Bharat B Patel | President, India Pump Manufacturers Association (IPMA).
What has changed for the pumps segment after BEE put in norms for the sector?
For the consumers and the market the star rating in the initial years appeared very attractive, but in the past few years, the market has failed to register the expected response for star rated products. This is because a majority of the consumers are from agricultural background, constituting 45 per cent of the domestic pump market. Remember, electricity is free for this segment of consumers, and they are not really bothered about the product being energy efficient. For them, their requirement of pumping water should be met. One good thing that happened in the recent past is that the government departments have started insisting on the installation of star rated pumps. This is possible because the work is awarded through tenders. However, barring that, there is no real movement for energy efficient motors from smaller consumers. If you compare the price of star rated and non-star rated products, the difference is not much and availability for both is equal.
How much has standardisation helped the Indian pumps segment?
ISI standardisation has been in existence in our country from 1984 and has definitely helped the pumps and pumping system markets. Standardisation gave consumers more power in terms of quality of products. Again, while today consumers recognise standardisation and ask for ISI mark products, it took some time. The change didn´t happen overnight but will take some years.
I feel, it is going to be the same for energy efficiency (star rating) in products And I am hopeful that the change will happen in the near future.
What is the roadmap for next three years?
Indian products are on par with the ones available globally, in terms of technology. Price wise, it may be more advantageous for a global consumer and export markets have been exceptionally good for pumps and pumping systems. The domestic market for the last few years is not growing as projected, but this sluggishness has been more or less covered by the exports. Major exports are to developed countries: USA, UK, UAE. But, while in South Africa our market share is very less, we see it growing fast in the coming years. We are also initiating steps to capitalise on upcoming opportunities in this market. Currently, 10 per cent of the manufactured products are exported. The aim is to increase the share to 30 per cent exports in the next three years.
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