Interview

Managing Director | KONE India

Amit Gossain

KONE’s production unit in Chennai produces elevators for the Indian market as well as for Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. Chennai also has a training centre where KONE’s installation engineers and field mechanics are trained to meet KONE India’s strong reputation for high quality and uncompromised safety, as well as the expectations of Indian customers when installing and maintaining elevators and escalators.

 

Q. Kone India is one of the big contributors in elevator manufacturers industry. Kindly explains?

KONE’s presence in India dates back to 1984 and today it is the leading elevator company in India. Based in Chennai, KONE India serves customers all over the country through its 50+ business units and branches and provides sustainable People Flow™ solutions for India’s rapidly growing cities. We are expanding to be closer to the customers and provide the best of services to them. We have a technology centre, which supports KONE India’s market development by taking our world class globally designed products and making modifications to the design to suit Indian conditions and customer needs. We have a world class factory in Chennai, and employ 4500 plus people in the country.

KONE provides its customers with industry-leading elevators, escalators and innovative solutions for modernization and maintenance, and is one of the global leaders in its industry.

KONE’s production unit in Chennai produces elevators for the Indian market as well as for Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. Chennai also has a training centre where KONE’s installation engineers and field mechanics are trained to meet KONE India’s strong reputation for high quality and uncompromised safety, as well as the expectations of Indian customers, when installing and maintaining elevators and escalators.

The solutions from KONE cater to all segments of the real estate market - residential, retail, hospitality and commercial. KONE is a pioneer in developing Eco-efficient™, sustainable solutions for urban development that offer energy savings in buildings & deliver the best user experience. Moreover, our customers look for reliable & safe solutions, which are easy to use, and of course, updated with the latest technologies. At KONE, we make every effort to anticipate our customers’ needs, and to help them in their businesses, over the full life cycle of buildings: from planning through installation and maintenance to modernization.

 

Q. Brief us about your product ranges according to the target Indian market and market scenario?

KONE, an innovative leader in developing products & solutions for elevator and escalator industry, launched KONE MonoSpace® in the year 1996, which revolutionized elevator industry with machine-room-less elevators and we have been featured for the 8th time in a row in the Forbes list of 100 most innovative companies in the World.

KONE’s product portfolio consists of solutions for Low, Mid and High rise buildings. For instance, KONE NEO is a Compact Machine room elevator for low-rise residential buildings, travels at a speed of 0.63 m/s up to 30 meters with a capacity of carrying up to 8 passengers. KONE I MonoSpace® is a machine room-less elevator for low and mid-rise buildings traveling at a speed of 1.6 m/s up to 90 meters with a passenger carrying capacity of up to 15. KONE I MiniSpace™ is a compact machine-room elevator for low and mid-rise buildings moving at a speed of 1.75 m/s up to 90 meters with a passenger carrying capacity up to 15. The I Mono & I Mini offering is based on the concept of the 5 elements (Earth, Air Water, Fire & Sky) inspired from Vastu in the aesthetics.

Our recent offering the U series elevator is designed to make the vertical journeys of mid-range urban buildings more convenient with an increased travel speed of 2.5 m/s while delivering excellent ride comfort, maximum smoothness and utmost safety making every ride uplifting and memorable. The offering is available in nine precious themes in 26 car designs that radiate timeless appeal and endless fascination offering you freedom of choice. The following Navaratna themes Moon Light, Lava Lustre, Forest Gleam, Ocean Flare, Golden Twilight, Crimson Spark, Streak Shine, Aqua Sparkle and Celestial Shimmer are designed to captivate minds and souls with their play of light and classical charm that suit building interiors in all segments.

KONE People Flow Intelligence is a comprehensive and flexible suite of solutions for access control, destination guidance, information communication, and equipment monitoring. People Flow Intelligence solutions enable optimization of People Flow from the entrance to the building to the final destination of the person. This is achieved by enhancement of user-experience combined with functional efficiency improvements. Additionally, People Flow Intelligence solutions are seamlessly integrated into building management systems. They address the key global trends and challenges of growing cities and provide authorized, efficient, safe and sustainable way for people to move within the buildings.

Access Control System – KONE AccessTMenables automatic access to building entrance doors, turnstiles, elevators and office doors just with a smart access card

Destination Control System – KONE Destination handles the elevator traffic intelligently, guiding to nearby cars, shorter travel time and fewer stops

Advanced Monitoring System – KONE E-LinkTMmonitors, configures and remotely manages elevators from anywhere inside the building

Information System – KONE Infoscreen provides building-related information from the facility manager through the display screen in the elevators

 

Q. What is the new technology and innovation that you coming up with; how do you measure your safety parameters?

A peek into the various customer-centric innovations that have pushed KONE into the Forbes list of 100 most innovative companies, for the 8th consecutive time.

KONE JumpLift – a construction time elevator which uses the building hoists to move upward as the construction progresses. This unique construction time elevator, uses a temporary machine room that can be shifted up or down, depending on the need. It enables safe & fast construction, reduces downtime & costs, facilitates early closing of facades, and enables safe & efficient transportation for people and materials in all weather conditions.

KONE UltraRope® is a new hoisting technology with a super light carbon fiber core. The UltraRope® is 90% lighter than the equivalent steel cable, thereby bringing a reduction of more than 50% in moving masses & 15% in energy consumption. It also allows the elevator to travel up to 1km in a single run, double of what’s currently possible with a steel cable. For an elevator with a travel height of 800 meters, moving masses can be reduced by 90% and energy consumption by 45%. In the future, it can enable travel heights of up to 1000 m – twice as high as what is possible with today’s technology. This ground-breaking technology supports the design of more sustainable, higher-performance buildings that are better equipped to meet the demands of the urban environments of tomorrow.

KONE Polaris Hybrid Destination Control System combines the best of destination and traditional control system, which leads to increased handling capacity, shorter waiting times, fewer intermediate stops, and enhanced passenger comfort. It also brings a high-tech feel and improved security to the building.

At KONE, we have always believed in safety first. It is one of our highest priority areas that is embedded in our strategy. KONE elevators are designed to both maximize passenger safety and enable easy inspection of the equipment to ensure safe operations at all times. Some Safety aspects in our Solutions are:

Daily automatic break testing

A curtain of light to ensure safe entry and exit

Accurate landing that eliminates risks of tripping

Inbuilt car door lock feature ensures increased safety by locking the doors when the elevator gets stuck in between floors during power cuts

Inbuilt car door lock feature ensures increased safety by locking the doors when the elevator gets stuck in between floors during power cuts

Our customers look for reliable & safe solutions. With stronger R&D, engineering collaboration, and an expanded facility in India, we are serving the growing Indian market with even more innovative, safe, reliable, comfortable, and energy-efficient ‘people flow’ solutions.

 

Q. What is the current market scenario for both national and international markets?

Currently the speed at which urbanization is taking place in India, the scope of growth for the vertical transportation business is bound to increase. All segments are expanding and the need for cities going vertical has become a necessity. At the same time, maintaining these equipment is of prime importance to ensure smooth ride comfort & end user safety. This means that the opportunity for the service of the equipment is quite high and as the installed base expands, so will the service business of E&E companies in India.

The markets have transitioned from geared towards gearless technology and customers understand the value of machine room-less concept as it provides significant savings in space and also cuts-down total construction time. KONE is a pioneer in developing Eco-efficient™, sustainable solutions for urban development that offer energy savings in buildings & deliver the best user experience.

As buildings get taller, there is a need for ultra-high speed elevators and efficient People Flow solutions. The KONE JumpLift System is an advanced technique that was developed by KONE to improve efficiency and safety of a building construction. This solution requires less labor and it enhances vertical transportation and efficiency during the construction of the building.

The Ultra Rope and the Advanced People Flow solutions have been the recent technology additions into our portfolio.

Our latest innovation Ultra rope uses light weight carbon fibers that offers huge advantages overthe steel ropes traditionally used to hoist elevators. This enables longer elevator travels in super tall buildings which in the past was not possible. For example, buildings taller than 1 kilo meter.

Moreover, aesthetics will continue to play an important role in enhancing a building’s appeal. Visually pleasing designs, good lighting, durable and easy to clean materials are important to the customer and end-users.

 

Q. Please elaborate about your geographically expansion plans; what new we can see from you in 2019?

We are committed to expanding our reach in India and bringing in our world-class sustainable People Flow™ solutions directly to our customers. Our innovative and eco-efficient elevator & escalator solutions are designed aesthetically that appeal to our end-user and can be easily customized to integrate with our customer’s requirement. This year itself, we inaugurated new offices in Chandigarh, Goa, Jaipur & Indore and will continue to do so in emerging cities/ towns next year as well. Our offices are been set-up in accordance with our strategy to “Win with Customers” and our presence will help us move closer to our customers and build a stronger connect with them. Our offices comprise of team in sales, service & installation. The company continually invests in its people development and continues to hire qualified, and a well-trained team of Sales & Service engineers and technicians at all levels and regions. We also have a state-of-the-art 2ndNew Manufacturing Unit coming up in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu next year.

 

Q. Brief us about your latest achievements and awards?

Our achievements are shaped by the strength of the foundations set by our promoters and stakeholders. The awards and accolades given to us are the results from the commitment and efforts of our people, customers and partners that have enabled us towards achieving excellence, which is paramount to reaching the ultimate in performance.

Forbes ranked KONE as the 59th most innovative company in the world -2018; for the eighth time in a row

Forbes recognizes KONE as one of the best employers in the world – 2018

KONE Elevator India listed in the 100 Best Company for Women in 2018 BCWI Study; for the third year in a row

KONE India Supply unit awarded “Best Occupational Health Centre of the year 2017-2018” by the Indian Association of Occupational Health (IAOH)

Our India Shared Services Centre(ISSC) at Chennai acquired an ISO certification 9001:2015 Quality Management System by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) for being a customer centric unit