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Construction : Spotlight | August 2015 | Source : CW-India

Elevating Experts

With the dream to re-craft modern living for a new class of consumers, faster, smoother and personalised vertical transportation is the perfect choice for leading developers in India.

Today, India is the second largest elevator market after China and is poised to grow further in the years ahead with infrastructural development, rapid urbanisation, and increasing disposable incomes. In fact, according to estimates, another 15 years or so and nearly 50 per cent of the country´s population will be living in urban areas in apartments with elevators. Hence, faster, smoother and personalised vertical transportation will be the need, and is also the focus of leading developers today. Similarly, to ensure its apartment buyers get the safest vertical transportation in the market, Mumbai-based builder K Raheja Corp - the creator of over 2,000 residential projects and a 25-million-sq-ft, world-class business ecosystem - carried out a rigorous study of the products of the major elevator companies in the world. To no surprise, Toshiba topped the list. Shabbir Kanchwala, Senior Vice President, K Raheja Corp, has the reason: ¨This is one company that ensures that customer requirements are not only met through design but in its operations in the long run.¨

Pioneering concept
With the aim to provide premium reality infrastructure on a par with international standards, K Raheja Corp has pioneered the concept of self-contained townships and commercial business districts. Kanchwala adds, ¨This has been with all formats like residential apartments, office spaces, retail and entertainment, virtually making it a mini city with mega comforts.¨

He lays emphasis on the company´s vision to be a major infrastructure and growth driver for the development of India so the whole nation is empowered. ¨Why can´t our own Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad be like any other big metropolitan cities in the world?¨ asks Kanchwala. However, he goes on to concede that the obstacles in those countries are fewer. ¨I need world-class equipment and components; the best doors, the best taps, the best flooring, the best electrical infrastructure.¨ Undoubtedly, getting the components that meet Raheja´s exceedingly high benchmarks can often be tough... really tough. Considering this, the fact that Toshiba Johnson Elevators topped the builder´s list speaks volumes.

The customer´s preference
To modern flat owners, ambience matters - not just of their own apartment, but the ambience, quality and facilities of the entire compound. As far as elevators for modern high-rise buildings of 50, 60 or 100 storeys are concerned, the need of the hour is comfortable and spacious elevators that are 100-per-cent safe. ¨We can no longer afford a situation where an elevator stops for a few minutes owing to a power cut,¨ Kanchwala points out.

Indeed, K Raheja Corp has been associated with Toshiba since 2012 and in Kanchwala´s words, ¨The experience has been marvellous.¨ While the relationship found its roots in a mid-sized project with 12 elevators, today the builder has partnered Toshiba for most of its projects. As he continues, ¨We are extremely satisfied with their prompt response time, for all pre and post-sales and overall project execution patterns. We have awarded them the contract of installing elevators in our headquarters as well. Toshiba always makes it a point to walk that extra mile with us, in terms of value addition in their offerings and variety in finishes and features.¨

He goes on to add, ¨Toshiba is a reputed global brand and its elevators are known both for quality and excellent operations. Safety being a priority for the company, it adheres to international safety standards, which is evident in its products' safety features such as automatic rescue device, speed protection, etc. This additionally shows Toshiba's commitment to excellence. The company is ahead of the competition in key areas including commitment to deliver in time without compromising on safety and quality, the excellent experience of their installation team, and their unmatchable lead in customisation.¨ Further, in terms of aesthetics, decoration and finish, real-estate firms like K Raheja Corp have to provide new and innovative products in every project. The customer wants to be unique, feel unique, and that is what Toshiba is, as Kanchwala agrees, affirming, ¨Every single time.¨

Future watch
Indeed, expansion in the residential and commercial real-estate sectors, increase government spending in the infrastructure sector - especially with 100 smart cities - are bound to be game changers. Today, considering that the total elevator installed base in India is estimated at around 350,000 units - with both new equipment and modernisation - vertical transportation is undoubtedly set to achieve great heights.

¨We have successfully secured over 700 units in India.¨

- Yoshiyuki Mabuchi, Managing Director, Toshiba Johnson Elevators (India) Pvt Ltd

The right vision and 140 years of Toshiba Group´s history has enabled the Toshiba Elevator business in India to be a cut above the rest. Having commenced its elevator operations in India in April 2011, Toshiba Elevator India Pvt Ltd was established as a 100-per-cent subsidiary of Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corporation, Japan. The Indian operations were commenced with a vision to provide world-class, energy-efficient and safe vertical transportation systems. Further, in October 2012, it entered into a JV with Johnson Lifts Pvt Ltd as Toshiba Johnson Elevators (India) Pvt Ltd (TJEI). Yoshiyuki Mabuchi, Managing Director, Toshiba Johnson Elevators (India) Pvt Ltd, elaborates further in conversation with SHRIYAL SETHUMADHAVAN.

What are your key solutions or offerings in the construction space?
We provide safety, security and comfort. Our products provide leading edge technologies in energy consumption such as high efficient motors, regenerative system, using lightweight material for cab to reduce weight and LED lightings. Also with high quality inverter drive system and by using high quality roller guides we have enabled stable, quiet and smooth riding comfort. In addition, maintenance is the key factor of our business and we offer assured maintenance service to sustain the quality of products for long period of times. We have sold over 700 units over the past few years and are growing rapidly. Our focus is on the higher or premium segment where our market share is over 7 per cent.

How do you understand customer requirements?
First, we focus on quality, cost, delivery and safety/service (QCDS) along with installation quality and after-sales services qualities. In installation, we deliver parts to site and assemble the complete system there to ensure a perfect fit. Also, having specialist staff from Toshiba Elevator´s headquarters, Japan, enhances the installation quality. Our after-sales services are available 24/7 in India. We always recommend the customer to select a comprehensive maintenance agreement rather than breakdown maintenance as we can predict failure in advance.

Do you customise based on the client´s requirement?
We have standardised products. However, we offer a wide variety of finished products, and can hence provide or propose any kind of material with finishes and decorations to the client. So the customer can choose from the standardised; in case they want a unique design, we can consider customisation for unique finishes. Also, while we import the materials, some products are procured locally to deliver to meet the client´s project schedule.

How do you ensure sustainability?
Toshiba Group focuses on technologies to ensure Human Smart Community by lifenology and the biggest aspect in elevators, i.e., energy consumption and environmental concern to enhance the life of the people. Compared to our conventional elevators, our latest elevator models consume only 50 per cent energy. Also, by using roller guides, which do not require lubrication oil, it is beneficial for the environment.

Toshiba elevators have been offered to a premium upcoming project in Bandra-Kurla Complex, Mumbai´s planned commercial complex with approximately 600,000 people working in various offices...
We are supplying 22 elevators to this iconic commercial development. These boast large capacities (1,836 kg) with the latest gearless PMSM technology. The passenger elevators are supplied with an advanced group control system, or the destination control system (DCS). People travelling to similar destinations are grouped, ensuring better traffic handling and travel times. Passengers are directed to the most efficient elevator; without pressing any call buttons inside the cabin, they reach their destination. Also, a unique feature is the hall door - hall transom - flush arrangement, which enhances the aesthetics of the lobby. The project is designed by a renowned architect from USA, who has ensured tasteful aesthetics that include back-painted, acid-etched glass panels and bead-blast, stainless-steel trims cladded over the elevator cabin walls.

Is India geared for high-speed elevators? What is the highest speed of the Toshiba elevator that you offer worldwide?
We have set a Guinness world record for manufacturing the world´s fastest elevator at the speed of 1,010 m per minute (~16.8 m per second). It was supplied and installed in Taipei in 2004 (is the fastest operational elevator as on July 2015) and has been safely running for more than 10 years without any major mechanical trouble due to a superb maintenance staff. In India, the current speed adopted on an average is 1.75 m per second; this is applicable to medium commercial and residential buildings. This may increase to 2-3 m per second over time.

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