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Cover Story February 2023

Interaction – Manish Mehan – CEO&MD – TK Elevators India

We at TK Elevator have introduced several ground-breaking technologies

TK Elevator offers a comprehensive range of mobility products and services, including passenger, freight and panoramic elevators, for both low and high-rise properties, its commitment to quality and innovation covers the entire life cycle of elevators, escalators and moving walks. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, MANISH MEHAN, CEO & MD, TK ELEVATOR (INDIA) PVT. LTD, gives an overview of the Indian elevator & escalator industry, innovative technologies, his company’s emphasis on R&D and a lot more.

Provide us an overview of the Indian elevator and escalator market, current trends and market dynamics.

Indian elevator and escalator market is registering steady growth and is expected to reach nearly US$ 1517.66 Mn by 2027 with the CAGR of approx. 7% during the forecast period. Central government’s drive to affordable housing coupled with the time-bound distribution of residential & commercial schemes will drive the demand for elevators. The ongoing metro developments through Delhi, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Hyderabad, and few more cities will also drive the demand for elevators and escalators as both are part of the new day metro station infrastructure. The demand for high-speed elevators is growing thanks to the development of commercial properties. Aesthetic innovations in look and feel are also big differentiators.

Today, users and members of the public consider elevators more than just a means of travel, aesthetically advanced and intelligent elevators are taking centre stage as India continues to urbanize. Understanding this need and requirement, we have designed elevators which are not only elegant and sophisticated but also smart in technology, in different configurations suitable for various private and public use-cases in India. For instance, MAX — our smart, machine learning Internet of Things (IoT) elevator solution dramatically increases elevator availability by reducing out-of-service situations by up to 50% through real-time diagnostics. MAX  predicts maintenance issues before they occur, and empowers elevator engineers to increase elevator availability by flagging the need to replace components and systems before critical milestones of their lifecycle.

Detail us on the innovative technology/products developed by your company, especially niche applications in terms of safety, intelligent traffic management solutions, and Smart technology.

We at TK Elevator have introduced several ground-breaking technologies, such as:

TWIN: TK Elevator’s revolutionary TWIN elevator system allows two elevators to operate independently in one shaft, TWIN offers the benefits of significantly increasing system capacity, without the need for extra elevator shafts. One of the most innovative advantages of the TWIN is its ability to park one of the two cars while the other stays in operation. This means when passenger volumes are low, very little energy is consumed by the non-moving cars. Additionally, the TWIN can be equipped with energy recovery devices that can feed about 30% of energy back into the building’s power grid.

MAX: MAX is a ground-breaking predictive and pre-emptive service solution that expands remote monitoring capabilities to significantly boost the current availability levels of both new and old elevators. By utilizing the Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities of Microsoft Azure, MAX enables an elevator to “inform” service workers about its actual needs, including real-time identification of problems, component replacements, and preventative system maintenance.

AGILE: TK Elevator’s AGILE Destination Selection Control (DSC) improves system and energy efficiency as well as passenger experience by effectively shortening wait and travel times. Compared to conventional elevator control systems, the AGILE DSC increases passenger handling capacity by up to 30%, minimizes passengers’ travel times to their destination and reduces crowding in lift lobbies. DSC also allows for much more flexibility in elevator grouping, lift core layouts and overall building design.

Intelligent machines, telematics and IoT are becoming a trend, your comments. Cutting edge technology featured in your machines. What distinguishes your products from competitors?

The demand for smart elevators such as IoT-based elevators’ that can monitor performance, make real-time maintenance decisions, provide updated status, advance reporting, control, and monitor the elevator remotely, is growing significantly. AI elevators can provide real-time insights, productive maintenance, and enable communication in elevators. These IoT based innovative digital solutions has enhanced technology like data, extended reality technology, algorithms, and detectors to reach efficiency and safety for the consumer.

As an innovation leader in the industry, TK Elevator puts special focus on its digital offerings to help our customers achieve more sustainable building design. For instance, AGILE Destination Selection Control is one of our key offerings to make this possible. AGILE is designed to work with new installation or modernization projects, enabling elevators old or new to be deployed more intelligently and flexibly, not only saving energy consumption by optimizing elevator deployment during peak and non-peak hours, AGILE also effectively provide passengers with a better travel experience by reducing waiting and travelling time.

Your company’s emphasis on R&D and providing environment friendly products.

TK Elevator invests significant resources in R&D activities to provide the customers with the latest equipment. Our products are designed with a simple philosophy of higher efficiency, lower maintenance and the least emissions. Strong design & engineering, which is our core strength, forms the basis of our business.

We are proud to operate a multi-purpose facility in Chakan, Pune, where we have strategically included a R&D centre to serve the local market. India’s elevator market is uniquely driven by rapid economic development and urbanization, operating a R&D centre locally outlines TK Elevator’s commitment in serving and developing tailored solutions for the Indian market.

In line with the emerging global trend toward designing and constructing sustainable buildings and cities, TK Elevator provides complete turn-key elevator products and maintenance solutions that optimizes efficiency and reduces downtime. Our elevator offerings for example, uses permanent magnetic traction machines which allow us to bring to market energy-efficient high-speed and high-capacity solutions for high-rise buildings. We also offer an array of modernization solutions for older elevators and escalators, which is designed to give not only our own products but also those made by third-parties a complete and more energy-efficient makeover.

Designed with sustainability in mind, we also offer highly-efficient moving walks that provide advanced mobility solutions inside and between major infrastructures. Moving walk networks provide an emission-free solution for airports, railway stations and central business districts.

Your strategy to play in a price sensitive market.

India certainly is a price sensitive market, but our dedication and focus on local R&D and manufacturing help us stand out from competition. We operate a world-class manufacturing facility in Pune, and have nation-wide sales and service representation, and the capability to service elevators and escalators of any make. We know our market well and differentiate ourselves by showing our customers that we are there to help them improve their business. We offer world-class engineered and reliable elevators at optimal price levels, with shorter delivery cycles as well as easy adaptability and interface to future design changes. That’s a true win-win for the customer and us.

Operating a large-scale manufacturing and R&D facility locally in Chakan, Pune also allows us to respond to local market demands in a more efficient manner, bringing to market our popular class-leading products including the enta100 and enta200, as well as the meta100 and meta200.

Importance of aftermarket services in the Indian E&E market.

TK Elevator offers a comprehensive range of mobility products and services, including passenger, freight and panoramic elevators, for both low and high-rise properties, its commitment to quality and innovation covers the entire life cycle of elevators, escalators and moving walks. TK Elevator’s capability to service elevators, escalators and moving walks of all makes across the globe, makes it the ideal one-stop maintenance partner for developers, property managers and REITs.

At TK Elevator, customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Our maintenance and modernization services enable property owners and managers to save costs and boost profits as they grow and expand. TK Elevator’s modernization service, together with its digital solutions MAX and AGILE Destination Selection Control, are especially ideal for property overhauls, repurposing and upgrades. Customers benefit from improved accessibility and passenger capacity in older buildings, resulting in short and long-term economic and administrative advantages like higher rent returns.

Which segments are the biggest demand drivers for your products

Rapid urbanization, commercial construction, and upgrading infrastructure of industrial and residential spaces are major factors driving India’s elevator industry as well as our growth.

Having said that, India has been witnessing a rapid increase in investments both by government and private entities on large-scale metro projects, especially in tier-1 and tier-2 cities, to provide an effective transport system to consumers. Similarly, in order to cater to the rising air traffic, the Government of India has envisaged increasing the number of operational airports to 190-200 by FY40 from current 103 domestic airports. Transportation infrastructure is one of TK Elevator’s major strategic focuses. With thousands of passengers travelling through on a daily basis, many local and international airports, train stations and transportation hubs across the globe gave TK Elevator’s proven mobility solutions their vote of confidence.

Real estate investments in the vicinity of these metro rail stations and airports will also create demand for elevators and escalators. In view of growing demands for elevators in private mansions and luxury homes, as well as other forms low rise residences, TK Elevator will be offering solutions optimized for this market segment. Please stay tuned for updates from us!

Tell us about your manufacturing base in India. What is the level of indigenization. Are you contributing to the ‘Make in India’ and Sell Globally campaign

TK Elevator has always been a staunch supporter of the Government’s “Make in India” initiative through localized R&D and manufacturing of elevators and escalators. Through localized R&D and manufacturing of TKE’s various elevator and escalator solutions, we are committed to empower the local economy with innovation and state-of-the-art technology. India is a market where TK Elevator sees immense growth potential and one that we will continue to invest more resources in.

We have set-up a state- of- the- art multi-purpose facility (MPF) in line with the Indian government’s “Make in India” initiative to promote local manufacturing. This Multi-Purpose Facility (MPF), is built on 84,000 square metres of land with an investment of about Rs.300 Cr. at Chakan, Pune. True to its name, MPF includes corporate office aka business support center, production facility, central warehouse, centralized call center, customer experience center, training center/SEED, product showroom and test shafts. It is designed for an initial capacity of manufacturing 6,000 elevator units, extendable to over 10,000 units in the foreseeable future.

In addition to this, our Multi-Purpose Facility at Chakan, Pune has started offering Made in India escalators including our much sought after velino, tugela and victoria series. Adding a comprehensive range of escalators to our locally-manufactured product portfolio allows us to stay close to our customers’ needs and serve them better. As far as sell globally initiative is concerned, we have high confidence in the quality and competitiveness of our locally manufactured products. While the local market in India will remain our key focus, we are also offering our “Make in India” products to the neighbouring countries.

Expanding our reach does not only benefit TK Elevator from a market development perspective, as a staunch supporter of the “Make in India” initiative, promoting India-made products to our neighbours also reinforces the country’s branding and its ambition to become a global manufacturing base.

What kind of government policy would foster growth of the E&E industry in India.

Indian elevators & escalators industry’s future looks promising with hopes of good market growth fuelled by positive developments on the government policy front. Noteworthy of these are 33% higher capital outlay of Rs 10 lakh crore on infrastructure development to transform Tier 2 & Tier 3 cities into centers of economic growth; Increase in PMAY Fund by 66% to the tune of Rs. 79000 crores to realize the vision of providing housing to all; Announcement for selection of 50 tourist destinations to promote domestic and international tourism; Infrastructure status awarded to affordable housing; Introduction of RERA and REIT; Rapid urbanization, Launch of 100 smart cities; Development of metro and aviation projects across nation etc. all these initiatives will unlock new opportunities for the Indian E&E industry in the long run.

Your market outlook for the elevators & escalators industry in India and for your company

As aforementioned, the industry will continue to be driven by India’s rapid urbanization and infrastructure development. Recent development trends in the residential sector will also create new opportunities for us in the low-rise / private residences market segment. Our long-standing reputation globally in the high-rise and high-speed segment will ensure we fulfil such needs should more of them arise in India.

TK Elevator has developed sustainable, eco-friendly products and solutions that prove themselves through high energy-efficiency and reliable performance over the long term. We have a host of offerings that are best suited for all applications. We have products that match up to the best in the industry in terms of Engineering and Technology. Our portfolio includes a wide range of passenger and freight elevators, escalators and moving walks, passenger boarding bridges, stair and platform lifts as well as tailored service solutions for all products.

As more high-end construction and infrastructure projects which emphasize sustainability and speed gain popularity in the Indian market, the TKE brand will be one of the best-known names in India for energy-efficient, AI-assisted, and centrally managed and maintained elevator solutions.

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