GRUNDFOS : Extending the horizon through quality & innovation

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Mr. George Rajkumar, Chief Operating Officer, Production, Grundfos Pumps India Pvt Ltd
Mr. George Rajkumar, Chief Operating Officer, Production, Grundfos Pumps India Pvt Ltd

Q. Grundfos Pumps being one of the leading manufacturers of pumps in India & has established its brand in the pumps market, how did in the last few years grundfos achieved remarkable position in Indian market?

Grundfos has always remained steadfast in its policy of providing innovative products that add value to the consumers while also being sustainable. This has been our USP, and with customers increasingly becoming value conscious rather than cost conscious, our solutions have found greater relevance in their operations. Additionally, the emergence of next tier of economic hotspots in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns of India has created new demand pockets that are driving growth of our business. The technical superiority, reliability and efficiency of our products are difficult to match and as such we are able to create our own space in the market.

Q. Can you please brief us about international alliances & Grundfos global infrastructure?

Grundfos is present in more than 55 countries with over 80 companies, 40 Manufacturing plants and 13 distribution centers across the world.

International Alliances:
Our pump solutions have a significant positive impact on the UN Sustainable Development Goals #6 (water) and #13 (climate) by securing safe and reliable water for people and by reducing energy consumption.

Grundfos is one of the partners in the Water Technology Alliance and Danish Water-Alliance which solves problems in the US Water Missions International and Grundfos have entered into a partnership to implement safe drinking water projects for 24 communities in Southeast Asia, providing access to safe drinking water for an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 people.
The global water crisis is highlighted as one of the world’s biggest issues in the future. Grundfos joins forces with WaterAid in an international collaboration to tackle the global water crisis.

The Danish Refugee Council provides Grundfos knowledge about water shortage in African countries. Based on this knowledge, Grundfos does both donating and doing business with local communities to make sustainable water solutions. Grundfos India along with ten other private sector firms have come together to form the Alliance for Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE) to promote energy efficiency among industries and households.

Q. What are the latest initiatives Grundfos has undertaken in industrial pumps space? Which are your focus areas?

In India, Grundfos has always focused on the ‘No-standard’ pumps for special applications like high temperature, high inlet pressure etc. The focus area today is E-pumps. With digitalization being the mantra of the day, there is a buzz around these products which are pumps with built-in frequency converters, energy saving features, VFD and sensors. The pumps are also compact and hence space saving which makes it an attractive solution for various industrial needs.

Q. What are the market opportunities for Grundfos products in India? How do you plan to position these products?

The market is doing well in India as far as industrial applications are concerned. Of course, water treatment is the biggest opportunity, not only in the country but across the globe. Desalination pumps, high pressure pumps used in water treatment are the ones holding the biggest shares in this business. The addition of new technology dosing pumps and systems add value to the customers who are looking at complete water treatment solutions. Today, Grundfos is offering dosing pumps with 1:3000 as turn down ratio which is unmatched by anyone in the industry. Offering these pumps along with the standard high-pressure pumps and low-pressure transfer pumps as a complete packaged solution, makes it special for Grundfos.

Q. In order to sustain at frontier position, what are the marketing strategies that are applied & will be applied for Indian market?

As mentioned earlier, the offering of E-pumps (i-solutions) is a clear differentiator for Grundfos. These motors with built-in frequency converters are of IE5 rating which is a very advanced technology. In India, IE3 is still considered as Premium motors and we are already offering IE5.

Positioning these products for various applications in the industry and riding the wave of digitalization is the strategy that Grundfos adopts in India.

Q. Can you please elucidate the contribution of technology innovations in the success of Grundfos products?

Technology plays an important role in the way we design and develop our products. Our customers have become extremely tech savvy and they need products suiting their needs. Our solutions provide them exactly that.

Grundfos iSOLUTIONS is one such solution. With its state-of-the-art pump intelligence, it ensures that all the pumps, drives, control & protection units, measurement and communication units all work together as one complete, energy efficient and connectivity-based system.

Under the iSolutions range, we have Grundfos’ SMART Digital XL DDA and DDE dosing pumps that can dose in accurate measurements, which cuts out unnecessary chemical consumption, while consistently reaching processing targets.

SMART Digital XL DDA and DDE are all based on tried and tested Digital Dosing™ technology from Grundfos. They offer powerful, variable-speed motors, a universal power supply, and a full-PTFE diaphragm that meets the most demanding requirements for chemical resistance and durability. The pumps open a broad range of dosing applications.

Q. Brief us about the quality policy for Grundfos business?

At Grundfos we make sure that, our products are not only energy efficient but are also environmentally safe.

Quality management in GRUNDFOS, ensure the reliability of the products & customer satisfaction through continual improvement and development towards the zero defects philosophy at all stages from product development through purchasing, production and distribution to marketing, sales and service. We continuously assess and improve the environmental impact of all our activities by prevention of pollution in compliance with legal & other requirements and by considering the life cycle assessment of the products & services, to promote a culture of sustainability for a greener and cleaner planet. We engage our employees to set a good example of how to show respect and care for the environment.

Q. Please highlight more about Grundfos top line product range. Is there any new launch or in pipeline stage?

While the CR, Vertical in-line pumps, still leads the important product portfolios in India for Grundfos, there are a few top products that closely follow the leader. Yes, There are a few launches expected this year. The new products will be launched phase wise. Of course there are many digitalized solutions are in the pipeline which will be a trend setter in the market.

Grundfos has a wide range of intelligent pumping solutions. Few that have been key in solving water related issues are:
Grundfos’ Demand Driven Distribution (DDD) is a unique pumping solution where the supply of water is programmed as per the demand at the consumer’s end. This system can automatically monitor grid use patterns with remote sensors and adjust the water pressure accordingly using a Grundfos software algorithm.

Another smart solution is our Grundfos Remote Management. This is an internet-based, secure and technologically advanced system which helps in the monitoring and managing pump installations in commercial buildings, water supply networks, wastewater plants, etc. with minimal human intervention.

Q. How do your perceive Indian pumps industry against the global market?

Indian pumps industry is still experiencing a growth stage, barring a few blips. This is contrast to certain other markets, especially in the west, where the growth has been much slower as demand comes from replacement need rather than first time need. Industries such as power, manufacturing and water management are expected to experience both volume and technology growth. This is contrast to other markets where technology innovation may not be supported with scale that Indian market provides.

Q. What are the key technological trends that are driving pumps industry?

While the conventional pump technology still holds fray, the emergence of modern features such as Remote Monitoring, Distributed Demand Control, IoT are some of the technologies that will become widespread in the future.

At Grundfos, we have already been developing such smart products to suit the needs of our customers. We were the first ever pump company to introduce electronics in pumps. Even before the boom of IoT one of our early technologies had made it possible for our pumps to send messages directly to the pump owners regarding all the information about the status of the pumps etc. Over the years we have developed numerous intelligent pumping solutions that are being used world over. As today’s generation has become extremely technology savvy, we are also taking appropriate steps to make our digital interactions simpler, more integrated, and effective.

Also recently we launched a mobile application called SmartServ. This app helps reduce the communication gap between the end users and our engineers. Just like any other app you can easily locate a service provider nearest to you, fill in the required details of the complaint/request, attach a picture of the pump/system and raise the service request. You would receive an acknowledgement of the request within four hours. A user – friendly mobile app, it is easily available on iOS, Android and Windows.

Q. According to you what is the future of the Indian pumps industry?

The future of Indian Pump industry is definitely bright. The potential for pumps is huge. With rise of smart cities, the need for smart and innovative solution will also increase. These cities would need efficient water supply and sewage systems, smart solutions for efficient usage of energy etc. This is where our solutions come in. As aforementioned, we are equipped with smart solutions that can tackle any water related problem with ease.

Q. According you what are the factors affecting to your business?

Slowdown in key markets such as real estate has impacted demand to a certain extent. To add to that, import of low cost alternatives tend to divert certain customers away who might be looking for lower upfront costs. However, our long-term outlook remains stable and we see these factors as mere aberrations in our growth path.

Q. What are the issues you need to address that are related to pumps industry?

A major issue we face is that people only focus on the cost of the pump. They buy the cheapest option shown to them rather than looking its quality and efficiency. This leads to inefficient utilization of energy, huge operating expenses and constant break-downs. It is also necessary to make sure that these products comply with the set standards – environmental or others. It is thus imperative we focus at the life cycle cost of a pump, its energy efficiency and the reduction of the carbon footprint left behind.

Q. According to you what are the measures to be taken by Indian manufacturers in order to compete with global players?

Understanding of the dynamics of the market, innovation driven by local needs and adhering to strict quality standards are critical to sustain the market leadership in the face of competition. Such strengths are built over time and act as strong competitive advantages over new/recent market entrants, irrespective of their global market position.

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