Sayaji Shinde, Vice President - Power Sector, KBL.
What has changed for the pumps segment after BEE put in norms for the sector?
With the implementation of the norms introduced by BEE, significant amount of standardisation has been brought in place. This has eliminated sub-standard products having lower efficiencies. It is indeed a good step for Indian companies eyeing expansion in the global market.
How much has this helped the Indian pumps segment? Do we compare on a global scale?
Standardisation has benefited the Indian pumps segment to a great extent. It has created uniformity in various aspects, such as procurement procedures and specifications for equipment and testing. Besides, it has led to transparency in procurement practices and reduced time required for evaluation and awarding of the contract, which has certainly helped the Indian companies to stand a fair chance against the global players.
How has the market trajectory been in the last 2 years in India? Kindly quantify. In the past two years, the Indian pumps industry has grown steadily and witnessed an increase of 10 to 15 per cent.
What are the major challenges in India? What policies can help mitigate these? Apart from the minimum threshold standards specified by BEE, other innovative technology features in products are not being entirely recognised and rewarded during evaluation in some cases. These also need to be included in the ambit of evaluation criteria going forward.
What impact has the solar pumps had on the segment?
Prominence of renewable energy is certainly expected to increase further in the near future. This also includes solar energy. Obviously, the solar pumps market is bound to have a major impact on the segment. In fact, the market has witnessed a continuous growth trend and is expected to provide the required boost to the segment in a big way in years to come.
What developments has the segment seen technology-wise?
In terms of technology, the segment has witnessed several developments. Apart from the advent of high efficiency pumps and motors (IE2/IE3 motors), the other prominent developments in the segment include the introduction of brushless DC motors for solar pumping system and development of conditioning monitoring and remote monitoring devices on the pumping systems. Interestingly, in some states (such as Jharkhand), this is now being specified in the tender specification.
What is your focus on R&D?
R&D is the backbone of any manufacturing company and Kirloskar Brothers Limited (KBL) is known for offering innovative technologies for fluid management. We are focusing on introducing our LLC+ products (Lowest Life-cycle Cost). It will help customers by reducing their operating cost. It has record of demonstrating sustained efficiency. In addition, it is much easier and cheaper for maintenance.
What is your roadmap for next three years? Kindly quantify.
The LLC technology has received a favourable response from the power, industry and water sectors. In the coming years, KBL is planning to introduce the same in irrigation and sewerage pumping systems as well.