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Elevator & Escalator Industry: Riding Through 2020 & 2021

Destination dispatching systems were also used to promote efforts like social distancing. 



Sebi Joseph

Beyond touchless technologies, leading companies introduced purification products for elevators and escalators.


COVID 19 was a sudden curveball that came to all industries in 2020. While social distancing did bring a halt to many of our daily activities, it eventually gave birth to new ideas & opportunities.

In today’s world, where mobility is crucial, the importance of the elevator & escalator industry is growing. While the elevator industry was already at the start of a digital transformation, the pandemic propelled the industry further toward technology, driving it to look for solutions to combat the risk posed by COVID-19. 

As the country went into lockdown, discussions went online. Sales teams continued customer conversations through various communications tools and platforms.

Some vertical transportation companies changed the service routes for their field professionals to keep aligned with travel restrictions while still attending to unit shutdowns, COVID hospitals and other emergencies. Those same companies also enabled their support staff to work from home to help curb the pandemic’s spread. 

Companies in the vertical transportation industry began to promote products, such as touchless technologies.  In one example, companies began promoting mobile apps that paired with elevators to let passengers use their smartphones as their personal elevator call button and reduce a building’s touchpoints. 

Destination dispatching systems were also used to promote efforts like social distancing.  To elaborate, these systems can assign a limited number of passengers to an elevator car and reduce car crowding.  

Beyond touchless technologies, leading companies introduced purification products for elevators and escalators. This list includes devices such as elevator purification fans, some of which can filter dust within the cab or use an ultraviolet lamp to kill germs, or escalator handrail sanitizers, which again killed germs via ultraviolet light. These gained traction among building owners and managers. 


When you take a closer look at India, it is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The Oxford Economics’ Global cities report estimates that 17 of the 20 fastest-growing cities in the world between 2019 and 2035 will be from India. Studies have also shown that Indian cities are likely to contribute to 70% of India’s GDP by 2030.

This means that as cities accommodate even more people, we will need more buildings and taller ones at that, as land in cities become scarce. With this, India according to independent analysts, is the second-largest market for elevators and escalators in the world. The country is undergoing long-term urbanization and its infrastructure is growing accordingly. From office buildings to railway stations, companies in the vertical transportation industry are supporting a broad array of projects across the country. 

As things began to return to normal, there is much left to be done within the Indian elevator and escalator industry. One of the larger focuses that will continue is towards strengthening local manufacturing and making factories here future ready for imports.

I believe that elevator companies will continue down the path of developing more aesthetics for elevators. Technology that can save energy and is environmentally responsible will be in focus as developers work towards obtaining green certificates for their projects. Lastly but not least the elevator industry will leverage technology to find solutions to problems both old and new. The runway for India’s elevator industry is long and its potential is exciting. From here, I believe that it is only up and onwards.  

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and does not necessarily subscribe to it. shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.

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