'India's water industry is a billion-dollar market'
— Hiren K. Trivedi, Director & General Manager, Eimco
Eimco Water Technologies, the water treatment group of GLV, a leading global provider of technological solutions for water treatment, specialises in the
design and international marketing of solutions for the treatment and recycling
of municipal and industrial wastewater, and water used in various industrial
processes. Hiren K. Trivedi tells Sandeep Menezes why EWT is
optimistic of growth opportunities in India in spite of the meltdown.
Is the slowdown affecting the water sector and your company?
Yes, it is affecting the industry and our company as well. Because our company
is a multinational, whenever there is a slowdown in Europe, USA or Asia, we are
affected. However, the slowdown will not have a long-term affect on our Indian
operations. The Indian water sector is growing. In fact, India and China are the
only economies that will have one of the fastest growth rates. This will bring
What is the potential investment in India's water sector?
We are looking at India's water industry as a billion-dollar market, but that is
construction-based, which means about one-third will be in equipment which we
are into. So we can say that the equipment market is worth about $300-500
million. We expect the market to have double-digit growth every year.
How much is EWT proposing to invest in its Indian operations?
We invest on an as-and-when-needed basis, but right now things are pretty
optimistic. We want to manufacture in India and also do a lot of engineering
here. We will be acting as a solutions and equipment provider. We provide
solutions for municipal and industrial wastewater segments.
We have a few offices already, one in Surat and another in Pune. We are going to
have our own manufacturing capability. GLV, our parent company, is present in
India since 1998, so we have already done the needful.
What is your growth target?
We are expecting to reach about $25-40 million in the next five to seven years.
In the next one year we may try to achieve about $5 million. We have been active
in India since 2007, so we have created a lot of contacts and a lot of
opportunities exist. Luckily, we are relatively a new startup and we don't have
high expectations for the first few years.
How much will India contribute to EWT's global sales in the next five years?
We expect India to contribute about 2 to 5 per cent of our global business in
the next five years.
Do you tie up with domestic companies?
We do tie up with contractors on a case-to-case basis. In terms of a more formal
tie-up at the corporate level, there is nothing in the pipeline yet, but our
doors are always open.
Is wastewater treatment technology an expensive option for developing nations
Upfront it may look expensive, but it is absolutely necessary. We should
implement Western engineering, do some value additions that will be suitable for
India and that will reduce cost. We must not forget that labour cost is cheaper
in India, so the cost of manufacturing will also be cheaper than anywhere else.
How can the government encourage private sector investment in the water
PPP is one way to go. The government needs to ensure transparency and
accountability. At the end of the day everybody needs to make money.
[February 16-22, 2009]