A global group which has been constantly innovating for 100 years, Honeywell is in the forefront of many engineering solutions in India. Ashish Modi, the President of Honeywell India, talks to ET Edge Insights about their plans for growth and sustainability
You have been at the helm now since March 2023, can you talk about the impact of the leadership change and the road map for further developments?
We are in multiple cities with over 13,000 employees, including 7,000 engineers. Hence, the roadmap is in place. My primary focus is on working closely with all four of Honeywell’s businesses and actively seeking growth prospects and synergies among them.
Our core strategies for high-growth regions will remain sustainability, automation, and digitalization, as well as driving local innovation. We will drive this with a focus on strategic accounts, expanding into the mass mid-market segment through our Impact Brand, co-innovating and co-creating with our customers by leveraging our vast pool of engineering talent, and strengthening our supply chain. A key enabler of this is great talent; we drive strong talent strategies to build future skills and ensure inclusion and diversity across levels.
What are your expectations from the market this year and your business outlook?
As India’s economy grows steadily, we see immense potential in the landscape. A flourishing middle-income class, surging air travel, urbanisation, and government emphasis on digitalisation and sustainability are propelling our business prospects. Honeywell is poised to contribute significantly across these expanding sectors through specialised technologies that bolster safety, sustainability, and efficiency.
In the aerospace arena, we are a robust provider of aviation technology like APUs and Avionics. With growing infrastructure and urban development, our building technology solutions, especially in safety, security, and building management, are increasingly crucial. In the Performance Materials Technologies domain, our pioneering process licencing and automation control solutions serve complex industries, aligning with sustainability goals.
Additionally, our Safety and Productivity business enhances asset and resource productivity and safety in the retail and supply chains. Our automation, software, and productivity tools have been integral to global logistics and warehousing operations for over three decades.
Can you talk about the work you are doing with the Indian government? What are you exploring further, and how does it resonate with the Green Pledge?
We have long-standing partnerships and collaborations with the Indian government across sectors. For example, we have been working closely in the oil and gas sector for over 9 decades and similarly in the aviation and defence sectors for over 4 decades.
With the Indian Government’s strong commitment and ambition to be carbon neutral by 2070 and taking the cue from the string of measures announced around renewables, hydrogen, and reductions in carbon emissions, we are exploring multiple options to engage with the government.
Our transformative technologies in sustainability include refining technologies for SAFs like Ethanol, Jet, and Diesel that were developed by engineers in India; advancing green hydrogen and carbon capture for hard-to-abate sectors, battery storage solutions for renewables, introducing low-GWP refrigerants, pioneering the UpCycle Process Technology for plastics, building energy management solutions; and gas detection solutions to detect leakages of harmful gases. These solutions are in various stages of deployment with our global customers and have proven to be enablers in helping them meet their carbon neutrality goals. 60% of our R&D expenditure is dedicated to developing sustainable solutions for our customers.
How has Honeywell evolved from global to local sourcing?
We have steadily transformed over time, with India being a key global sourcing hub. One such example is our partnership with Navin Fluorine International Limited (NFIL), which is a supply agreement and technology licence with the company to produce Honeywell Solstice, an automobile refrigerant with a global warming potential of less than 1. This supply agreement is a unique example of how Honeywell is creating commercial relationships to meet global demand, as there is an expectation of a strong increase in demand for HFOs due to an increase in low-global warming potential refrigerants, especially in vehicle air conditioning systems globally. Similarly, we are building a supply chain across other sectors like building safety solutions, process technology solutions, etc. We also have a specialised business catering to the needs of the mid-mass segment, which is also developing solutions catered to the growing MSME segment.