‘‘We provide some of the safest elevators in the world’’

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Bharat VishnaniThyssenKrupp Elevator is one of the world’s leading elevator manufacturers, with customers in more than 150 countries. The company has claimed to invent the world’s first rope-free elevator. Bharat Vishnani, Managing Director of ThyssenKrupp Elevator (India) Pvt Ltd was recently in Kathmandu to sign business agreement with Infratech Pvt Ltd, the company’s Nepal partner. In an interview with New Business Age, Vishnani shared the company’s plans and expectations for and from the Nepali elevator market. Excerpts:
The main purpose of your visit was to sign agreement with your local partner or agent. Wasn’t it?
Yes, it was. We have signedthe extension of our exclusive agency agreement with Infratech, who are our business partners for Nepal. 
Have your products been already launched in Nepal or you plan to launch them sometime in the future?
We already have sold about 20 elevators in Nepal of which some are installed and some yet to be installed. All these have been through Infratech under our earlier business arrangement. 
What prospects do you see in the Nepali market for your elevators?
The market in Nepal seems to have picked up since last year. We estimate the market size to be about 120 to 130 elevators a year,and we are hopeful of gaining a sizeable chunk of this market.
Besides elevators, what are the other products that you manufacture?
A member of the Fortune 500 ThyssenKrupp Group, ThyssenKrupp Elevator is a leading global German elevator brand known for its precision and reliable engineering, product innovation and high-performance service standards.The ThyssenKrupp Elevator portfolio includes a wide range of passenger and freight elevators, escalators and moving walks, passenger boarding bridges, stair and platform lifts as well as tailored service solutions for all products. Over 900 locations around the world provide an extensive sales and service network to guarantee closeness to customers.
ThyssenKrupp’s website claims that the company has invented the world’s first rope-free elevator. Weren’t rope-free elevators already there, for example, hydraulic elevators?
Most of the Hydraulic elevators also require ropes to give them the mechanical advantage. Yes, we are pioneers in developing the rope-free elevator system called MULTI. This elevatorsystem is based on the principle of placing in the same shaft multiple cabins driven by linear motors which can travel vertically as well as horizontally. It’s a very big step into the future of high-rise buildings where elevator shafts can occupy upto 30 per cent of the building floor space. MULTI  will be a solution for such buildings.
Tell us about your local partner, Infratech Pvt. Ltd.
Infratech Pvt. Ltd. is a JV between two very well established business houses of Nepal. One is Sharda Group and the other is Golchha Organization. Sandeep Sharda represents Sharda Group while Akash Golchha represents Golchha Group. They have business interests in varied fields and have the requisite experience in managing the business of many MNC’s in Nepal. 
What is special about your elevators? Why should people buy them?
When you travel in an elevator, the first thing that should come to your mind is safety. We provide some of the safest elevators in the world. We do not compromise on any aspect of elevators. Quality and Safety are most critical for ThyssenKrupp.
What is the price of your elevators?
We don’t have a ready price list as such. The price of an elevator depends on its capacity, number of stops, speed, finishes etc. For us, every elevator is configured and priced for a particular building to best suit the customer’s needs. 
What kinds of elevators have been sold in Nepal so far?
We have sold elevators of different types, having up to 17 stops to date.
How are you doing in India?
We are doing quite well. We entered the Indian elevator market in 2002 whereas other MNC ‘s have been operating  for much longer periods in the market. Considering this short period, our growth has been good. And we are gaining market share year on year.
Besides India and Nepal, where are you present in South Asia?
Besides India and Nepal, in closer vicinity, we are present in Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka.  In South East Asia we are present practically in all major markets. 
Besides elevators, what other products will Infratech, your partner in Nepal, be selling?
They will be selling elevators, escalators and moving walks. We will be guiding Infratech and supporting them with the required technical knowledge towards this end.
The growth of high-rise buildings in Nepal is not very encouraging. Given this ground reality, do you think your elevators will sell well here?
We tailor our solutions to all types of markets: low-rise, mid-rise as well as high-rise. Hence we are hopeful of doing well within the market available. Also note that Nepal has a vast land base; Kathmandu city has grown so much in recent years. So, I am sure that there will be a market of sufficient interest in Nepal.
Other companies are also selling elevators in Nepal. How do you plan to face the competition?
We have our business strategy to handle all challenges in the market place.

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