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Bullish On Smart Cities' Business
'We are very confident that the Indian market will be a promising market for Swedish companies providing Smart city technologies to Indian cities,' says Michael Kindahl, Area Sales Manager, Cale Access AB
Photo Credit :
Michael Kindahl, Area Sales Manager, Cale Access AB, talks to BW Businessworld about the Swedish company's business plans for India. Kindahl participated in the recently-held Vibrant Gujarat summit.
How was 2016 for your trade and company?
We had a very successful year in a global perspective, and looking into our market introduction of Cale “Smart Parking Solution” for smart cities in India we have identified and initiated co-operation with some new distributors in India, so the outlook for the future looks positive as we introduce a tool for traffic regulation for cities with traffic congestion and our solution generates great revenue for the municipality, some surplus can be used for social projects in the community.
What are your expectations in 2017?
We have a positive feeling that municipal corporations are realising that when urbanisation increases with a pace as predicted in India, cities need to act now, and not tomorrow, they have to confront the brutal truth now, before it is too late. When cities have an average speed of 9 km/h it is getting close to a “standstill” in traffic, and very inefficient for the private and public sector, action is needed. Traffic regulation addresses the public transport in particular so people can reach work without a private car. Better to transport a lot of people with a few vehicles than a few people with a lot of cars.
We are coming into India in the long term, so we do not have any concrete figures of our sales budget for 2017 as we are in a development phase of the market as such, we are monitoring the tenders coming up, however we have a cloud based smart parking solution well in line with the “Smart Cities” missions view on IoT (Internet of Things) while some local municipal corporations insist on having a central installed software, which however could not be deployed for modern “smart parking solution”. Another important factor is that the competence of monitoring Parking violation has to move from the police to the responsibility of the Municipality, only then the “Smart parking solution” will be really successful since the police has no time to enforce parking violation as they have so much to do already and do not have time to also enforce parking violation with the result people park everywhere and cause obstacles in traffic.
Why do you like to attend Vibrant Gujarat meet?
We were invited to participate with Swedish delegation and exhibit our “Smart parking terminal” at Vibrant Gujarat in the Swedish pavilion.
What is the pull factor of Gujarat?
The fact that the State of Gujarat is very effective in many ways when it comes to e.g. manufacturing means that the state might be more willing to deploy modern technology faster than other states in order to cope and solve congestion problems.
Where does Gujarat stand among other Indian states, according to you?
As far as we know the state of Gujarat has a higher industrial output per capita compared to any other state.
Why does your intent of investments so often remain a promise on paper?
We are investing in that sense into the whole Indian Market in the way of putting up a network of Indian Cale Distributors in order to introduce our state of the art “Smart Parking Solution” to Indian cities in general and into Smart Cities in particular. We know that our solution can make a difference, especially in the field of traffic regulation, that is why we do it.
Your views on demonetisation in India?
We think it was a very good move even though it was painful for a big part of the population, maybe some measurements were very harsh, but the signal that the government is fighting corruption and the black economy that is a fact that we as a Swedish company welcome very much as Scandinavia is known to be leading when it comes to fight “Human error” in the code of conduct in business, so that goes hand in hand with the Scandinavian way of doing business based on fair-play. Scandinavia is a region where the amount of cash payment has been reduced to a minimum, which lowers the risk of theft and robbery since people in general never carry much cash with them. Furthermore it will mean that more and more people will use some kind of card payment possibilities and electronic payment via app and internet, again going in the right direction towards IoT (Internet of Things).
Your views on GST and its implementation?
We believe it is a great move from the point of view when dealing with distribution of products over state borders, since it makes it less complicated to make business between states in India, not to mention less tiresome paperwork and forms and less inefficient logistical waiting time for trucks moving goods in the interior of India.
Anything else you would like to add?
It would be great if the government bodies and Municipal bodies would consider also accepting to use cloud based solution in larger extent, which in turn can export data to their own local software solutions that would also allow the potential benefits of IoT (Internet of Things) to materialize on a municipal level to a greater extent.
What kind of investment are you looking at in India, Gujarat?
We are looking to add some more distributors to our network in India, we have already some very good distributors and just need a few more. We are very confident that the Indian market will be a promising market for Swedish companies providing smart city technologies to Indian cities. We believe we have long term quality in our smart parking solutions aiming for long-term business relations based on fair-play.