Otis’ plans revealed; construction on rail stations underway.
Otis CEO Interviewed
In an interview with Judy Marks, named CEO of Otis in October 2017 (ELEVATOR WORLD, December 2017), The Hindu gave insight into her desire to instill startup culture in the company with “connected” technology that will predict user needs. She said Otis is seeing demand pick up worldwide, especially in India. There, stabilization of some financial metrics and economics are facilitating recovery. As Otis evaluates how to invest for what Marks calls “the digital economy we are in today,” it intends to harness its approximately 70,000 units in the country and local facilities, which include a head office in Mumbai, factory in Bengaluru, R&D facility in Hyderabad, 80 service locations and nearly 3,000 employees.
Additionally, Otis’ locally supplied escalators and Gen2 elevators will be rolling out from the Bengaluru facility in coming months. Marks said that as Otis works “to become a leading digital industrial company,” it wants to use its 68,000 employees around the world “to lead and be local everywhere.” “We have 33,000 mechanics making 120,000 visits to customers every day,” she added. The plan is:
“. . .to see where they can add value and make improvements. We should be able to take that information, fuse that, understand where customers’ needs are going, predict that and get there first. That’s what startups do. They look at things from a different perspective. They offer solutions that haven’t even been applied to certain industries.”
Latest Section Begun on Rail Expansion Project
Work has begun to double and electrify a 25-km stretch of rail that will complete the project between Maduri and Chennai, The Times of India reported in January. Union Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain, who participated in a ceremony launching the work, said the section, part of just one of three such projects, should be finished this year. He continued, “With the three doubling projects sanctioned, all major routes from Chennai to Kanyakumari via Madurai and back and via Thiruvananthapuram will become fully electrified double tracks in three to four years.”
Along with the rail expansions and electrifications, Gohain said 84 escalators and 61 lifts had been commissioned at stations. Work was in progress on 32 escalators and 26 lifts as of January, he said. The national government typically splits the cost, 50/50, with state governments on such projects, but Union Minister of State for Shipping and Finance Pon Radhakrishnan said that the three doubling and electrification projects were fully funded by the Government of India, considering the financial condition of Tamil Nadu.