Rohit Harjani, Country Manager Indian Sub-continent, Hochiki.
- Brief us about Hochiki Europe (UK) Limited.
Hochiki Europe UK Ltd is a part of Hochiki Corporation from Japan. Based in the UK, Hochiki Europe UK Ltd is a fire detection system and escape route emergency lighting system manufacturer. The company being part of Hochiki group carries most approvals like UL/FM/ LPCB/ Vds/ ATEX/ SIL/ GL/ LR/ BASEEFA in its range of products. Hochiki started in India by appointing distributors way back in 1978. Did some great installations in India but in 2015 Hochiki Europe UK Ltd decided to open a Branch office in India which could easily do the billing in local currency. We are effectively a year and half old with local billing and nearly 40 years old in terms of having our products sold in India.
- What makes Hochiki Europe (UK) Limited different to other fire protection equipment suppliers/ manufactures?
Hochiki boasts of super quality and is one of the oldest companies of the world. Completing its 100 years in 2018, Hochiki group has promised to its customers and the shareholders even better-quality products and service. I would like to speak only about Hochiki and not about the competition but one thing I’m sure of that any company that works in the fire industry and is a reputed manufacturer always invests in R&D to develop better products.
- What challenges have you faced in brand development? How did you overcome them?
Brand development is always a challenge in any region of the world. I have faced challenges in brand development. Hochiki’s brand recognition is there but brand acceptance and brand development becomes difficult because of many fire detection companies that are operating in the region. Continuous education about the brand and its products, regular meetings, marketing initiatives and regular PR has helped us build brand Hochiki.
- What role does your R & D team plays in order to enhance your product range?
Hochiki’s Global R&D team incorporates engineers in Japan, UK and USA and comprise of engineers of many nationalities in the UK and Japan. The product development is a continuous process and the team is working hard to develop better products.
- Could you please tell us about your company’s different verticals?
Hochiki India has various brands. One brand for Distribution vertical that takes care of tier 2 and tier 3 cities and 2 brands for System Integration vertical which are sold as systems in tier 1 cities mainly. The objective is to cater to the demands of even the rural and neo urban cities that need to be educated about the quality fire alarm devices and the importance of safety from fire hazards.
- What are your latest Innovations in Technology? What is the challenge in manufacturing products?
The latest that Hochiki has launched in the market is the Firescape Intelligent emergency escape route lighting system. The company is already talking of enhancing the capability of Firescape system to serve and protect better. There are no challenges in manufacturing products. It is just the approvals which take time. Hochiki is investing a lot in R&D which makes it a leader.
- What are the latest marketing initiatives you have embarked upon?
Hochiki has uniform go-to market strategies across the globe, including India. We don’t sell products directly to the end customers. We go majorly through the distributors and that is why we have such a strong partnership network across the globe. Hochiki always aims to ensure that the interests of its partners are safeguarded. We always believed in the following:
• Listening to our customers
Our customers are our best source for details about our successes and often it is their feedback that provides the best insights into the experience we are providing.
• Participating in business social media
Participating on social media allow us to build an audience of people who are interested in what we should say, and who are eager to show their support.
• Pushing niche
We prefer popular brands or companies to maximize the efforts of our niche marketing project and it is more fun and rewarding in the well-known ventures.
- Discuss your growth outlook for the region? How was the year 2016 for the company in the region from growth perspective?
India is a growing economy. Various institutions have predicted India’s growth at 8% per annum for the next 20 years. With the reforms like GST, RERA and Demonetisation I firmly believe that the country will see more reforms and therefore more growth. With growth comes the growth of construction industry which means growth of fire detection demand. Secondly, with growth comes growth of industrial sector which again triggers growth of fire detection systems. I personally feel that fire and security will see a growth of 15% yoy.