Schindler expects India to become 'growth locomotive'

Schindler expects India to become 'growth locomotive' of industry

Representative image. (AFP Photo)

Elevators manufacturer Schindler expects India to become 'growth locomotive' of the industry as the government continues to focus on developing infrastructure in the country.

The Switzerland-headquartered firm also hopes to make India one of the key R&D (Research and Development) and manufacturing hubs to cater to global markets.

"India is currently the second biggest elevator and escalator market worldwide for us. Though our market in India today is still 10 times smaller than China, considering the pace at which the country is growing, it will further grow and become by far a growth locomotive in our industry," Schindler Group CEO Thomas Oetterli told PTI.

Going forward, India has the potential to become as big as China given the kind of infrastructure projects that are coming up and the pace of technology adoption, he said.

"Infrastructure development is extremely important for India's growth and we are seeing the government taking steps in that direction. The focus on developing metro networks, airports, railways and real estate, among others, opens up huge opportunities for global players like Schindler," Oetterli said.

Since India has been a key focus area, the company made some bold decisions a couple of years ago to establish a complete campus in the country for India and for Asia, he said.

Schlinder India has already invested over Rs 600 crore to set up an R&D centre and manufacturing facility in Pune with a capacity of around 17,500 units and 1,200 units of elevators and escalators, respectively.

"In Pune, we not just made a big elevator factory but also a big escalator unit because escalators are mainly used in public transport areas. Also, in order to be ready for the market, we have set up a big R&D centre which is the second biggest now worldwide. We also have a big training centre here because we are fast-growing along with the country," Oetterli added.

He said that while one-fourth of the R&D facility in Pune works for India, the rest works as a part of its global R&D centre to cater to international markets.

"So as far as the mechanical parts and whole testing is concerned, India takes the lead. So it is, in fact, the global headquarter in R&D for certain topics and supporting other centres. By far, India is the fastest-growing R&D centre we have," he added.

On localisation, Oetterli said that nearly two-thirds of its supplies are coming from India.

"Localisation is only possible when you build a supplier base. When we started, we were finding it hard to find local suppliers. In the beginning, we were importing materials mainly from China. Over the last five years, we have continuously increased our localisation efforts and today nearly two-thirds of the content is coming from India," he added. 

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