Photos: Kirloskar Brothers
Jayant Sapre
Kirloskar Brothers Ltd.

The Indian pump market, which witnessed a sales growth between 8 to 10 per cent in recent years, is projected to observe a double-digit growth in future. While certain factors related to large unorganised manufacturers and free and subsidised electricity to the agriculture sector may hamper the higher growth rates, government initiatives in infrastructure development are just as likely to fuel growth in key sectors, increasing the demand for pumps, says Jayant Sapre, Director, Kirloskar Brothers Ltd.

The Indian economy experienced a resumption of growth in 2014, albeit at a moderate rate. The gross domestic product (GDP) rate is expected to increase from 4.7 per cent in FY 2013-14 to 5.5 per cent by the end of FY 2014-15. Government initiatives in the infrastructure development are expected to fuel growth in sectors such as metals and mining, cement, power, water supply, and wastewater.

Diminishing groundwater levels, rising requirement for drinking water and unpredictable monsoons increased the demand for water pumps. There was a good demand for pumps from the domestic and agriculture sector. Emerging technologies such as solar-powered water pump may see a huge demand because of non-availability or inadequate availability of electricity in some parts of the country. Proposed investments in the irrigation and oil and gas segments will create more demand for pumps in the country. Players in the industry are investing in upgrading their factories and channel network. Centrifugal pumps are being sought increasingly for applications in the water management, chemical, oil and gas, and other manufacturing industries.

The Indian pump industry witnessed a sales growth between 8 to 10 per cent in recent years. As per industry estimates, the pump market in India is set to touch Rs.10,000 crore by the end of 2014. These statistics are based on the organised market while real figures may be more considering the huge unorganised market in the country. The pump market is projected to observe a double-digit growth in the future. However, the factors related to large unorganised manufacturers, free and subsidised electricity provided to the agriculture sector, long product lifecycle and counterfeits may hamper the likelihood of higher growth rates.

Kirloskar Brothers Ltd developed and introduced products for the Indian and global market. The Primary Sodium Pump with sodium as a coolant was developed for the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR), Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (BHAVINI) nuclear power plant located at Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu. The development, in collaboration with Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, is considered to be an important milestone in India’s three-stage Nuclear Development Programme. The organisation’s focus on globalisation with increased emphasis on international business yielded good results.

New plant
In financial year 2013-14, revenues from international business contributed 33 per cent of the consolidated KBL revenues. KBL’s subsidiary, SPP Pumps Ltd, commissioned a new plant in Atlanta, USA. This is KBL’s seventh manufacturing facility outside India. KBL’s acquisition of SyncroFlo, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia, boosted its product portfolio offerings and reach in the North American market. The acquisition will strengthen packaged offerings for Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning and Refrigeration System (HVACR) market in the North American region.

Kirloskar Brothers Ltd has partnered with Peru’s National Water Authority for sharing information and experience related to the management, efficient use and best practices of water. The memorandum of understanding was signed at the Latin American Mine Water Conference, held in Peru, Lima, in September 2014.

SPP established a 10,000 sq. metre facility in Cairo, Egypt. In addition to assembling and packaging pumps, the new facility provides value-added services such as energy audits, system analysis, vibration analysis, on site testing, refurbishment solutions and maintenance contracts. The facility is the first establishment in Egypt to receive Underwriters Laboratory (UL) certification for assembly, testing and packaging of firefighting pumping units conforming to NFPA 20/FM/UL requirement.

KBL’s all-women plant at Kaniyur, Coimbatore, in Tamil Nadu, has been recognised by India’s Limca Book of Records for its Mahila Mission 20 project. The Mahila Mission 20 project saw an all women assemble a pump in 17.25 seconds, a national record.

Information technology based tools were leveraged across the entity to streamline processes in functions like marketing, after sales and supply chain and deliver incremental value to customers.

Kirloskar Brothers Ltd continued its focus on improving on its balance sheet quality continued through drop in gross current assets and gross current liabilities as compared to the previous financial year. The current upbeat business sentiment will be reflected in the industry’s performance for 2015. The earmarked investments coupled with positive energy will lead to a good demand for pumps and accessories.

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