Smart Technologies for buildings
Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology with presence in more than 150 countries. It offers solutions for intelligent buildings, energy-efficiency, integrated infrastructure and advanced transportation systems. Larry Kouma, Global Director Johnson Controls and Shrikant Bapat, Country GM & MD, Johnson Controls India (JCI) spoke to Realty Plus about the new technologies in building efficiency sector and the Indian market.
Company’s product portfolio for building management and efficiency in India
Shrikant:In India, Johnson Controls offers end-to-end multi-product, solutions and service of equipment, controls, HVAC, refrigeration and fire and security systems. Apart from the product brands like York®, Frick®, Sabroe®, and Metasys® for building efficiency, the other names that form JCI’s portfolio include: Tyco, Hitachi, Amaron and AdTi(Air Distribution Technologies, Inc.).
The new Johnson Controls-Hitachi joint venture allows both companies to deliver the most diverse technology portfolio in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration industry. Likewise the tie-up with Tyco brings together technology and service capabilities across controls, fire, security, HVAC and energy storage, to serve the full spectrum of end markets including large institutions, government, commercial buildings, retail, industrial, small business and residential.
Larry:Such mergers and joint ventures with the established players in their specific segments helps the company create immediate opportunities for growth through cross-selling, complementary branch and distribution channel networks and expanded global reach for established businesses.
Energy efficiency solutions and services
Shrikant:The company provides controls, equipment and services for HVAC, security, fire and refrigeration and offers services to help building owners and businesses to increase energy efficiency and lower operating costs.The latest in the chiller segment is the oil-free magnetic bearing technology featuring fewer moving parts. It offers a quieter, more efficient operation as there are no metal parts in contact thereby reducing wear and tear too.
The comprehensive life-cycle approach to in-building technology and operations includes planning and design, installation, integration, optimization and maintenance. This includes air systems, HVAC controls and equipment, services and support and replacement of parts & supplies.
Larry:The energy audits are done based on which energy saving strategies and potential are suggested to the clients. Post the strategy implementation, the energy audits have shown remarkable difference to the clients and benefitted them. The benefits include:
- Improved energy efficiency, lowering energy costs and carbon footprint
- Improved operational efficiency, reducing manpower and increasing productivity
- Proactive, pre-emptive maintenance and repair, leading to less downtime and complaints
- Support green building certification, resulting in more conducive environment for building occupants
The services on offer in India
Shrikant:India has all range of markets. Over the last three years, we worked in a joint venture with Hitachi that focuses on residential and commercial segmentIt is focused in residential and commercial. With the acquisition of AdTi which has global and Indian operations, we are now able to provide safety & security services to clients in India. The fire safety services across India are offered through the tie-up with Tyco. Thus, the company is capable of providing an entire package of building management and services to Indian businesses. The service network comprises more than 200 people and the lifecycle of the products is 15 years or more. The service arm of the company ensures preventive and timely maintenance of the systems to prevent business loss for the customer.
The potentials of Indian market
Shrikant:There are a lot of opportunities in India.The BMS market in India is expected to grow by more than 10% in the next five years. With smart city plan being launched, the potential of Indian real estate is going to grow further.
There is a change in the government working also with the initiatives like Aadhar card, PAN Card and GST being rolled out which require robust IT infrastructure and concurrent facilities. Municipal Corporations are hiring people from IIT and IIM now to run the new age systems. Thus, we see a growing demand for smart and energy efficient buildings in the government sector as well that will drive the demand for building management and HVAC solutions.
Larry:Also, in the green building movement Indialeads the global numbers in terms of expectations, investments and energy efficiency upgrades. As a provider of building technology, products and solutions, the company is working towards creating synergy between developers, architects and consultants to improveenergy and cost efficiency.
The challenges to be addressed
Shrikant:The biggest challenge of Indian market is the mind-set of lowest pricing or quote. The clients would negotiate to bring prices down for a product irrespective of its technical superiority, value to the business and cost savings in the long run. Also one needs to work at multi levels and across the hierarchy of the company. Second challenge could be the fluctuations in the market itself. While, last three years saw downsizing of commercial segment, currently it is the residential segment that is lying low. Thirdly, the products need customization as per their application in the Indian context so as to be able to provide real solutions. This requires right understanding of the client requirement, appreciation and application.
“Singapore and India are leading in terms of adopting energy efficiency solutions and products. In China, the government is making huge efforts in investing in technology but what makes India different from China is its entrepreneur spirit because of which one sees lot of small and medium scale business flourishing in India. The differentiator for US and India is that much of the building stock in USA is already built and now requires only retrofitting, whereas in India lot of infrastructure is yet to be built which gives immense scope of adopting energy efficient systems right from the beginning.” Larry Kouma