By Amit Gossain, Managing Director, KONE Elevator India, 0
The elevator industry follows four megatrends that drive growth: urbanization, demographic change, safety, and environment. The increasing number of high-rise buildings is driving demand for passenger elevators across different end-user segments including residential, commercial, industrial and government institutions. According to the United Nations Population Fund, approximately, every sixth person lives in India and nearly 40% of these people will or will have already moved to megacities in India. In this scenario, developers are increasingly looking at high-rise structures as a means to accommodate the increasing population in cities. All segments are expanding and the need for cities going vertical has become a necessity.
The vertical transportation industry is rapidly making strong strides in technological development to ensure utmost safety, ride comfort, improved lifecycle of buildings and peace of mind for the customers. Innovation is key to sustain the future and technological disruptions are imperative.
The increasing rate of urbanisation in recent decades has seen an augmented trend in the construction of high-rise and supertall buildings worldwide, particularly in the emerging economies. Skyscrapers may host offices, residential spaces and retail spaces, and designers are constantly looking to reinvent the modern skyscraper with higher, more cutting-edge designs. For buildings above a height of 300 m (984 ft), the term supertall skyscrapers can be used, while skyscrapers reaching beyond 600 m (1,969 ft) are classified as megatall skyscrapers.
India is witnessing the arrival of new generation elevators, which are equipped with innovative technologies offering energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and 'smartness'. In the past few years, machine-room-less elevators have become increasingly popular for low-rise and medium-rise buildings. The traction machine is installed at the top of the shaft without a separate machine room which saves space, reduces building construction cost and gives much more flexibility to architects for designing building space usage.
Other novel concepts adopted by manufacturers are destination control system, ultra-rope for high rise buildings, and People Flow Intelligence solutions. Moreover, eco-efficient solutions are gaining importance in terms of reducing the running costs of buildings, cars, and other equipment.
"The vertical transportation industry is rapidly making strong strides in technological development to ensure utmost safety, ride comfort, improved lifecycle of buildings and peace of mind for the customers. Innovation is key to sustain the future and technological disruptions are imperative".
Another important factor to consider is digitalization, which is no longer used only in the IT industry, but widely being used in many sectors, in particular those industries that are involved in people movement, like the elevator industry. Digital services help to collaborate with customers and partners, and it is an area where the industry is heading towards. An additional aspect of digitalization is the potential to improve speed and efficiency in the research & development and manufacturing units, bringing innovations closer to customers, and get new services and solutions faster into the market.
Increasing government focus towards building high-class infrastructure coupled with rising government initiatives such as ‘Smart City’ and AMRUT is also expected to drive demand for elevators in the country. Further, the Government of India is also focusing on the modernization of airports and railway stations, and this is also projected to drive elevators and escalators market in the country during the forecast period.
Currently, there is a general slowdown, but I feel it is short-lived. India is certainly on the growth path, and all future policies of the government are aimed at achieving that growth. With the initiatives announced by the government like 'Housing for all' by 2022, we expect a number of residential projects to come on board in the coming months. In the recently announced Union budget, the government announced the allocation of Rs.103 Lakh crore to boost infrastructure and the development of 100 more airports to receive support and development. This gives a huge scope for our business. I expect positive growth in the coming months and the industry will head towards north.
Sustainable urbanization and eco-efficiency are embedded in KONE's strategy. We support the ongoing green transformation of the built environment into smart eco-cities, low-carbon communities, and net zero energy buildings. Most recently KONE has been recognized as one of the most sustainable companies in the world by Corporate Knights Inc., ranking 32nd (ranked 43rd in previous year) in their 2020 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World ranking.