Fire Safety & Protection in Retail Sector, Hochiki Europe (UK) Ltd

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Rohit Harjani, Country Manager, India Sub Continent, Hochiki Europe (UK) Ltd – India Branch Office

Q. What are the fire protection/detection trends globally & in India?

As we are moving towards concentration in cities, the need for fire alarms is growing. The rural areas also getting busier in terms of business and warehousing therefore mandatory laws are being pushed even in those areas. This creates a need for fire detection and protection equipment and most areas now need advanced technologies due to complex structures being built.

Fire detection is the base for any fire-fighting equipment to authenticate fire beside naked Eyes. Countries like Norway and UK base every-thing on fire detection due to which most fires are controlled at nascent stages. There was a massive fire due to the usage of flammable construction material but the government has taken stringent measures to eradicate the sources of fire in raw material used for construction.

There has been a lot of R&D going on in the field of ESCAPE ROUTE LIGHTING SYSTEM dedicated for evacuation in case of any emergency including Fire emergency. Intelligence has now been added by Hochiki to make this system more effective.

Q. What are the new opportunities growing in retail industry’s detection solution in India?

We expect retail industry to grow in India big especially with online selling. Therefore warehouses for online retail companies will be opened and will give the country a lot of employment opportunities. These warehouses will give us a lot of opportunities for fire detection systems to be installed. The POS sales stores in Malls also give us big opportunities to extend the fire alarm systems sales and services.

I foresee retail parks to be opened in India which are a concept in countries like UK, USA and Australia. These retail parks will give us massive fire detection and protection opportunities.

Q. How is Hochiki managing with the rising demand in India?

Hochiki has been growing at a very decent pace in India and we are happy that our sales and marketing strategy is suiting the marketplace. To manage the demand, the company plans to open a warehouse in India which is nearly there. This will reduce the lead time and increased customer satisfaction will be seen with quick replacement service if needed. We have been expanding in India and Hiring which is creation of wealth of employment for the nation which is in Line with Anglo-India-Japan trade understanding.

Q. What are the key challenges for installing Detection systems?

The key challenges for System Integrators are laying of cable, calculation of loop length and commissioning of site as per customer requirements within limitation of law. We, at Hochiki try our best to train installers on Testing and commissioning of fire detection systems wherein we explain the importance of loop calculator software that is given free of cost to them for calculating the loop length in Hochiki systems.

We also explain to them the usage of cause and effect programming and how easy it is in Hochiki systems. A lot more can be achieved out of Cause and effect programming which commissioning engineers do not wat to do on other systems.

Q. Do you have any plans and expectations for this segment in the current year.

Retail has very big potential in India because India I see India as the biggest consumer market of the world. Indians create demand and world provides it. With the rapid increase in the middle class in India, it has encouraged the world to invest in India and retail would benefit the most if government becomes flexible on Multi brand retail. If multi brand retail clears the legal glitches then I see a massive growth in construction of stores, warehouses and retail parks which will see growth of the fire Industry as a whole. Warehousing and retail parks must be established between 2018-20123.

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