Ramprasath ... optimistic.

While the current Covid-19 pandemic has put a damper on Bahrain-based Escon Express Lifts’ ambitious plans to expand in the Gulf region, the company has been quick to respond to market requirements for greater hygiene control and is now offering several choices to address these needs.

“We have come out with lift models featuring touchless control and car operating and landing operating panels (COP and LOP) and X-cloud options, where you can use your mobile phone to operate the lift without touching the buttons,” Ramprasath Parthasarathi, Chairman and Managing Director of Escon Express Lifts, told Gulf Construction.

Escon Express Lifts was set up in Bahrain in 2018 as a joint venture by Express Lifts India, one of the top 10 lift manufacturers in India which was founded in 1995 in Ahmadabad, Gujarat.  Thanks to the manufacturing capacity of its parent firm, Escon Express Lifts ensures quick delivery with a maximum lead time of two months and provides round-the-clock back-up service, he said.

Express Lifts India has a manufacturing capacity of 1,500 lifts per year and has to date installed more than 35,000 elevators. Its key products include hydraulic and manual lifts, goods/car elevators with a capacity of up 10,000 kg, machineroom-less (MRL) models, auto door lifts that travel at speeds of up to 2 .5 m per second (mps), panoramic/glass lifts, hospital lifts (stretcher lifts) in all capacities and automatic luxury elevators with speeds of up to 4.5 mps.

This apart, Escon Express Lifts also offers hydraulically-operated car stacker parking systems for two cars, designed for indoor and outdoor installations.

He said the company is looking forward to launching Escon Express Lifts’ home lifts and hydraulic lifts – both MR and MRL models – on the regional market.

“Our home elevators increase the value of the home, while allowing the disabled and the elderly to easily move through a multi-level dwelling,” Ramprasath pointed out.

Regarding the company’s hydraulically-operated car stacker parking systems, he said Escon Express Lifts has started getting a lot of enquiries for the product. However, he added the response from its target audience has been slow as there is a lack of awareness of it in the market.

According to Ramprasath, one of Escon Express Lifts’ unique selling points is that it can offer customised elevators to suit clients’ requirements and preferences.

“We have done a lot of customisation work for projects in India as well as in the Bahrain market, according to the shaft sizes, low pit sizes and low-height head rooms,” he pointed out. “Our factory in India has a facility and is equipped with machineries and special equipment to customise lifts as per client requirements/space available in the building.”

The current coronavirus pandemic has not enabled the company to expand in the region as quickly as it had envisioned. Although it has broken into the Saudi market with its first order, mobility restrictions have meant that the company has not been able to penetrate the market, according to Ramprasath.

“Nevertheless, we plan to target the Saudi market by the end of this year as there is huge potential, given that it is the largest market in the region,” he added.

In Oman and Kuwait too, Escon Express Lifts now intends to start operations next year.

Escon Express Lifts also has ambitious plans to build a factory in Bahrain in conjunction with Express Lifts India to cater to the needs of the region.  Ramprasath said he hopes to see the factory open by 2025, with the kingdom having been chosen as the most suitable location due to its easy access to other GCC countries.

Commenting on business, he said: “The last quarter of 2020 was good but the business levels were not as expected. Still we believe after Ramadan things will change and business will improve.”

Escon Express Lifts has to date supplied some 50 elevators to the market, primarily for villas and commercial buildings requiring two to eight stops – and these types of buildings continue to keep the company busy.

“We have lot of pending orders, so our second and third quarter of this year is already booked, he added.