₹450 crore.
The elevator manufacturing facility was inaugurated by Thiru Banwarilal Purohit, Hon’ Governor of Tamil Nadu in the presence of H.E. Pekka Haavisto, Hon’ Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Thiru M. C. Sampath, Hon’ Minister for Industrial Department, Govt. of Tamil Nadu, Antti Herlin, Chairman, Henrik Ehrnrooth, President & CEO, Axel Berkling, EVP APA from KONE Corporation and Amit Gossain, Managing Director, KONE Elevator India. Employing around 600 people, the new facility can be upscaled to increase capacity as per market demand.
Spread across 50,000 sqm, the facility is equipped with the latest production technologies, reinforcing KONE’s strategy to provide the most competitive, highest quality products with a short delivery time. KONE will also export the elevators to neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Expressing his pleasure that KONE had chosen SIPCOT Industrial Park for the facility, Chief Guest Thiru Banwarilal Purohit stated, “We welcome this project from KONE Corporation, which brings high-end technology solutions and jobs to our nation.”
Said H.E. Pekka Haavisto, “India and Finland share a dynamic commercial relationship with exports and imports showing substantial annual increases. India is one of the fastest growing economies and Finnish companies actively participate in the economic development. Indian IT businesses are also establishing their presence in Finland.”
Thiru M. C. Sampath commented, “Tamil Nadu is among the most industrialised states in the country and ranks first among all states in terms of the number of factories and industrial workers. It is one of the most coveted investment destinations due to its strategic location, conducive business environment, advanced infrastructure, positive governance and sound ecosystem. With KONE setting up this state-of-the-art factory in Tamil Nadu, I am looking forward to a better future for Tamil Nadu’s economy.”
KONE’s new facility is designed as per Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) norms, and built for improving performance across all the metrics that matter most such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
According to Henrik Ehrnrooth, “The expanded facility will help KONE to cater better to our customers as well as meet the demands for a growing elevator market in India and in the neighbouring countries. To help our customers’ businesses become more sustainable, our new facility has been designed to support stringent sustainability and energy efficient operations.”
He added, “Our ‘Winning with Customers’ strategy continues to focus on helping customers succeed in their businesses. Together with the expertise at our Technology & Engineering Centers in India, we have brought innovations closer to customers. KONE has been recognized by Forbes as one of the world’s most innovative companies 7 times in the past decade. From our first MonoSpace elevator which revolutionized the industry, we have continued to break new boundaries. KONE 24/7 Connected Services, launched last month in India, is another example where we use technology, IoT and analytics in maintenance.”
Innovation has always been a strategic imperative for KONE and developing technology is an integral part of the company’s commitment to improve the flow of urban life. Said Axel Berkling, “At KONE, innovation means sustainability and making better use of energy and resources to improve customer experience. For users, it means a better, personalized journey from access to the elevator/escalator to the destination. We all know that technology adoption in India is quite high and the new factory will play a key role in delivering world class quality solutions in line with the requirements of the market.”
He added, “Over the last 20 years, the economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region has been exceeding that of other regions. Rapid urbanization and adoption of new technologies has attracted a lot of investment into this area. India is the second largest New Equipment market in the world and is continually growing. The opportunities are vast as the country is in a fast pace of urbanization.”
He Informed that over the recent decades, digitalization has transformed the world economy into a more integrated, complex and dynamic eco system. The emerging Asian economies have been active participants in this new wave of change and the region is being transformed by the rapid adoption of technology. “The need for smarter and advanced solutions is on the increase in this region and globally we have the maturity and the expertise in delivering the best technology to the customer. Solutions are not just about products, but also services. We now need to make sure that we delivering them to our customers with speed and efficiency.”
India is the second largest market for KONE elevators by volumes, after China. The residential market makes up about 65-70 percent of the company sales and the rest by hospitality and other commercial projects. The upcoming affordable housing and other commercial projects, along with smart cities and metros are expected to push demand for elevators and escalators. Emphasising on the need to focus on supporting India’s increasing urbanization with breakthrough technology, Amit Gossain informed that the new facility will aim at leveraging digitalization opportunities and speeding up development in a changing business environment. It will tap new ways to improve customer and user experience as well as the quality and productivity of KONE’s operations.
“India’s elevator market is estimated to be 50,000 units of only the new equipment sold with the escalator market pegged at 2,500 units a year. Our future-ready factory is well equipped to meet the growing demand, with increased manufacturing capacity. It is the largest in India, South and South East Asia. We also invest a lot in R&D and create expert manpower for providing operation and maintenance services. We have over 5000 direct employees and a large number of indirect employments through subcontractors, suppliers and partners, who innovate together to deliver the best results, Supporting the mission of Make-in-India, this factory will enable KONE India to further step up exports to other markets and generate employment based on demand,” he added.