11 July 2020

Interaction- Sebi Joseph, MD, Otis Elevator Company India

Aligned with demands of Indian customer


After setting up its manufacturing base early 2015, Otis has now tripled it in size, doubled its manufacturing capacity, and co-located it with its R&D center in India. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, SEBI JOSEPH, MANAGING DIRECTOR, OTIS ELEVATOR COMPANY INDIA, talks about their cutting edge technology and how they are ramping up for the Indian market.


Some innovative technology/product developed by your company, especially niche applications in terms of safety, intelligent traffic management solutions, and Smart technology.

Otis has introduced two new elevator products in India that are specifically designed to meet the needs of the country’s buildings and cities.

In 2015, Otis India introduced the Gen2® Infinity. Locally manufactured at the Bengaluru factory, this is a higher speed (1.75 meters per second) passenger elevator that caters to mid-rise residential buildings, which are fast becoming a common feature across Tier I and Tier II cities in the country today. And late last year (2016), Otis announced the launch of the Gen2 Core, an energy efficient elevator designed to meet the needs of Indian mass and affordable housing segments. With a speed of 0.7 meter-per-second (MPS) and options of machine-room or machine-roomless arrangements, this elevator is ideal for low-rise residential buildings. A majority of the Indian residential segment have buildings that are less than 6 to 7 stories high. The Gen2 Core offers this segment an elevator that is environmentally responsible.

As India continues to urbanize, sustainable solutions will play a key role, and the Gen2 offers just that through its energy saving and space conservation features. Affordable homes do not just mean the cost accessibility of the home, but also lower operational and maintenance costs. Sustainable features are key to any affordable housing project. This product offers environmentally responsible elevators for low-rise buildings across the country especially in Tier I and Tier II cities.

As Gen2 elevators, these come standard with Otis’ technological breakthroughs that address increasing demand for ‘green’ elevators. For example, the Otis ReGen™ drive captures energy that would otherwise be wasted by the elevator and feeds it back into the building’s power grid. Combined, the Otis Gen2 elevator machine and the ReGen drive reduce energy consumption by up to 75 percent under normal operating conditions, compared to conventional systems with non-regenerative drives.

As for existing elevators, they can be made energy efficient by adding the Variable Frequency Drives (VF drive) in the door system and elevator control system. VF drives regulate power and help with optimizing energy usage.

ReGen™ drives can additionally be fitted to an existing system. And auto-fan and auto-light switch off operations can also be adopted as well as LED lights can be used to replace tube lights inside the elevator car to save energy.

Otis is also working on developing smart elevators. A smart elevator is a connected elevator capable of communicating with passengers, building managers, service staff and other building systems to improve the passenger experience and elevator performance, especially through improved elevator maintenance.

The next developments in elevator technology leverage digitalisation. Existing Otis technologies such as the CompassPlus™ Destination Management System, which constantly evaluates real-time passenger traffic to improve flow and travel time in busy mid- and high-rise buildings, are the start of this trend.



Your outlook for the Indian market. Which segments will be the biggest demand drivers for your products.

Residential real estate is an important part of our business and will continue to be, given urbanization trends across India. The commercial sector is also significant.

Additionally, infrastructure development also presents a great opportunity for growth with the government’s focus on building 100 smart cities. If realised, this commitment toward speeding up the pace of urbanization by investing in smart cities, ports, metros and airports could provide immense growth to the elevator segment.



Importance of aftermarket services in the Indian E&E market.

Otis maintains more than 1.9 million elevators and escalators globally and over 60,000 units in India. Service is critical to ensure the performance standard of our elevators and escalators are maintained, as well as prolonging the life of the equipment.

Otis provides 24/7 service and support in major metropolitan areas via its centralized helpline – OTISLINE. To ensure easy access to customers, we have the largest service network with 80 centers servicing 300 cities.

Our commitment to customer focus, with outstanding equipment performance, is key our to business success. For example, the Otis Elite™ service program combines cutting-edge technology with our service expertise to deliver a priority service that goes beyond maintenance to offer an array of customer focused benefits.

Further strengthening the services offered is eService for Otis customers. This service allows building owners and managers who have an existing maintenance contract with Otis to view their elevators’ performance details around the clock.



What are the USP of your products vis-à-vis competitors.

Otis is committed to safety as a top priority. In addition to our Bengaluru facility receiving the following quality certifications - IS0 14001:2004 (environment) and ISO 9001:2008 (quality) – Otis also follows its United Technologies Corporation UTC ACE (Achieving Competitive Excellence) operating system, which is designed to ensure world-class quality in our products and processes. ACE focuses on increasing efficiency and reducing waste. It is used successfully at our facilities and workplaces around the world to improve quality and customer satisfaction.

Otis also follows stringent standards for Environment, Health and Safety and is guided by UTC standard workplace practices and Otis’ worldwide jobsite safety standards.

In addition, we conduct an Annual Equipment Survey, a complete health check done on all elevators we maintain. At the end of the check, each elevator is certified as safe and is checked on important parameters. This is done irrespective of the type of maintenance contract the customer holds with us.



Tell us about your manufacturing base in India. What is the level of indigenisation.

Otis India in early 2015 completed the expansion of its factory in Bengaluru. The facility is now triple in size and has doubled in manufacturing capacity. Co-located with the factory is Otis’ R&D center in India that has also significantly expanded its engineering capacity in recent years. The factory’s new test tower stands at a height of 51.2 meters and has the ability to test up to five elevators at a time. The test tower also includes mechanical and electrical test labs that are equipped with high-end test equipment staffed by a strong technical team to ensure all new products are tested and qualified to stringent Otis safety, quality and reliability standards.

Our product introductions too are aligned with the demands of the Indian customer. The Otis Bengaluru factory is gearing up to offer even higher speed elevators on Otis’ global flagship technology platform – the Gen2. Otis is committed to the Indian customer, and strives to locally design and manufacture quality products for India’s unique needs.



Are you contributing to the ‘Make in India’ and Sell Globally campaign.

The Make In India initiative has enabled a deeper focus on what the Indian customer and building segment is looking for. Otis recognizes the opportunity India presents and recently tripled the size of its Bengaluru factory. The expanded facility includes a state-of-the-art elevator test tower Otis’ R&D center in India has also significantly expanded its engineering capacity in recent years. We also started exporting from our Bangalore facility to neighboring countries Sri Lanka and Nepal. We plan to continue with our efforts and plan to export to the other countries soon.



Your market outlook for the elevators & escalators industry and for your company

India is the world’s second-largest market for elevators and escalators, behind China, according to independent analysts. According to industry estimates, the elevator segment is expected to have around 49,000 units at the end of the year.

This demand is driven by urbanisation. The movement of people from the country to the city has been a key change agent for the industry over the years.The number of tall buildings and the height of structures have kept increasing. As urbanisation continues, the need for housing grows and commercial space grows, India’s elevator industry will continue to grow just as rapidly. Having said that, growth needs to be sustainable and the demand for technology that can aid such growth is also influencing developments in the elevator and escalator industry.

340 million people, or 30 percent of the country’s population, currently live in cities. According to a recent McKinsey report, by 2030, it is expected that cities will house 590 million people or 40 percent of the population, and that India will have 68 cities with populations of more than 1 million. To aid in sustaining this development, Otis a few years ago expanded its factory in Bengaluru.

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