In an interaction with DTNext, he outlines the new formula that the 3.5 billion-euro water technology group has embraced and how it focuses on four major segments. “The company has organised its functions to serve four different customer segments: Commercial Building Services, Domestic Building Services, Industry, and Water Utility. This creates a more customer-centric structure, where the whole value chain is focused on meeting customers’ unique needs,” Rajkumar said, adding the transition to the new structure was done in November last year.
Noting that the market revival began in the Q3 of 2020, he said the pandemic had dented their sales, lowering the India contribution by about 1 per cent, against the global benchmark of 2019. “In the lockdown and semi-lockdown period, we have not performed upto the budgeted level. But, at about 65 million-euro revenues, we have done fairly well, especially in the industrial segment,” he sought to point out.
The phased lifting of lockdown has helped the company focus on chemical process industries, medical (dealing in COVID relief and medical equipment), said Rajkumar, a 20-year veteran at Grundfos, who has risen up from sales to manage different functions across Latin America and other countries, before taking up the operation strategy role.
He also said the operations in Ahmedabad plant catered to distribution in northern and western markets while Chennai essentially met the demands of south and east. “The supply chain of stainless steel production in Ahmedabad is targeted to serve places like Pune while the custom built products get rolled out of Chennai,” he said. Presently, its share is 30 per cent each in south and west, while north constitutes 20 per cent and east about 6 per cent besides exports comprising the balance.
Packaging and customised solutions had been integrated about three years ago. “The solutions business is expanding,” he said adding surface water treatment areas were gaining momentum. The validation of the Jal Jeevan mission and Swachh Bharat initiatives for Grundfos had led the company to focus more on solar-based systems with a deliberate attempt to provide clean drinking water. “In the solar irrigation area, we have been doing a lot of innovation and though we are a late entrant in the Indian market our differentiated approach is yielding good outcomes,” Rajkumar said, adding the effort was to garner a significant share in over 1 million pumps market by providing energy efficient remote monitoring solutions.
On the capex, Rajkumar said the company had been making incremental investments and over the last two years, it had invested over Rs 100 cr in different areas. Even as its future strategy blueprint is still on the drawing board stage, its two key focus areas include waste water treatment and digitalised pumps, wherein data can be used in multiple projects involving water solutions, he signed off.