Technological development has changed customers’ expectations of speed, transparency and predictability
Equipment

Technological development has changed customers’ expectations of speed, transparency and predictability

- Amit Gossain, Managing Director, KONE Elevator India

With the advent of COVID-19, the entire focus of the industry is now on hands-free, seamless access through built spaces. The most common surfaces we touch in our daily life are door handles and elevator buttons. And these are probably the surfaces most susceptible to the spread of viruses. No wonder touchless safety solutions, like KONE’s Health and Wellbeing Solutions, are trending! Amit Gossain, Managing Director, KONE Elevator India, shares more about recent trends, company offerings and more...

How do you view the current market for elevators and escalators in India?
With a resurgence expected in the real-estate sector, the outlook looks positive for the elevator and escalator industry.

- Amit Gossain, Managing Director, KONE Elevator IndiaWith the advent of COVID-19, the entire focus of the industry is now on hands-free, seamless access through built spaces. The most common surfaces we touch in our daily life are door handles and elevator buttons. And these are probably the surfaces most susceptible to the spread of viruses. No wonder touchless safety solutions, like KONE’s Health and Wellbeing Solutions, are trending! Amit Gossain, Managing Director, KONE Elevator India, shares more about recent trends, company offerings and more...How do you view the current market for elevators and escalators in India?With a resurgence expected in the real-estate sector, the outlook looks positive for the elevator and escalator industry. The COVID-19 pandemic will redefine certain trends in the realty sector and we expect hygiene and wellness to be key factors in assessing properties in both commercial and residential segments. We will experience elevators a lot more differently now and COVID-19 will push us to fast-track digital transformation, making elevators more sophisticated and cutting edge. The focus will be on touchless elevator control solutions to enhance safety, security and convenience. Also, we see COVID-19 hastening demand for artificial intelligence (AI)-based analytics to make smarter proactive maintenance decisions that take people flow to  a whole new level. With new technologies and connectivity, we can provide an opportunity to add value to customers in new ways that meet their specific needs; at the same time, technological development has changed their expectations of speed, transparency and predictability. What is trending in vertical transportation for various segments (airports, metros, residential and commercial buildings, malls) and how do these reflect in your offerings? What’s trending today is technology and innovation. From the perspective of vertical transportation, it means looking at safer, smarter, technology-enabled building solutions. When it comes to vertical people flow, several technological innovations are already taking place. And we anticipate many more to come. There is no limit to the kind of exciting technology-led innovations we can expect in the elevator and escalator segment. Smart digital buildings will help bring people together, be conducive to collaborative working by increasing interaction, and save precious resources.We have also seen rising demand for our AI-based 24/7 Connected Services, which provides valuable information on upcoming maintenance needs and identifies potential issues before they cause problems. It connects elevators or escalators to our Cloud-based service and uses AI-based analytics.What kind of R&D is undertaken to understand user preferences?Innovation has been one of the most significant aspects of KONE and there is always a lot of focus on R&D. While designing products for the Indian market, we provide a unique mix of global expertise and Indian requirements. KONE’s global technology and engineering centre in Chennai (Technology and Engineering Center [ITEC]) supports the latest technology and development for KONE’s future solutions. It works with customers, suppliers, strategic partners and research institutes to provide best-in-class people flow solutions. The process always begins with research to understand customer and user needs over the lifespan of a building. Through design, we can offer solutions that can adjust to possible changes—this is a differentiator for us. As we strive to perfect our solutions and customer service, we are also exploring technologies that support future trends. Any new launches this year from the company that have benefitted the industry at large?KONE’s recent launch of its Health & Wellbeing solutions was a response to the prevailing COVID-19 environment. Understanding that the way people interact with everyday surroundings will be challenging as we re-enter public buildings, we looked at trying to recreate safer user journeys and healthy spaces in buildings. Considering physical distancing measures as well as the need for people to be able to move around in shared spaces safely, KONE’s technical knowhow and innovation came together to create solutions that can be used to encourage physical distancing while enabling a safe and convenient return to public settings. These solutions that can be added to all KONE elevators range from escalator handrail sanitiser to elevator air purifier. KONE handrail sanitiser, an escalator handrail cleaning solution, uses a type of ultraviolet light (UV-C) to gradually disinfect escalator handrails. To remove the need to touch possibly contaminated buttons or displays, the elevator call feature allows users to call an elevator using a social messaging channel like WhatsApp. The KONE elevator air purifier uses technology—including an advanced photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) process developed by NASA for air control on spaceships—to improve air quality in the elevator car by removing most potential pollutants, like bacteria, viruses, dust and odours, in the air.This will be the year of digital transformation at KONE India, as we will seamlessly integrate physical and digital capabilities to provide new experiences, new business models, and new offerings for our customers. How do you ensure safety and quality? At KONE Elevator India, we pride ourselves on our deep understanding of both equipment and customer needs. This ensures that equipment is kept running smoothly throughout its lifetime. When we design and conceptualise such elevators, we design them for the future. At KONE, safety is one of the highest priority areas and our equipment is designed to maximise passenger safety and enable easy inspection to ensure safe operations at all times. We ensure that our safety policies are clearly communicated to employees and subcontractors to preclude deviations in any process. Risk assessment and regular safety audits are done at every stage. KONE Care Maintenance is designed to detect issues before problems arise, reduce hazards, and prevent accidents from taking place. We also use one of the most advanced preventive maintenance methods in the industry: KONE Modular Based Maintenance (MBM). Every KONE service technician takes ownership of quality and is driven by continuous quality initiatives and training. It is important that our employees and customers return home safely every day.Taking a step further in safety, KONE 24/7 Connected Services was introduced, where the system enables vast amounts of data from elevator and escalator sensors to be monitored, analysed and displayed in real-time, improving equipment performance, reliability and safety. If a problem occurs, detailed information tells us what’s causing the issue and how urgent the matter is. By keeping constant watch 24/7, we can respond quickly in case of sudden failures. 

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