Kone to give safety a lift

Sravanthi Challapalli Chennai | Updated on March 12, 2018

Kone’s Liftman

There’s another muscled superhero on the horizon, and his mission is to tell you how to use elevators safely. KONE Elevator India has launched ‘The Chronicles of Liftman’, a series of animated films featuring a helmeted mascot in white and blue to demonstrate the dos and don’ts of elevator usage, operation and rescue as part of a public safety initiative and to coincide with National Safety Week which runs from March 4-11.

Speaking to Business Line, Mr Neeraj Sharma, Managing Director, KONE, said the company plans to take the films pan India to educate the end users. This is important in a country like India where safety measures are not taken seriously. The main target audience for these films (two so far) are residential complexes where elevators old and new are in use.

The films will highlight the most common mistakes people make when they use elevators – put their hand into the grille door, peep into an empty window slot in the door and let small children use elevators unaccompanied.

Pester power doesn’t just influence the choice of consumer goods, it seems to work in this case too. Ms Sreelakshmi Menon, Director (Marketing & Communications), KONE, said the company believes it can convey the message to older people through children who are great influencers, and this was borne out by the company’s experience at the screening of the film in an apartment complex in Chennai’s Thiruvanmiyur earlier this week.

A cartoon character rarely dies, says Ms Menon, adding that they hit upon the idea of animation to make it engaging and humorous as well as emotional. A film with real people would have perhaps made for unsettling imagery, she said. KONE will also impress upon users the importance of using their elevator company’s own experts, and not third-party service providers, to maintain and service the elevators.

Mr Sharma said this is probably the first time an elevator company has made an animated film for safety lessons in India. (Given its larger social purpose, it has not yet branded Liftman with the words KONE.) Involvement with the brand in this market is low and marketers look to distinguish their products from rivals’ in terms of technology, design, aesthetics and execution/installation. For the end user, these - and a smooth ride - are what matter, but it is usually the architect who plays a big role in deciding what brand to buy.

KONE believes it is the market leader in India, where other big elevator makers include the likes of Otis, Schindler and Johnson. The total market size is over 30,000 units per year but no value figure is available, Mr Sharma said, adding that he could not reveal information about his own company’s production or turnover details. The market is growing at 10-12 per cent per year on average and Kone is doing a little better than that, he added. Worldwide, Kone is a Euro 5 billion company.

KONE, which has a factory in Ayanambakkam near Chennai, makes elevators and escalators for residential, commercial, retail, hospitality, hospital and public transport segments. The residential sector accounts for 60-65 per cent of the industry’s business. A small but growing source of business is elevators in individual residences, Mr Sharma said.

Ms Menon said KONE’s service division, the department that actually spoke to the end users, would take the films to residences across the country. More films would be added in the future. The films are made by the Chennai-based Pixelkraft, a digital media communications company.

Published on March 09, 2011

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