Solar pumps will be our focus for rural areas

  • Interviews
  • Jan 01,20
The rise in need for more and more connected technology has pumped in more usage of data, to understand and evaluate areas of improvement and to take cues for developing new products.
Solar pumps will be our focus for rural areas

The rise in need for more and more connected technology has pumped in more usage of data, to understand and evaluate areas of improvement and to take cues for developing new products. Sanjeev Sirsi, Associate Vice President- Water Utility, Grundfos Pumps India Pvt. Ltd. takes a closer look over how data and new technology benefits the pumps industry. 
 
What factors caters to demand for pumps today? 
 
Today, about 50 per cent share of our business comes from the industrial segment. 
 
We did not land up in Indian market directly. Indian industry has got us here as the industry values efficiency. 20 years back, we came to Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone with a manufacturing facility due to higher demand for construction and building segments. Some of our pumps were exported to India with wholesome solutions and some of the industry players started importing them. On the backdrop of growing demand for energy efficient solutions and some of our regular clientele, we installed our facility in India. A kilowatt drop ij an equipment is itself a big advantage for any business. Indian industry requires 24*7 running pumps with efficiency, low maintenance, low downtime, and low power consumption and these factors are always in demand while any business is installing any machinery. Apart from these our pressure pump segment, due to its wide range of applications, caters to both industrial and local needs.
 
Did you see rise in demand for pumps after pollution control norms of 2015?
 
The Central Pollution Control Board, some years back, came up with regulations over discharging wastewater into water bodies at prescribed limits. Indeed, it did give us good market. This was mainly due to the increase in pollution control equipment, which also entered planning and budgeting of the companies involved in such business segments. This gave a rise to overall pump segment. 
 
What factors are considered during products development?
 
Earlier, when Grundfos entered Indian market, we focussed over manufacturing energy efficient products. It was the primary concern back then. Further with the advent of new technology and change in overall workflow, we started looking at the process part of customers. Based on which we offer customised products adhering to specific requirements. 
 
Which of your products are manufactured in India?
 
Currently, we are trying to make most of the products in India. We are continuously looking ahead to cut down over imports. We do have some standard products that are manufactured in India. For the same, we use casting base due to its wide availability, easy to source and we can get it at a good price. We have started producing some product ranges in India, sourcing more local material, in order to be more competitive. All kinds of controls are completely made in India.
 
Infact Grundfos India's digital offerings- SCADA and automation, are supplied to Grundfos facilities located in Africa, Middle East and South East Asia. In India, we have a team to handle our digital offerings. We also help out our companies with our digital expertise to design solutions for these markets.
 
It had also happened that we went in to discuss Rs 10 order which was later on extended to Rs 40 order, due to the extent of the value added. With us, our clients get all kinds of solutions under one roof. We can give our customers controls, data, analysis which is managed by our in-house team. This is possible as we have developed competency to for these systems. 
 
Which products will be your target for the coming year?
 
E-pumps, one of our flagship products, actually take care of the user necessities. It comprise of a standard motor, a variable frequency drive on the motor itself, which helps to give inputs like pressure, temperature, level to keep a track. Variable frequency drive helps to manage pump efficiently. These pumps are automatic pumps and have variable applications. This solution was started in 2001 with solar pumps. Earlier, the controls were outside and now they are integrated inside the pump. The data can be viewed on any media. E-pumps enable customers to preserve the data on a drive and analyse it when needed. It helps reduce water, power and system downtime for water utility systems. 
 
With industries realising potential of automation and automated workflows, we can’t be left out of the digital world. Thus, e-pumps have a promising future in the years to come. 
 
What benefits do you observe with advent of automation and data systems?
 
The applications in the automation are picking up. People understand the benefits of the data. No doubt, you get huge pool of data and junk and relevant data need to be filtered. We collect relevant data and help our customers in identifying what is the right data they want and not to take the junk data. Even government is keen on leveraging, using and identifying the relevant data.  
 
With new technology and data systems, we have more access to data. Now that we have the data more efficiently and effectively you can run equipment. Non availability means no direction as it becomes difficult to analyse. 
 
Almost all the industries have applications of pumps, while e-pump can easily integrate with the management system. Pharma, automotive and water treatment have big applications. We have provided several dewatering and anti-flooding pumps in Mumbai to cope with the heavy monsoon. Grundfos has its whole water management system installed in Mumbai. 
 
India being an agrarian nation, how your product makes difference?
 
Our approach is clear in this segment. We understand the process where the pump is used. It may be for drawing water from wells, pipelines, irrigation, storage, spraying etc. Based on the usage, we have our products and can also customise them. In of the projects we have worked on where our pumps achieved huge water savings as the old process of flood irrigation was replaced by drip irrigation. Such changes can save on water and power. 
 
In the last six years we have sold around 40 thousand pumps in rural areas. Solar pumps will be our focus for rural areas.
 
Tell us about your green initiatives?
 
Though our CSR initiative, we have also managed to keep our older pumps running with additional investment to keep a track of their operations. Grundfos being a foundation, 87 per cent of the revenue generated goes back into the foundation. We are contributing to sustainable development goal number 6 and 30. 
 
Chennai was the base in India, 20 years back and in 2004 we built our 1st gold rated green factory in India. Taking cues from green factory in India, the whole group decided that from here on all new buildings will be green buildings.
 
How do you reach your customers? 
 
We constantly meet consultants and companies and make them aware about new developments and power of data. We also hold engagement meets which help to engage customers gain more knowledge of our integrated solutions and other products.
 

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