Blue Star: The star of AC & Refrigeration technologies
A ‘made in India’ company, Bluestar has the widest range of air conditioning and refrigeration products in the industry. Senthil Thangam, Sr GM, Commercial Air Conditioning, and Srinivas Reddy, Sr GM, Commercial Refrigeration, Blue Star Limited share more.
Blue Star is India's oldest air conditioning and refrigeration company and is currently also in sync with the Atmanirbhar objectives of PM Modi. This is both an achievement and a matter of pride for India and your brand per se. Can you give us a brief outline about your projects and plans for the next two years in India across segments?
Blue Star is a proud Indian Company; we have been making in India and making for the world for over 77 years now. We have the widest range of air conditioning and refrigeration products in the industry.
Specific to commercial air conditioning, we have launched many new innovative products much ahead of others in the market. We recently introduced the next generation Inverter Ducted Systems and Inverter Scroll Chillers. We will be launching the Configured Large Capacity Screw Chillers up to 600 TR and the 5th Generation Side Discharge VRF this year.
Speaking of commercial refrigeration, India is far behind developed economies and even other ASEAN peers in Commercial Refrigeration adoption, therefore, there is a significant growth opportunity in this category. We are the market leaders in Modular Cold Rooms, Deep Freezers, and Storage Water Coolers. Further, we are augmenting our Deep Freezer manufacturing capacity with a new plant which is coming up in Wada, and is expected to be operational by the end of the year. Deep Freezer is a critical last mile product in the cold value chain and helps reduce wastage. Our products are mapped across value chains of any industry. We will be continuously exploring new opportunities as the Commercial Refrigeration market gains scale and size.
Blue Star is also a very important player in the Indian Hospitality Industry given the Company’s state-of-the-art air conditioners and refrigerators, of every variant. Can you share with us some specifics of your product offerings for the Indian Hospitality Industry across various segments (luxury, to economy and midscale hotels to stand alone mom and pop hotels)?
For large-scale luxury hotels, we offer high efficiency Oil Free Centrifugal Chillers and Configured Screw Chillers. Likewise, for mid-scale hotels, we offer the 5th Generation VRF Systems. For the stand-alone mom-and-pop category, we have the next generation Inverter Ducted systems which are combined with the Concealed Split systems. All the above products are highly energy-efficient even in varying part loads for the typical hotel application. The systems are also integrated with advanced controllers which enable the customers to operate it effectively.
Refrigeration is a critical necessity in the Hospitality industry, regardless of size and type of formats. Refrigeration, being an essential element of the infrastructure, is an important lever to build scale, to contain food losses, to optimise supply chain, and most importantly, to achieve the quint-essential customer satisfaction and loyalty.
We are the only company in India which offers products and solutions across the entire Commercial Refrigeration value chain except Transport Refrigeration. Our wide basket includes Modular Cold Rooms, Deep Freezers, Bottle Coolers, Visi Coolers, Multi-deck chillers, Vertical Freezers, Islands, Pastry Cabinets, Freezer on Wheels, Storage Water Coolers, Bottled Water Dispensers, apart from wide range of Refrigeration required in Healthcare and Hospitality segments including Kitchen Refrigeration.
While we would like you to share here all your product offerings targeted at the Indian hospitality industry, do list out your newest product offerings and innovations which will make it hard to ignore Blue star in a product buying decision?
As we are in the middle of a challenging pandemic the safety of our customers in the Hospitality Industry is paramount. Blue Star was quick to develop a range of products with Virus Deactivation Technology (VDT) including the below:
* Products with Special Filters
* Products with UVGI (Ultra Violet Germicidal Irradiation)
* Treated Fresh Air Units
Specific to refrigeration for the Hospitality industry, in addition the range mentioned earlier, our range of products include Reach-in Coolers and Freezers, Under Counters, Saladettes, Backbar Chillers, Blast Freezer and Coolers, Combo Freezers & Chillers, Air-cooled and water-cooled Refrigeration systems for Walk-in Chillers, and Freezers, amongst others. We also offer holistic solutions, and have the capability to cater to any kind of refrigeration requirement for the Hospitality sector, regardless of whether it is luxury, economy, mid-scale, stand-alone restaurants, mom-and- pop hotels, high-street food kiosks, and QSRs. Our solutions approach, backed by our deep domain knowledge, is well respected by the Hospitality consultants and chefs.
Can you give us some indication on the kind of service and technology back-ups that you will be able to provide the Indian Hospitality industry?
On the service front, Blue Star is the country’s largest after-sales air conditioning and commercial refrigeration service provider with a spectrum of world-class customer service solutions and other value-added services. Backed by our value proposition of Gold Standard service delivery, Blue Star has extensively expanded its service reach to Tier 2, 3 and 4 towns and is currently serving to 3900 towns.
In particular, for air conditioning, Blue Star has the largest service network in the industry with over 2 million tonnage of air conditioning systems comprising our Annual Maintenance contracts. We have integrated technology with our dealer network to give superior customer experience. We are also offering Remote Monitoring Service (RMS) whereby the project sites are connected with our centre located at Mumbai. This enables us in regularly monitoring the performance of the system and resolving issues as and when they arrive.
How does Blue star make for a competitive edge for its brand and product offerings in this highly competitive field?
We continue to invest in R&D and manufacturing in order to remain competitive and ahead of the curve. Blue Star’s R&D has over 135 employees, best-in-class infrastructure including performance test labs, reliability testing facilities, electronics lab, design studio, and high end workstations for CAD and analysis, amongst others. Today, with many patents to its credit including the four won during FY20, the Company prides itself on having one of the best R&D centres in the Indian HVAC industry. Besides, our dedicated investments in R&D and manufacturing have enabled us to develop products and solutions to suit Indian conditions.
Since we spend considerable time and investment in the development of innovative products, our products are unique and differentiated, which give us an edge. For example, the VRF systems made by us are designed for operating in Indian conditions like delivering full capacity at 43 degree C, Capable of working at wide operating voltage 320 V to 460 V and non-stop cooling even at 56 C. In the case of screw chillers, every component like coolers, condensers and compressors, are customised to suit the exact requirements of the customer. Depending on the capacity, efficiency and pressure drop requirements, each chiller will be tailor-made for the customer’s specific needs.
Air conditioning being a high energy consuming segment, can you elucidate on how Blue Star trumps in this area to become a valuable proposition for any hotelier, public or corporate sector undertaking to consider it as a number one offering.
We have shifted to eco-friendly refrigerants in all our product categories. We have also developed highly energy-efficient products by integrating the inverter technology with advanced electronic controllers. Blue Star is also the first company to get the 5 Star labelling in the Oil free Water Cooled Centrifugal Chillers and Air Cooled VFD Screw Chillers category. The 5th Generation VRF of Blue Star is designed to deliver high efficiency even in high ambient conditions. We also offer the Next Gen Inverter Ducted systems which are 25 per cent energy efficient than the conventional systems. The after sales service network is very crucial to maintain the system efficiency for several years after the installation.
We are one of the first companies to adopt cyclopentane technology in Walk-in Cold Room PUF panel manufacturing and migrate to eco-friendly R-290/R-600 refrigerants in the entire range of refrigeration equipment that goes into the Hospitality industry. We collaborate with relevant stakeholders on skill development in the Commercial Refrigeration domain, by way of regular technical trainings to technicians at our modern training centres. This will help build capacity in the sector in the long run.
The suggestion for hoteliers is to carefully scrutinise their needs and choose the right kind of energy-efficient products for their hotels along with ensuring that the company which they choose is capable of offering uninterrupted world-class after-sales-service.
This article was published in BW hotelier issue dated '' with cover story titled '6TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL ISSUE VOL 7, ISSUE 1'
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