Being the second largest elevator market in the world, India is one of the biggest growth prospects for Toshiba Johnson Elevators (India) (TJEI). With the aim to set a new benchmark for the company's elevator and escalator business, the group company has increased its thrust with a constant eye on infrastructure opportunities. Junichi Kyushima, Managing Director, TJEI, elaborates upon the elevator business and the company's plans in India in conversation with SHRIYAL SETHUMADHAVAN.
How do you view the market for elevators in India, and how is this impacting the company's growth?
The elevator market in India is witnessing a CAGR of ~9 per cent. Drivers to this growth include the infrastructure push by the government, global companies entering India, and urbanisation. This is reflected in the company's growth as well, which is at a better-than-industry rate of 22 per cent. With a strong presence in the premium segment, the company consolidated its presence in the mid-segment by getting into a JV with Johnson, and developing and introducing Made-for-India products such as ELCOSMO-TJ. In order to leverage its growth in this segment, the company is focussed on its five-year growth targets: To deliver 2,000 units per year by 2022 and achieve the No. 1 market share in the targetted premium segment.
What is the company's current market share in India, and in which regions is it concentrated?
At present, TJEI holds 10 per cent market share in the premium segment that it operates in. The South and West are the two major markets driving maximum value and volume for the company. Although a late entrant in the North, we have bagged some of the most prestigious projects in the region, such as the DLF Camellias. Also, while the premium segment makes up for the major chunk of the business, we are consolidating our presence in the upper-middle segment too.
Tell us about the company's recent launches in the past few months; how do you understand customer preferences?
Our latest product offering is ELCOMO-TJ, a Made-for-India series. We believe that developing a new product requires tapping the pulse of the market, and our strong relationships with customers help us collate feedback. A customer survey also helps identify gaps and work towards filling those.
Introduce us to the latest advancements in elevators for high-rise buildings.
One of the latest key advancements includes the destination control system, which can be integrated with handheld device through Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). This is where the Internet of Things (IoT) comes in.
Speaking of high-speed elevators, what is the maximum speed per second the company has delivered in India and globally?
Speed is relative to how quickly you can transport the passengers to their destination. For this, you require elevators that are not just high speed but efficient in passenger handling with utmost safety. In India, Toshiba has delivered one of the fastest elevators that can climb at 6 m per second, installed at one of the most premier locations in Mumbai: One Avighna Park.
The company has also delivered Gujarat's fastest elevator -installed at GIFT City -that can climb at a speed of 4 m per second. Globally, it had set the record for fastest elevator at 16.8 m per second and had kept this record for over a decade.
What factors determine the speed of the elevator for projects in India?
Fundamentally, speed is determined by the number of floors in a building and how efficiently traffic management can be taken care of. Sometimes the nature of the building (ie, luxury and ultra-premium apartments) is also taken into account for designing the speed of the elevators. Also, speed is not simply 'speed' but the requirement is how fast and efficient we can transport passenger to the required floor or height. So travel efficiency calculation is important and we can realise the best efficiency by our comprehensive solution in combination of high speed, high capacity and double deck, etc.
Tell us about the biggest order the company has bagged in India in recent months and the scope of work.
One of our biggest orders to date is that of 70 units sold at Meenakshi Tech Park in Hyderabad. To be executed in three phases in a span of four years, Phase-1, which constitutes 24 units, has been successfully completed and delivered with elevators running at 2.5 m per second for a 19-storied commercial office space.
What, according to you, keeps Toshiba Johnson ahead of the rest?
Our ability to offer comprehensive and flexible solutions keeps us ahead of the competition. The Indian elevator and escalator market consists of around 350 elevator suppliers.
All major and leading global players have already entered the market and are expanding their facilities. Further, manufacturing of full elevator sets and component imports from the China market has increased. However, since our establishment in 2011, Toshiba elevators have built brand equity similar to that of other Japanese contemporaries in India. We offer competitive solutions over the Japanese brands. Focus on localised solutions is the need of the market and TJEI is gearing itself for the same. Contributing to our success are the Made-for-India product Elcosmo-TJ, assistance from our JV partner, and our plans to set up a dedicated multipurpose facility (training + distribution centre).
Tell us more about the multipurpose facility.
We are talking about a distribution centre to begin with. The product we have launched, ELCOSMO-TJ, is actually a combination of localised equipment along with imported equipment. This proportion will change over a period of time wherein localisation increases.
So we will start off with the distribution centre and the manufacturing plant will happen in due course of time. We have started the feasibility study; next year onwards, we will get aggressive on our plans to start the distribution centre.
How do technological advancements in elevators today ensure safety, reliability, energy-efficiency and maintenance-friendliness?
Today, there is a complete shift in technology in the areas of PMSM motor; roller guides; oil buffers; advanced safety mechanisms; destination control system smart systems integrated with RFID; rope-free suspension systems; and destination control system using mobile phones. Also, remote maintenance and maintenance-friendly service system is under study. Ultimately, everything depends on clinical installation and after-sales service.
Tell us about the company's performance in the last fiscal.
The company has grown at a CAGR of 22 per cent YoY in terms of volume. India is a significant market - in fact the fastest growing market for us.
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