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Future is in smart tech: Grundfos
Pumps manufacturer Grundfos has big plans for India, a market that it sees great potential in, considering the rapid digital strides being made here. Excerpts from an interaction with its top boss.
A rough ride last year has not stopped Grundfos, a global leader in pump solutions and trend-setter in water technology, to chart out its ‘smart’ plans for the current year. The foundation-driven company is focusing on digitalisation for its growth. Given the global economic scenario, the emphasis is on using latest technologies, fuel optimisation and finding out ways wherein Grundfos sees itself as making a meaningful impact globally.
While presenting an overview of the efforts made by Grundfos to make a difference using advanced water technologies to mitigate the water and energy challenges being faced globally, Grundfos Holding CEO and Group President Mads Nipper said, “We are more than a pump maker. We are the world’s largest pump company. We make around 16 million pumps every year. Even though we are good at that and we are passionate about pumps, it is not our favourite way of looking at the company.” Fielding questions pertaining to the role of the Danish MNC in India, he dwelt at length on the global macro-economic impact, the emerging challenges and the plans of its Indian subsidiary. Nipper spoke extensively on the following:
Upcoming facility in Ahmedabad and roadmap ahead
We have been in Chennai for many years. Now, we are opening in Ahmedabad in June this year. We will launch that, gather our experiences from that venture and make our next specific plans after that. Right now, we do not have a master plan on where next. In two years, we have planned more launches.
On India focus and digitalisation
Markets like India, China and South East Asia hold great promise. The Indian government has major plans to provide solar-powered water supply to many rural areas. We are the one of the two most well-established companies of solar powered submersible pumps. That’s a huge growth opportunity if we address it right. India is one of the countries with highest IT and digital literacy.
Availability of digitally capable workforce is high and in India, there will be a huge opportunity to tap into that knowledge. We have no plans to set up a digital development centre in India at this stage. But now, we see many innovative solutions like intelligent management of our business portfolio, a project piloted out of India. Our Indian company took this global initiative, which the rest of Grundfos can learn from.
Turning India into an ops hub for newer markets
Our assembly unit in India is one of the most competitive in the world. Products sold in Germany and India all follow the same basic design. But we do source a few components in India to be competitive locally.
Major challenges and smart tech
The biggest challenge we have is also our biggest opportunity. A big factor any company like ours should relate to right now is the growing political unrest around the world – whether in the US following the change of leadership, or in the UK’s case – Brexit. Digitalisation is another major area of concern. What if a company like Apple, Google, Samsung or Tata comes up with a new intelligent solution – putting a smart box in a corner, so you don’t need our solutions. That is a big threat if we don’t react to it. But of course, we will react and see how we can drive the IoT (Internet of Things) agenda and how we can become the best to understand what value we can create for customers. Sustainable solutions are a huge opportunity, but if you just sit on our hands and do nothing, it is one of the biggest threats that a company like ours can have.
— The journalist was in Denmark at the invitation of Grundfos
‘Made in India’ pumps for Pak
Chennai: City-based Grundfos Pumps India (P) Ltd is set to supply 60 AQpure, modular water treatment units, worth 7 lakh Euros to Pakistan this month. By using ultra filtration technology, it produces potable water from raw source. The units are ready for April delivery to Pakistan government and water utilities there, said Poul Madsen, Grundfos Group Vice President (Emerging Water Technology). The company, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Denmark-based Grundfos, has its main assembly facility in Chennai and another unit in a special economic zone near Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu. Its third assembly plant will start operations at Ahmedabad from June 1.