Otis is ready to move future cities through digitalisation and a commitment to ESG
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Otis is ready to move future cities through digitalisation and a commitment to ESG

Otis is ready to move future cities through digitalisation and a commitment to ESG

Nader Antar, Head of Strategy and Chief Transformation Officer, Otis EMEA, and President, Otis North and Central Europe, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, shares how the company has embraced digitalisation while consistently supporting infrastructure development and delivering on its ESG commitments

Gulf Business

What are some of the key trends impacting the elevator industry?
Urbanisation and digitalisation are two key developments impacting the construction industry both globally and in the Gulf region. As over half of the world’s population currently lives in cities, urbanisation is rapidly increasing. According to the World Bank, this figure should reach 70 per cent by 2050. To accommodate this growing urban population, buildings are getting taller, with skyrise housing and commercial development reshaping the landscape of cities. According to the Centre for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the number of buildings over 200 metres has quadrupled since 2000, making vertical transportation the backbone of any building.

Otis has been strongly supporting this trend over the past decades. Our high-rise elevators have enabled architects and construction companies to design and erect cutting-edge projects that transform a run-of-the-mill approach to development.

Our world is also becoming increasingly digitalised. IDC, a technology consulting firm, predicts that there will be more than 42 billion connected devices by 2025. This hyper-connectivity is bringing new levels of intelligence to the places where we live, work and commute so the need for more advanced, digital, integrated and connected vertical mobility solutions is increasing. In other words, modern elevators must be ‘smart’ or connected.

We have been embracing digitalisation for several years now – we integrate elevators as a vital part of the building ecosystem, leveraging new technologies such as the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence. They have helped us in the deployment of data-based solutions both in new equipment and service. Such innovations rely on proactive data analytics for predictive maintenance and our smart dispatching systems manage varying traffic patterns, making the rides safer, quicker and more comfortable for the passengers.

What are the factors driving the company’s growth in the region?
Otis has been present in the GCC for more than 45 years supporting local governments’ vision for urban mobility.

Sustainable urbanisation is now reflected in every national vision. For instance, the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 states that the emirate will go on leveraging its strategic position and relying on the construction and engineering industries as the key enablers of economic success. Major investment in construction is also on the list of vital economy-driving pillars in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, Kuwait’s National Development Plan until 2035 and the Qatar National Vision 2030.

Vertical transportation along with infrastructure and real estate development will play a vital role in making these visions a reality. From residential buildings and infrastructure facilities to mass transit, our local teams use a needs-based approach working closely with our clients to ensure they have the most suitable and efficient elevators, escalators and moving walks for their specific needs in each project, as it has been done in Terminal 2 of Kuwait International Airport.

We also provide tailored aftersales service packages throughout the lifetime of their units through the recently launched Signature Service, currently available in the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait. We’ll also roll out this cost-efficient predictive maintenance solution in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain soon.

How is Otis delivering on its environmental, social and governance commitments?
For us, business performance and corporate social responsibility go hand in hand, so we are setting our vision and mission in motion, focusing on what matters most for our passengers, customers and society. In line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we have set particular targets that strengthen our ESG commitments in health and safety, governance and accountability, environment and impact and people and communities. Following that, in 2021, we became a signatory to the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative.

We are very proud that Otis UAE is taking part in the second edition of Made to Move Communities, the company’s global corporate CSR programme. It focuses on making mobility more inclusive eliminating barriers to mobility and supporting STEM education. Our team in the UAE is working with GEMS Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis, in Dubai, to engage young minds to create new, innovative mobility solutions that address the problems of the aging population in their local community. This way, we are eager to prepare the next generation for the rapidly evolving global workplace, which is estimated to have as many as 50 million unfilled STEM jobs by 2030.

How do you envision the future of mobility?
For Otis, it’s the evolution of the elevator industry where we are moving towards the ever-increasing expectations of simpler, smarter, more connected and digitally native solutions.

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