KONE India - Winning with Quality & Safety

Amit Gossain - KONE Elevator India

In an exclusive interaction with MGS Architecture, Amit Gossain, Managing Director, KONE Elevator India, discusses the company’s innovativeness in developing efficient and safe elevatoring systems and solutions, designed especially for India’s growing infrastructure needs, by leveraging its strong R&D capabilities and using the latest technologies from its principal company in Finland. The company is providing architects and developers new options for building designs and solutions that best meet building requirements and user needs.

How important is the Indian market for the Finnish KONE Elevator group?
India is the second largest market for KONE Elevator by volumes, after China; it contributes around 3% to KONE’s global sales. It is an important destination with highly talented workforce of engineers and technical staff who are equipped with advanced research facilities to support the KONE Group’s global production.

India plays a very important role, not only in the Asia Pacific but also in the group’s global plans. We all know that the technology adoption rate in India is quite high and KONE India plays a key role in delivering world-class quality solutions in line with the requirements of the market.

While designing products for the Indian market, we provide a unique mix of global expertise and Indian requirements. We bring global technologies to India and customize them based on Indian needs. With strong research, technological development and engineering collaboration in India, KONE is serving the growing Indian market with many innovative solutions. India’s contribution to the global engineering, research & development activities is increasing, and the country will continue to remain significant in the global map.

KONE India recently commissioned a world-class elevator manufacturing facility in Chennai. Please share details.
We have built a hi-tech factory at SIPCOT Industrial Park in Pillaipakkam, Sriperumbudur near Chennai, at an investment of `450 crores. It was inaugurated by Shri Banwarilal Purohit, Hon’ Governor of Tamil Nadu in the presence of H.E. Pekka Haavisto, Hon’ Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Shri M. C. Sampath, Hon’ Minister for Industrial Department, Govt. of Tamil Nadu, Antti Herlin, Chairman, Henrik Ehrnrooth, President & CEO, and Axel Berkling, EVP APA from KONE Corporation. The facility can be upscaled to increase capacity as per market demand.

KONE Elevator India

As the Hon’ Minister for Industrial Department, M.C. Sampath said, Tamil Nadu is amongst 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 a sound ecosystem.

The factory is equipped with the latest production technologies. We have designed it as per Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) norms for energy saving, water efficiency, reduced CO2 emissions, and improved indoor environmental quality. It will support stringent sustainability and energy efficient operations.

Supporting the mission of Make-in-India, the new factory will enable us to cater better to our customers and meet the demands of a growing elevator market in India, and we will also export our elevators to Middle East, South East Asia, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka from here.
Increasing building intelligence, new technology and connectivity provide opportunities for builders, architects and building owners to work together to contribute to the sustainable growth of cities. Old industrial spaces are being renovated and ultra-modern developments are the solutions to India’s increasing urbanization

How is KONE India leveraging technology to improve user experience of its elevators and escalators?
KONE Elevator India
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. Our aim is to support India’s increasing urbanization with breakthrough technology. By leveraging digitalization and speeding up development in a fast changing business environment, we want to find new ways to enhance user experience and improve the quality and productivity of KONE’s operations in India.

We use cutting edge technologies to bring safety, transparency and predictability to services, and we prevent faults by monitoring our equipment in real time. Our collaboration with IBM Watson - a recognized leader in cognitive computing - has enabled us to introduce yet another revolutionary solution that results in fewer faults, faster repairs, and real peace of mind for the customers and users. Data relating to key operating parameters, usage statistics and faults is gathered from the Elevators and Escalators and the information is sent in real time to cloud service, where the analytics are located. Our India Technology and Engineering Centers (ITEC), Pune remotely monitor the 24/7 connected elevators and escalators to ensure less equipment downtime, fewer faults and detailed information for preventive maintenance.

We have strengthened our capabilities and competences in new digital services area with the opening of a new technology and innovation function in Pune, which is an extension of our ITEC, presently operating from Chennai. The operations in Pune focus around enterprise monitoring, service management for IT solutions and digital development competencies for smart people flow solutions. We also encourage co-creation with start-ups and technology partners.

Through our India Technology and Engineering Centers in Chennai and Pune, we bring global technologies to India and customize them based on Indian needs. We invest a lot in R&D and create expert manpower for providing operation and maintenance services. 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.

What are the major challenges in vertical transportation in India in terms of design, installation and maintenance?
For rapid urbanisation and increasingly high-rise buildings, vertical transportation and elevator technology are the key enablers. The design and construction of such buildings and their vertical transportation systems need to be balanced with the latest People Flow Intelligence solutions while increasing convenience and efficiency. It is the improvements in elevator safety, comfort, speed, quality, space efficiency, and performance that have become challenges as well as opportunities in vertical transportation. There should be safer and faster solutions for access and destination control, information communication and equipment monitoring.

KONE Elevator India

From pre-installation to installation and then maintenance, there is meticulous planning and preparation required from the engineering and project management teams to make vertical transportation safe and efficient. At KONE, we look at challenging situations as opportunities and address them with solutions that are innovative, functional, efficient and adaptive.
Amit Gossain - KONE Elevator India
With a growing tendency for urbanization around the world, we have to take sustainable operations and sustainable living into account, more so than ever. We want to help our customers develop buildings and cities that are smart, safe, and energy efficient

What are the ‘must dos’ in elevating systems that KONE would advise architects and real estate developers?
KONE Elevator India
At KONE, when we design and conceptualise elevators, we design them for the future. This is why the process always begins with research to understand user needs over the lifespan of a building. When we begin the design process, we look first to the external environment and also at the human behaviour, changing values and cultures, and at how we can incorporate our findings into the design. Working closely with our customers and the people who use our solutions is extremely valuable for us. We work on location, where the actual service or product will be used.

So, while designing, think about the future. There should be close collaboration with the customer and architect to find custom solutions for the building. Secondly, the growth of technology which is making our environments digitally transformable, and making people, buildings and machines increasingly interconnected. Thirdly, the merging cultures, traditions and new technologies driven by the changing infrastructures we see in societies. Old industrial spaces are being renovated into ultra-modern developments are an example of this. Builders, architects, developers and cities themselves should work together to contribute to the sustainable growth of cities. Increasing building intelligence, new technology and connectivity provide opportunities for builders, architects and building owners to be more competitive.

What consultancy and services does KONE India provide architects and real estate developers?
KONE has developed methods to plan and analyse people flow in buildings to ensure a smooth experience. We were the first elevator company to offer such a service to architects, builders, consultants and developers. As a response to the increasing complexities in new building projects and in modernizing / upgrading existing buildings, KONE has expanded its tools and added, for example, interior architects and data scientists to its team of people flow experts.

The work involves forming a deep understanding of the points of interaction between the various groups of people using a building and the building itself to find the best design and technological solutions. Our consulting starts with the data produced with high-quality sensors on area occupancy and people flow in a building and feedback from the users. We then utilize all the available information to provide an analysis and a visualization with advanced KONE simulation tools to finally prepare a recommendation for enabling optimal people flow.

KONE Elevator India

At KONE, we make cities better places to live through our world class products and services. We strive to achieve it through partnering and co-creating efficient user friendly spaces with architects right from the planning stage itself. Creating sustainable urban environments for future generations is at the core of our business and we continue to collaborate with Architects, Planners and Developers around the world to make cities greener and smarter. Our constant innovation, technological expertise & customer care has made us the most preferred partner for people flow solutions. We use global designs and redesign them with local solutions. Our Vaastu and Navaratna themed designs are testaments of this. We designed elevators based around this style with striking visuals inspired by Navaratna, the nine gems. It’s very important when buying a house in India to pay attention to Vaastu or the positioning of architecture, and our buildings are built on that science of architecture.

As the markets are evolving and growing, there is a great scope to bring in new concepts. It is important that we proactively understand our customer needs and invest in the right solutions. However, solutions are not just about products, but also services. We now need to make sure that we are delivering them to our customers with speed and efficiency. KONE CareTM 24/7 IoT Connected Services launched recently in India, is an example where technology, IoT and analytics in maintenance is providing reliable and timely service to our customers and reinforcing KONE India’s strategy to provide the most competitive, highest quality products with a short delivery time. In fact, at KONE, customer centricity is the winning formula of our growth strategy. Our aim is to deliver the best People Flow® experience that gives ease, efficiency and convenience to users over the full life cycle of buildings.

What business opportunities do you envisage in the near term?
We have set up a new factory in a bid to consolidate our manufacturing operations and to gear up for the emerging business avenues in India’s developing infra sector. Over the last 20 years, 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.

Digitalization has transformed the world economy into a more integrated, complex and dynamic eco system. India too is an active participant in this wave of change and is being transformed by its rapid adoption of technology. Globally, we have the expertise in delivering the best technology to our customers.

Currently, the residential market makes up about 65-70% of our sales, while the rest is contributed by the hospitality and commercial projects. We are pretty strong in Smart City projects with our smart solutions. We are also involved in many metro rail projects; for the Delhi Metro alone we have provided more than 350 units. Projects like Affordable Housing, development of airports, and the rising trend in high-rise construction, will drive demand for elevators and escalators in India, and KONE India will be at the forefront with its products and services.
Amit Gossain - KONE Elevator India
While designing products for the Indian environment, we provide a unique mix of global expertise and technologies, and we customize them to meet the requirements in our high-rise buildings for smooth and efficient people flow. We undertake intensive research, development and engineering collaboration to come up with innovative solutions and use cutting edge technologies to bring safety, transparency and prevent faults before they happen. The design and construction of high-rise buildings and their vertical transportation systems need to be balanced with intelligent vertical transport solutions that enhance comfort, space efficiency, safety and speed and give users a pleasurable experience

KONE: Developing Futuristic products & Solutions
Finnish company KONE Corporation has a century-old rich history of enhancing People Flow and has become an industry leading company by offering innovative, safe, and eco-efficient solutions in elevatoring across the world. The company’s ‘Winning with Customers’ strategy focuses on helping customers succeed in their businesses. Its expertise in advanced technologies and engineering has enabled the company to come up with innovative products time and again. KONE has been recognized by Forbes as one of the world’s most innovative companies 8 times in the past decade. From its first MonoSpace elevator, which revolutionized the industry, KONE has continued to break new boundaries.

Chennai-based KONE India, a 100% subsidiary of KONE Corporation, is the leading elevator company in India, with 50+ branches and a workforce of over 5000. Chennai has three training centers where KONE’s installation engineers and field mechanics are trained to provide elevatoring solutions of high quality and uncompromised safety in the installation and maintenance of the company’s elevators and escalators. KONE’s global technology and engineering center in Chennai, is one of its 8 R&D centers, which, as a testing and research hub, supports the latest technology and development of futuristic products and solutions.
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