Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Leadership is a journey, not the destination

SVP & Head of SAARC, Raman Koul says that leadership is a continuous achievement that is accomplished through strong customer engagement - the core practice of ASSA ABLOY India

Published: Aug 3, 2022 05:06:43 PM IST
Updated: Aug 9, 2022 02:37:10 PM IST

Leadership is a journey, not the destinationRaman Koul - SVP & Head of SAARC

ASSA ABLOY is a Sweden-based group and has been around in the Indian market for 10 years. We are the global leaders in access solutions and provide opening solutions, trusted identities, entrance automation, and services for institutional and commercial customers, as well as for the residential market. We marked our footprint in manufacturing in India through the acquisition of a state-of-art production unit at Jamnagar in 2017, which echoes our commitment to provide hardware and fittings as needed for the Indian consumer market.

Could you shed some light on the innovations happening in ASSA ABLOY’s product portfolio?

If you look at ASSA ABLOY globally, it is one of the most innovative companies in the world. Innovation is in our DNA, and our products undergo a significant R&D process before they are made available to customers through our global supply chains. Our state-of-art R&D activities along with our broad range of products – be it digital, electromechanical, or mechanical products – is what gives us a significant edge. With such a diverse range of product portfolios across technologies, we emerged as a national preferred choice for our distributors, customers, and other channel partners. We can assure you they do not have to look elsewhere for a solution – we have it all in-house. We have built up a customer-focused organization to address the present and future needs of customers in our region and specifically develop products for the regional markets and manufactured in the country itself at Jamnagar. We will be rolling out a wide range of new products into the market in the coming years – primarily in the architectural hardware and door control products segment.

Also, innovation is not only about products; it is also about processes. Given this, we are also investing in the latest software that can provide a quick solution to our customers on their requirements. These are very customer-focused processes to improve customer experience management. Because businesses, ultimately, are not just about delivering innovative products, but also making it easier for customers to do business with us.

What are the latest state-of-the-art products/technologies launched by your company?

We are a company that continuously enhances the security levels of our products which are in line with global standards. We are launching a new range of products and solutions which deliver a higher level of security and ease of operations. Our comprehensive electromagnetic and electromechanical solutions are developed to meet the security needs of highly confidential areas like data storage facilities and other data centers. Likewise, our Aperio and Incedo range of locking systems are here to revolutionize the security plans of sensitive information facilities. Additionally, to align with our sustainability efforts, we have developed green building specifications that cater to low power usage. To extend our expertise for a better experience, we are launching architectural consultancy services that enable us to advise the right fit and right security solutions as per our customer requirements. These solutions scale from mechanical locks to smart locks with in-built applications across different price ranges.

Make in India

ASSA ABLOY has a long-term vision for India, which includes having a strong manufacturing base. The SMI facility based in Jamnagar produces a range of door hardware that is being supplied to our markets overseas. We are also ready to develop products in India in the future if our supply chain is disrupted due to regulatory changes. I am also confident that we will be setting up more factories in the country going forward.
For us, make in India is an initiative to develop products that are designed to meet the requirement of local customers. But we also have a host of innovative and technologically advanced products and solutions that are being manufactured at locations around the world. Through our finely tuned logistics infrastructure, we are making sure that all these global products are available for Indian customers at the right cost, quality, and delivery schedule.

“But I’m right there, always listening to our customers and acting on their feedback after they’ve used our product and service, or even otherwise”

Customer engagement is an ongoing journey and one of our core values. I always believe that people are our biggest assets and engaging with customers to the point of obsession is the only way to a sustainable and profitable business. India is a very diverse country and therefore it is imperative that as a customer-obsessed organization, we are available to them through an omnichannel approach. We are accessible on multiple channels, be it retail, projects, system integrators, or e-commerce, we are always available.

To further facilitate customer delight, we have shared the contact details of our product leaders and the leadership team on our website. The last name on the list is mine, as that is where the buck stops. Many may think that this is like being on a firing line. But I’m right there, always listening to our customers and acting on their feedback after they’ve used our product and service, or even otherwise. We have always endeavored to make it easy for customers to do business with us.

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