For pumps and valves industry, the days of slumps are long gone
In the power sector, pumps and valves industry is finding a new place to shine. With new policies as well as “Make In India” initiative, the industry is moving towards the right direction. The days of slumps are long gone. The industry believes that the growth is just in the corner.
Potential in pumps and valves marketPumps and valves market has never been in a better position. Although, over the past 2 years, this industry has faced a little slump, the future has an immense potential.
“We can expect that this scenario will change soon,” says Milind B. Alwekar, Managing Director, Chemlin Pumps & Valves Pvt. Ltd. “All major pump manufacturers have either set up their manufacturing units in India or in the process of doing so, with the help of their local partners in business. We can foresee India to be developing as a manufacturing hub for the world market.”Even Mahathi Parashuram, Head – Marketing and Public Affairs, Grundfos India, thinks that there is always a huge potential for pumps in the country. He explains, “A recent study on Indian pumps industry published by TechSci Research says that the market for water pumps in India is expected to witness rapid growth at CAGR of around 12 per cent during 2015 to 2020. Agriculture and industrial sector are the major contributors to the growth of the pump industry in the country. Desalination plants are proving to be the next best water resource and with the number of such projects coming up in various locations in the country, demand for water pumps are going to be always on the increase.
“It is heartening to also see that the stakeholders both in the public and private sector are opting for energy-efficient pumps which will provide them with quality service, energy conservation and ultimately saving on their operating costs.”
V. Krishnakumar, Vice President (Sales and Marketing), Aquasub Engineering also feels that the ‘Make in India’ initiative will give a boost to all domestic industries, including pump industry. He states, “Pump being an essential part in any process is an important product. Whether it is used for clear water or dirty water or any other chemicals, you need to have the pump construction and the prime mover along with that. When thrust is given to agriculture, the demand for agricultural pumps and irrigation pumps will have huge demand. Even for agriculture today electricity is one of the major bottlenecks in all states. Just because electricity is not available, farming activities are not taking place. Same is the case with the industry.”
Key technological trendsInnovation is the key word in any industry, and pump industry isn’t any exception and experiencing a greater demand for intelligent pumping solutions. Mr Parashuram adds, “Some of the growing trends we can see in the pump industry are energy-efficient pumps to magnetic drive-based water pumps, EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) based water pumps, pumps controlled through mobile phones, sharing of signals between two pumps and pumps communicating with monitoring systems.”
She adds, “Innovation is the heart of Grundfos. We have recently launched our TPE3 range of pumps which is one of the most intelligent ranges of pumping solutions available in the country. The specialty about this pump range is that it has the capacity to communicate between two pumps to maintain high level of operational efficiency with only minimal manual controlling required.”
In the past two years, the industry sees a major focus on energy-efficient operations. Mr Alwekar explains, “This is due to a better awareness amongst the user industry on saving power as well as striving for improving environmental balance. The pump industry is also gearing up to meet the requirements of the market, introducing new models with added features in more user-friendly, automated and safe operations. The industry is seen more aggressively resorting to the use of modern design techniques, using flow simulation and structural simulation.”
Adding value to pumps and valvesThere are many subsectors that are adding value to the growth of pumps and valves market. According to Mr Alwekar, the three major sectors that would play an important role are oil, gas and petrochemical; steel industry and power sector.
Other sectors too will show a moderate rise. “Water treatment in industry and domestic purposes are going to be the key sectors which will drive the growth of the pump industry in the near future,” says Mr Parashuram. “The low availability of water and the increasing demand for delivery and treatment of water will give a boost to the water-treatment industry and in turn the demand for pumps. The rising consumption and decreasing supply of uncontaminated water is pushing up the market of desalination plants for treating seawater, in which pumps play a major role.”
He also talks about the energy efficiency and the growing demand of solar pumps. “Given that the Indian Government is focusing on 100 smart cities, this will also result in the requirement for intelligent pumping solutions.”
Key challengesThe pump market in India is mostly unorganised. Then there is the challenge of cheapest import. “Most of the time people only focus on the cost of the pump and not its quality and efficiency,” explains Mr Parashuram. “This leads to a lot of energy being consumed, huge operating expenses and constant breakdowns. In most cases, environmental and other standards are also not being met or adhered to. It is imperative that industry as well as all consumers start looking at the life-cycle cost of a pump, its energy efficiency and carbon footprint in a serious manner.”
According to Mr Alwekar, “In India the pumps and valves manufacturers are mainly facing challenges from their low-cost local competitors in the mostly unorganised sector. This is leading to promotion of un-healthy business competition. The non-uniform tax structures, frequent changes in input costs, viz. power cost and labour cost, add into limitations on the Indian manufacturers for a long-term contract with their overseas partners on price issues. Improvement in infrastructural facilities and better connectivity with Tier-II and smaller cities is required.”
The non-availability of raw material at international market price, power shortage, absence of skilled manpower and lack of support by various governments in creating demand are also other challenges.
Difference from imported productsThe Indian manufacturers are progressing quickly in the aspect of quality and price. “In the pumps and valves sector, the difference in quality and appearance is slowly diminishing, and the Indian manufacturers are slowly coming up as world-class manufacturers,” says Mr Alwekar. “The continuous improvement in foundry technology has definitely helped in this development process. However, for some special applications in the nuclear power and oil sector, the foreign companies are still better in regard to technology and better metallurgy of the pump components.”
Mr Krishnakumar thinks that India is catching up with the world-class manufacturers. He adds, “When China supplies large volume of pumps to the global market, India’s share is negligible. This is because we are not able to compete with China on price. But now China’s cost also is increasing, and India offers a better quality product than China. This will help us increase our share in global market.”————————————————————–Water treatment in industry and domestic purposes are going to be the key sectors which will drive the growth of the pump industry in the near future
Mahathi Parashuram, Head – Public Affairs, Grundfos Pumps India________________________________________________
Just because electricity is not available, farming activities are not taking place. Same is the case with the industry.
V. Krishnakumar, Vice President (Sales & Marketing), Aquasub Engineering
We can foresee India to be developing as a manufacturing hub for the world market.
Milind B. Alwekar, Managing Director, Chemlin Pumps & Valves
For pumps and valves industry, the days of slumps are long gone