- M Gopi Krishna, COO, Domestic Project Group, Voltas Ltd
Voltas has been a pioneer in India in bringing in HVAC products, and has been at the forefront of using these technologies in various applications. 'We at Voltas are driven to deploy our superior application engineering capabilities to provide life-cycle solutions to customers, featuring energy-efficient systems, and maintaining the outcomes over the life-cycle of the solution through efficient after sales support,' says M Gopi Krishna, COO, Domestic Project Group, Voltas Ltd, as he shares more with CW.
What is driving the HVAC market in India and what kind of growth are you witnessing at present?
The HVAC market in India is being driven by urbanisation and the environment. The cost of real estate has compressed the spaces in which people operate, and this has resulted in the creation of facilities with indoor environment control systems. Compliance with SHE as well as awareness of climate change have improved the efficiencies and usage of HVAC systems, and will be future drivers for growth.
What are the upcoming opportunities for the segment, considering the impetus on Make in India?
We see growth opportunities in the commercial building space in NCR and south metro cities. In times to come, opportunities will be opened up by government investment in infrastructure creation, smart cities, education, healthcare, tourism and transportation segments. Considering these growth opportunities, the HVAC industry is investing in creating more manufacturing facilities in India to build capacities to service future requirements.
Many international companies have invested in setting up and expanding their capacities for their product range being manufactured locally in India.
What are the new technologies being introduced in the HVAC segment?
Companies are being driven to seek better technologies by the international climate change agreement and the need for energy-efficiency and reduced carbon footprint, as well as regulatory intervention by the government in the form of energy labeling of products. Inverter technology, VRF systems, star-rated unitary products, high COP (coefficient of performance) chillers used for mid and large-sized buildings, machines with nil or low GWP (Global Warming Potential) refrigerants - these are just some of the latest technologies that have been introduced in the market. A lot of development work is being undertaken in the use of solar energy in HVAC equipment.
Tell us about the latest trends in inverter ACs.
The conventional ACs frequently 'switch off' when the set temperature is achieved and 'switch on' when the temperature is high. These frequent switchings between 'off' and 'on' tend to consume more electricity. In the case of inverter ACs, the temperature is closely monitored, and depending on the sensor input, the speed of the compressor is lowered or increased, thus lessening the occurrence of on/off cycles leading to reduced power consumption. Our company has introduced inverter ACs in various capacities, and launched All Star ACs in the market.
How do you view India emerging as a hub for HVAC?
With the Union Government's initiatives like 'Make in India' and 'Smart Cities', and major spending on country-wide metro rail, healthcare, educational institutes like IIMs or IITs and more, India is developing into a huge market. Many domestic and multinational companies have set up new manufacturing bases in India to meet this increased demand. We expect the market to grow at 15 per cent.
Would you like to add anything more?
The HVAC market is increasingly moving towards providing indoor air, which includes control of temperature, relative humidity, odor, VOC and pollution. 'Green' products that are environment-friendly and consume low electricity are going to be popular. Increasingly, government regulatory bodies will set new boundaries on energy consumption and maintenance of indoor quality parameters.