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Ashok Ramachandran,
President,
Schindler India.

In an interview with Construction Times, Ashok Ramachandran, President, Schindler said, “We continue to maintain our leadership position in India with double digit growth.”

Smart cities are seen as the future with the government revising the number of smart cities periodically.

What is your comment on the opportunities?

The elevator & escalator market growth is mainly driven by the residential segment and also the activity and initiatives in Tier 2 & Tier 3 cities. It is likely to get even stronger in the near future, with the focus on initiatives like “housing for all” and development of smart cities. This creates a need for taller buildings with even more efficient and innovative mobility solutions.     

Schindler is very glad to be part of making the Smart City Program a huge success and is responding to this opportunity with targeted investments and strategic expansion of our business in India. Our new state-of-art manufac-turing facility, located at Chakan near Pune, is fully functional from begin-ning of 2014.              

We have launched various smart products and services this year which includes Our flagship  “Schindler Ahead” which was launched in India in August 2018 and it has received tremendous response. Using our Schindler Ahead, we can now connect our Elevators to the cloud and predict when possible breakdowns may occur and fix it before it actually happens. This ensures 99 per cent and above uptime.

Apart from this we have lots of new prod-ucts like Door Show, Black Board and Smart Mirrors which are being launched and all of these will assist in making buildings and cities smart. So we see lots of opportunities in the coming years.  

      

Which segment do you see the maximum demand coming from Resi-dential/commercial?

Seventy five percent of the volume is in residential but commercial being fast growing with volume close to 25 per cent with CAGR of 10 per cent.  Another segment that is also growing is infrastructure based investment. Government is pushing a lot of new metros, airport expansions and railways modernisation. This has generated a significant demand for escalators. Schindler is the first multinational company to have both the elevator & escalator
manufacturing facilities in India. Both the manufacturing facilities are aimed at further advancing and establishing Schindler’s technological and manufacturing capabilities to serve the growing market of India. “Leadership through Customer Service”, is the cornerstone of Schindler India`s growth strategy and which is evident with our service presence across 50 major cities which include our branch offices in 13 major cities in the country and is head-quartered in Mumbai.               

How was the Q1 FY20 for the company in the Indian market?

We started  the year very strong and have shown good growth and penetration in the first half of this year. We continue to maintain our leadership position in India with double digit  growth.         

Safety features are a significant factor when it comes to elevators. Could you elaborate on the key and the new features of the products?

Schindler Products are designed to meet international standards in terms of Safety. Three Key features that we would like to highlight are: – Automatic Doors, Automatic Rescue Device and Schindler Ahead.        

Schindler Products come only with Automatic Doors and Protective devices and no manual doors. This prevents possibility of any injuries in landing door areas.      

Schindler Products comes with Automatic Rescue device, which allows passenger to be safely evacuated in cases of power failures.               

Schindler now has a unique product called Schindler Ahead. We can diagnose the health of elevator and its current status on real time basis remotely. This will help in doing proactive maintenance and ensure greater availability of a safe working elevator for passenger use.       

Another important fact is our escalators are one of the safest in the world. Schindler provides the strongest and safest steps in the market and guarantees safe rides even after years of operation. Each step can hold up-to
2000kg of weight while travelling and is made up of a single piece dye-casted aerospace aluminium material. The steps come with a yellow plastic safety demarcation which is made up of state of the art fire resistant and oil resistant material.             

The escalators come with LED Step Gap Lighting and LED Comb Lighting that provides easy visibility at entry and exit points. Even though the gap between steps and skirting is already minimized, there are skirt brushes which provide extra safety by avoiding entrapment, which is especially important for children with small feet and for passengers wearing loose footwear.               

Brushes at the handrail entry point prevent trapping of passenger digits. There is an additional safety deflector outside the escalator balustrade to avoid accidents.               

The escalators are also provided with sensors which trigger a cut off me-chanism for the
motor if the water lever rises above a certain specified limit preventing damage to the motors and equipment and consequential hazard to the users of the escalator. There is also an option of providing IP54 rated systems which improve the safety of the equipment from dust and water issues.    

Other safety features which come standard with the escalators are emer-gency stop button, antifriction coating, steps with grippers and many op-tional features which make Schindler Escalators the first choice of the Cus-tomer.             

Energy efficiency and sustainability are being talked about as key for any product. Comment on the steps taken by your company in this direction

We pay high importance to the sustainability in our entire value chain, right from infrastructure, equipment choice, facility, material choices , selection of process to minimise the wastages and achieve higher yield, use of green power. For example we have 1 MW of solar power in our facility which meets almost our 70 per cent of the power demand. Lesser and lesser usage of wood in our packing, treatment of hazardous waste within our facility – In fact we have zero discharge plant wherein we treat 100 per cent of our sewerage and effluent within the campus with dedicated STP & ETP, and the treated water is used for gardening purpose. Our facility is platinum rated by IGBC. Energy efficiency is attained by various means. It could be from the design of the elevator or escalator or by the technology that drives it. The energy efficiency of an elevator is determined by the energy efficiency rating. The elevator’s frequency of use, travel height and speed are important factors which have strong influence over the efficiency rating. Elevators are rated according to their energy performance. They range from “A” to “G” with “A” being the best-in-class system. Schindler elevators can provide an energy efficiency classification in the “green” range from “A” to “B” with products that are at the forefront in the usage of newer technologies thereby reducing the total energy consumption by means of regenerative drives, highly efficient motors and drive systems, automatic switch-off of car lighting if elevators are not in use, LED car lighting technology, use of highly efficient roller guide shoe, low-friction mechanics, Traffic Management System, automatic switch-off display of landing operating panel etc to name a few.  

To improve energy efficiency, materials that have lower environmental impact and are 100 per cent recyclable are used. The development of much lighter components has resulted in further energy savings.               

Schindler has a track record of introducing innovative and sustainable products. Our machine-room-less and gearless elevators –Schindler 3100 and Schindler 3300 – which have been widely accepted by our customers and of-fer them greater flexibility to design buildings, save costs, time, and most importantly the space that would be needed to build machine rooms.              

We continuously improve the energy efficiency of our escalators too with the ECOLINE power management where our customers can define whether the escalator should run at full speed during peak times or automatically slow down or even stop when there are no passengers.

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