The country’s pump market can be segregated on the basis of end use. The main sectors in which pumps are used are agriculture/irrigation, building services, water and wastewater/sewage, and industrial uses in the power, oil and gas, and metals and mining sectors.
The domestic pump industry has efficiently indigenised almost every type of pump that is used across infrastructure sectors. Solar-powered pumping systems have emerged as a promising solution for the issues related to energy shortage and erratic power supply, especially in the agricultural sector that requires a lot of water.
Pumps are generally classified into positive displacement and dynamic pumps, based on the type of operating principle. Displacement pumps can be subclassified as rotary and reciprocating pumps, while dynamic pumps can be centrifugal or special effect pumps.
Most of the pump market (about 95 per cent) comprises centrifugal pumps, while the remaining 5 per cent are positive displacement pumps. Agriculture and building services account for the major portion of demand at 46 per cent of the market in terms of value, while the rest of the infrastructure sectors together account for the remaining 54 per cent. This segment of the pump market is technology-intensive and hard for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to penetrate into. Almost 95 per cent of the country’s demand is met by domestic pump manufacturers and about 5 per cent through imports. Thus, both Indian and foreign firms play a role in the domestic market.
The pump industry’s structure is characterised by a high level of market fragmentation with the presence of a few big players – both Indian and multinational companies (MNCs) – and a large number of medium- and small-sized players. Some domestic SMEs have entered foreign markets such as Egypt, the US, West Asia, Greece and Italy. MNCs have either entered into joint ventures or made direct investments in the Indian market. Some of the larger Indian players such as Kirloskar Brother Limited (KBL), CRI Pumps, Texmo Industries, Jyoti Pumps, WPIL Limited and Flowmore have a considerable footprint in the pump market, and offer customised solutions to different segments. Major international players are seeing growth prospects in the country and are thus seeking to increase their presence. Foreign companies such as KSB Pumps, Grundfos Pumps, Wilo AG and Flowserve Corporation are already active in India and are leaders in industrial pumping systems. In addition, several medium-sized players such as Shakti Pumps, Falcon Pumps, Roto Pumps, Kishor Pumps, Sharp Pumps, Suguna Pumps and Aqua Sub Pumps also have a significant market share.
Intelligent pumps: Ever-increasing demand leading to introduction of new products
The growing need for proper monitoring and control of pumps has resulted in the introduction of intelligent pumps in a number of end-use industries. An intelligent pump is a system that functions by regulating the pressure or control flow. These pumps enable remote condition monitoring and energy management. Intelligent pumps can be deployed across a number of industries including water, wastewater, power generation, and oil and gas.
The ever-increasing need for companies to reduce their energy consumption is motivating pump manufacturers to enhance their products with sustainable design features. Despite several challenges, pump manufacturers in the country are continuously making improvements to enhance productivity, quality and service. There is significant engineering expertise required in pump manufacturing, and, as a result, industry players, especially leading manufacturers, are able to offer a wide variety of efficient products.
Companies engaged in pump manufacturing are constantly striving to develop and implement the latest technologies in pumps and valves. Smart, sustainable and energy efficient pumps have been gaining traction globally, and India is no exception. Pump dimensions too have seen significant advancements.
KSB Pumps launched KSBSol, a submersible pump set with high energy efficiency and reliability, suitable to run on solar power. This is a centrifugal pump in a radial and mixed flow-type construction coupled with alternating current motors. The pumps are designed and matched to the requirements of solar pumping applications such as drip irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, water supply, etc. The KSBSoI pumps are also capable of working in low sun intensity conditions.
With a view to minimising on-site installation requirements, Grundfos India launched prefabricated heating ventilation air conditioning pumping systems in the country in Feb-
ruary 2019. In addition, Grundfos India has also introduced a range of iSolution products – Magna3, TPE3, NB Skid System, CPO and wireless transmitters. These solutions help monitor pumps in real time, control them remotely, predict faults and optimise the systems to achieve maximum efficiency.
In January 2019, KBL launched two innovative pumping solutions with universal applicability. The KU6, an oil-filled 6-inch borewell submersible pump series, available in three variants, is designed to ensure higher efficiency at a lower cost, as it consumes less power. These pumps are best suited for meeting gardening and farming requirements in farmhouses and bungalows, domestic and industrial water supply, sprinkler and drip systems in farms, and firefighting systems, among others. The K-Kleen 25 has been designed for improving the quality of water delivered through pumps. The K-Kleen 25 kit, which can be mounted on any mini range of pumps, is equipped with an inbuilt in-line chlorinator and cartridge that facilitate the filtering of water flowing through the pump on which it is mounted.
Crompton Greaves, an Avantha Group company, has also introduced a wide range of energy-efficient pumps and SMS-compatible devices to operate pumps for residential, agricultural, commercial and industrial applications. As these generally consume a large amount of electrical energy, there exists significant opportunity for energy savings. The intelligent microchip technology embedded in the global system for mobile communications, the pump controller and the electronic control panels allow these pumps to be switched on and off remotely, through a mobile phone call or an SMS. Further, the pumps can be programmed to send an SMS alert to customers informing them of any shutdown or power failure. Besides, other value-added services offered include voltage display and protection from short circuits and overload.
India has also been receiving external support for ensuring efficiency in pumps. In November 2018, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $13 million grant agreement with Energy Efficiency Services Limited. The funds are to be provided by the Global Environment Facility for additional financing for an ongoing ADB-supported project to promote energy efficiency in the country. The grant is tied to the $200 million ADB-financed demand-side energy efficiency project approved in 2016. ADB has committed the funds to EESL to finance the installation of energy-efficient lights and water pumps across the country.
The way forward
The country’s pump industry has vast scope for expansion in the years to come, given the government’s mandate to push its Make in India initiative. Since the Indian pump business accounts for only 3-5 per cent of the global pump market, the opportunity is huge. The country’s pump market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10 per cent in the next few years. It is thus imperative for domestic pump manufacturers to maintain high quality standards so as to be able to compete with global players. Notably, domestic firms are focusing on improving the productivity, quality and service of their pumps. However, greater focus on the use of new materials for manufacturing pumps with better efficiency and reliability, as is the case in international markets, will prove to be beneficial for driving the market for Indian pumps.
Further, the pump market is expected to witness the emergence of intelligent pump systems. The industry has demonstrated that it has the capability of producing a wide variety of efficient pumps matching global standards and requirements. The market size for energy efficient pumps too is constantly increasing as a result of the government’s push towards the use of star-rated pumps.