Saturday, January 16, 2021

Table of Contents for Infratrack

Interview - Chetanya Vali (Gunnebo India Pvt. Ltd.)

We are focused on metro projects targeted under the 12th Five Year Plan


With metro rail networks engaging India India Inc’s attention over the next 10 years - $ 40 billion dollars investment is expected in terms of new metro lines in various cities – these are busy times for suppliers of various products and solutions for the systems. Security, which is a crucial requirement for such transportation networks, is the zone of business for international firms like Gunnebo. The Swedish firm, a global leader in security and access solutions, offers integrated packages like entrance control systems which include flap gates, turnstiles, automatic fare collection and safety devices like fire alarms and extinguishers in rolling stock. CHETANYA VALI, VICE PRESIDENT-INSTITUTIONAL SALES, GUNNEBO INDIA PVT LTD, spoke to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES about the company’s presence in India’s mass transportation systems and its business prospects.

Tell us about your current presence on the country’s transportation systems and the new opportunities you are looking to tap?


As far as opportunities are concerned we are providing access solutions for the metros which are our main revenue generators. The flap gates mechanisms in the first phase of the Delhi Metro were done by Gunnebo. We are also looking at different areas like BRTS and airports.


We offer various solutions for boarding gates at airports, automated systems by which passengers can pass through immigration without having to go through manual checks, 2 D passport reader, facial verification systems and automated systems of baggage verification. These solutions are intended to securer airports and to make it a smoother experience for passengers.


Which are the main projects which Gunnebo products are supporting in India? Give us an idea of your market share.


As is well known Gunnebo is a world leader in providing customised solutions for security to mass transit applications covering Airports, Metros and Rapid Bus Transit Systems. These solution help in protecting fare evasion and provide security. Gunnebo India Pvt. Ltd is a subsidiary of the Gunnebo Group. At this point we are primarily focused on metro projects that are being currently being targeted for completion under the 12th Five Year Plan. We have done various mechanisms and packages for Phase I of Delhi Metro. We have won a contract for barriers, our gates mechanism on the new metro system in Chennai. We are offering solutions for BRTS in Ahmedabad.  Airport projects in India, however, are yet to generate business volumes because Indian airport infrastructure is still at a construction stage by private bidders. The projects are yet undergoing various clearances. 


Where do you see the new opportunities coming up?


The government has as part of its plan to develop transport infrastructure is further planning new metros in several cities. Many of the projects like Hyderabad are coming up in PPP mode. That surely offers us a big opportunity.


Can you tell us about the size of the business opportunity?


These are early days to comment. Things are to be done on such a massive scale. There are many cities adopting the metro as part of their development. I believe every project will have its own specific demands. We have people who are collecting all the details but right now we cannot come with an exact estimation. With so many cities looking to have metro systems we are examining the kind and level of support that requires to be offered to the various projects.  


Where are your products manufactured? 


We have two plants one in Italy and the other in China which service local area requirements. The China production site is used to source equipment for metro systems like Chennai. As far as having a manufacturing plant in India is concerned that is still under evaluation. We are, of course, interested in rolling out such developments. 


How do you expect 2014 to pan out for Gunnebo?


We have the international experience and we have capacities to deliver as per individual requirements. In 2014 we will be working on key projects primarily on the main metro phases coming up in Chennai.  The main reason we were chosen by Chennai Metro Corporation was that our access technology is known to be reliable and is durable. There is a good amount of requirement in the metro domain and we will explore how to service various levels of requests. There are different challenges on each metro and we are working closely with officials of each project to understand their requirements and trying to understand how to support them. Gunnebo India has a dedicated team, close to 70 engineers across the country, trained to handle after sales support. Once we know what is the exact level of support required we will roll out our plan. We are also working very closely with the government and have a very important role to play to bring about quality infrastructure.


What are your requirements of the government?


This year we don’t expect anything dramatic to happen on the projects front before the elections. It will be up to the new government that will be formed to speed up transport development. Of course, as part of our wish list we would expect the new government to do something in terms of financial packages for the metros. The government must support metros with funding. The key drivers will come from 2015 to 2020 in terms of massive rollout of metro projects. Right now we are still at a nascent stage. On our part we are completely engaged with the government and are ready to support them with all the technical requirements.

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