Klaus India is a 50:50 joint-venture of NKB Technologies and Klaus Multiparking System GmbH. With over 50,000 installations in India, Klaus India has emerged as a leading provider of both semi automatic and fully automatic parking systems. Nitin Bhave, Director, Klaus Multiparking System Pvt Ltd, and Managing Director, Automag India Pvt Ltd & NKB Technologies spoke to TrafficInfraTech about the company’s growth over the last decade and its plan for expansion.
Klaus Multiparking System is engaged in creating a variety of mechanized and automated car parking solutions. Klaus GmbH has experience of over 50 years with over 700,000 installations world over. How has the journey been for Klaus in India?
The original business of Pune based Automag started with building/developing production lines for automotive business. We have been doing a lot of business for Maruti Suzuki, Honda, and Toyota in India; and while we were doing this business, we realized that there were a lot cars coming on the streets. And that’s when we realized, the future product and demand was for ‘Parking’. With so many cars present on the streets, there was insufficient infrastructure for them. We were handling cars in
production side, now, with parking business, we were working on the post-production business too.
We did a small study and agreed we could build a product for Parking. We found Klaus as a renowned and reputed European company, who didn’t have any presence in Indian subcontinent. We agreed upon having Klaus’ dealership, and even started speaking to architects and builders. However, we found that there were a lot of reservations in installing this product in India. We bought a few of Klaus’ stack parking and installed at our immediate customer sites. However, price was an important factor. The imported price of German equipment was too expensive for the Indian market.
So it was logical for Klaus to enter India with a joint venture with us in 2002-2003.
After this joint venture, our first target was to educate the architects and developers. We spend almost two-years in educating people and in localizing the systems. Our target was to achieve 100% localization and in two years’, we did manage to do 70%. This helped reduce the price. So when the prices went down, market automatically started accepting the product. Our initial market was Mumbai followed by Bengaluru.
What are the different categories of Products?
Stack Parking is the simplest kind of parking where we put one car over the other and you just double up the space. The disadvantage in this parking is that if you want to take out the car from the top you need to pull out the car from the bottom but it still accommodates two cars in the given space and is the cheapest of the products.
Automatic Puzzle System is like a number of pigeon holes, two level or three level. One pigeon hole is kept empty. One has to slide that pigeon hole, and then park the car. It is an independent system which does not have to retrieve the cars parked below. Users can take the car out directly.
The fully automatic system could be prepared as per the site requirement. It is a customized solution which user can make or install it under the basement or wide.
What parameters are considered before suggesting a particular system to the client?
In our experience, we realized that the customers were looking for the time it takes to park and retrieve the car. It is not just one-two or three minutes that counts in parking the car, but it is the application of the parking system that is more important. Imagine that the system is extremely fast, and it pulls out or parks the car in one minute. For e.g. the application in a cinema hall is very different, hundred people come to park or retrieve their car. In this case, it will take 100 minutes for the 100th guy to park or retrieve his car. Here, we provide solution like Parking Automat or Puzzle parking where the waiting time is only three cars. We started training our staff and also gave training for the developers and architects about the system.
Safety and Quality norms followed by Klaus:
Another important factor that we keep in mind is maintaining the German standard of quality. Klaus Germany was making the system as per the European norms. There were two European norms; one that relates to the parking system itself and two, the norm that is related to machinery directly. This means any machine built has to fulfil the safety norms. We combined these norms while developing the Indian product.
As we were developing the product according to the European standards, we did not want to limit ourselves to just the Indian market. Today, we have our presence in 100 countries with 100 dealers world-over.
So how are you foreseeing the growth?
We make/build high value but cost-effective products with German technology. Now, the cost effective products are produced out of India and the high value products from Germany. There are only two production bases for manufacturing, one in Germany and another in India.
Our first factory was established in 2005–06 in Shirwal, Pune and, this factory was up to its capacity by 2010-11. We built another factory at Shirwal and, now we have two factories spread over six acres of land and in more than 60,000sqft.
In the western world, conventional parking spaces were available within the city limits. Every 200m or 500m has a conventional car parking, where user can go and park their cars. However, in India, nobody could anticipate that there would be great demand for cars and the production levels in India would go so high. So only a few conventional car parking’s were built in the city centers. Hence to cope up with the current demand with limited space, the only solution is to use mechanized multilevel parking.
Smart Management to solve our parking woes:
The other aspects of parking which I would like to highlight is on-street parking that is taking away the carriageway. We are trying to build more roads; construction of more roads is not an easy job; it is expensive, it is time-consuming but if you just take away the on-street cars you already have a huge carriageway.
People who are in the practice of on-street parking always look for an empty space to park the cars. It is not the right way of parking; it hinders the traffic and also becomes the main cause for accidents.
Klaus system is in Mantri Mall, Bengaluru…
Yes, we also installed our automatic parking system in Mantri Mall, one of the biggest malls in Bangalore. A consultant from South Africa had advised the developers that the success of the mall depended on parking. Around 1400 cars can now be parked with Klaus Parking System.
It has created employment for people in the parking area and generated revenue. In cities like New York and London, parking is the third or fourth item on their revenue streams. So parking per se whether it is conventional or mechanized has a very large scale impact on our day-to-day lives and the question is how effectively we can get the solution to function.
You have special parking for two-wheelers?
Two wheeler problem is a typical Indian problem and that is why there is no western solution for that and that is why I asked our R&D team to work on this area and develop our own solution. So, now we have developed a few solutions, we are going to launch them in the market. We are looking at the price effectiveness and trying to judge the best possible solutions to introduce in the market.