Mr. Saravanan Panneer Selvam
“We have had several milestones that has been enriching our journey in the last 75 years. Along the journey we regularly innovate products and solutions that redefine the water industry.One of our early milestones was in 1949, when we began exporting our pumps to various parts of Europe. This marked our journey towards expanding our presence beyond Denmark”
A brief on Grundfos as a pioneer in the water industry.
From the first pump in 1945 to the latest digital water solutions, Grundfos has always pioneered intelligent water solutions that addresses real world water challenges. As one of the market leaders in the pump industry, we have over 19,000 employees across 56 countries with a turnover of 3.6 billion euros . Innovation has always been our driving force. We have been able to redefine the utility of pumps across various industries with a sharp focus on improving efficiency and building sustainability. This has helped us ensure people around the world to access water, safeguard resources and optimize water processes over these years.
What are Grundfos’ significant milestones in its journey to redefine the water industry?
We have had several milestones that has been enriching our journey in the last 75 years. Along the journey we regularly innovate products and solutions that redefine the water industry.One of our early milestones was in 1949, when we began exporting our pumps to various parts of Europe. This marked our journey towards expanding our presence beyond Denmark.
As we grew, we wanted to put in concerted efforts towards helping the society that we live in. Thus, in 1975, we established the ‘Poul Due Jensen Foundation’ to exclusively focus on initiatives that would touch the lives of millions of people around the world.
In the 1980s, we were able to disrupt traditional methods of pumping by integrating a frequency converter with our pumps. These E-pumps were able to adapt to the varying pressure and flow requirements without manual interactions, thereby making the functionality of pumps more autonomous and adaptive.
With the growing adoption of renewable energy and alternate energy sources in the 1980s, we introduced our first solar driven solution in 1982.A couple of years later, we also launched our portfolio of wastewater solutions which is important to bring about a circular economy in water deprived areas.
Towards the end of the decade, in 1989, we were the first pump manufacturer to use core melting technology and manufacture complicated moulds to produce special pump housings for OEM customers and create custom-made pumps more accurately.
We achieved further successes in the 90s with the launch of the intelligent pump with a micro frequency converter.This paved the way for intelligent solutions that could adapt its functions on the basis of requirements in various applications. In 1993, we were one of the very few manufacturer around the globe that produced its own electric pumps and motors. In 1995, we elevated our innovation to the next level by introducing pumps that can be controlled with a remote.
The new century also brought about several innovations from the company such as MAGNA with its unmatched energy efficiency index. Our LifeLink solution efficiently uses surface water to improve drinking water availability and distribution in developing countries with water challenges. Our unique offerings, such as the SQFlex has been leading our solar range of solutions as it provides cost effective supply of water to remote locations and farmers with unreliable access to the power grid.
Over the years, our innovations have received global accreditations. Our solutions in the market currently have unmatched capabilities supported by our endeavour to maximize the energy and water savings. Additionally, we won the UN climate award in 2015 and this is a testament to our commitment towards sustainability and our endeavour to support our communities.
Elaborate on the company’s sustainability goals and strategy?
While sustainability has always been integrated in our products and processes, we strengthened our ambitious goals and realigned our sustainability strategy in 2019.
The United Nation’s Sustainability Development Goals (SDG) 6 which aims to improve sanitation and access to clean waterand SDG 13 on climate action are the core tenets of our ‘2025 sustainability strategy’.
We hope to reduce our water consumption and CO2 emissions by 50% in 2025 in comparison to2008. We are committed to save 50 billion m3 of fresh water through ourproduct efficiency and treatment technologies. We aim to provide safe drinking water to 300 million people by 2030. In addition to this, our vision is to become climate positive by the end of this decade.
What are the key achievements in 22 years of Grundfos India?
Since our inception in 1998 in India, we have played an active role in helping the country manage its water through our various solutions. We began our journey in India with a handful of employees but currently we are a team of more than 400. Our compound average growth rate over this period has been about 21% and we will continue to drive this growth through our intelligent solutions.
Headquartered in Chennai, we moved to our own facility in 2005, which is India’s first commercial building to be Green-rated by LEED. We have also expanded our presence with a facility in Dantali (near Ahmedabad) in Gujarat in 2017. These facilities are instrumental in helping Grundfosglobally produce more than 17 million pumps annually. We have been constantly working towards improving our sustainable processes in the facility and this has helped us receive multiplerecognitionsand certifications over the years.
We strongly believe that the pump industry in India has a lot of potential and hope to be part of the country’s growth story going forward.
Elaborate on the company’s noteworthy offerings including innovations and digitalization.
We develop water solutions for the world. As a leader in pump industry, Grundfos has been at the forefront of innovation and product development. We were one of the first pump companies to couple our solutions with Internet of Things (IoT) way back in 2007.
Being in the water business, we were the first to introduce electronics built in our pumps, thereby making them fully automatic. Grundfos’ electronic pumps or E-pumps are equipped with integrated controls and sensors that help the systems adapt to changing demands. Its built-in frequency converter ensures that the pumps change their speeds according to the demands and hence significantly more energy efficient with optimized performance capabilities.
Additionally, Grundfos iSOLUTIONS is currently the frontrunner of our digitalization strategy. iSOLUTIONS helps our pumps manage pressure and flow on the basis of the load and maintain the efficiency at its best. This also enables remote monitoring and predictive maintenance to reduce downtime. The integrated controls enable the pumps to understand requirements intelligently such as demand for additional pressure, flow and adapt accordingly. This dynamic nature ensures that the pumps / systems operate at their best efficiency points at most of the time and hence the energy consumption is optimized. This leads to not only operational efficiency and cost savings but also enhancing the life of the pumps.
Our renewable solutions such as SQFlex and CRFlex can use multiple energy sources and help in improving the access to water in remote locations without grid-based electricity. This is a significant innovation which is to transform water usage in off-grid areas and also in areas where there is unreliable power supply.
We continue to look for more ways to use such smart technologies to serve more people in need across the globe without losing focus on the overall efficiency and sustainability of our products.
What is Grundfos India’s sector focus for the year?
Our Grundfos India will continue to focus on its key segments, Building Services (commercial and domestic), Industry and Water Utility. We will also have a special focus on the solar pumps market both for drinking and irrigation. The opportunities are plenty for smart solutions in buildings and industries. Particularly with more and more intelligent buildingsare being built and industries are becoming smarter with industry 4.0 initiative. The iSolutions are the apt response to these sectors in order to achieve improved operational efficiency and reduced water and energy consumption.With the focus on solar energy by the government of India, our offerings to drinking water and irrigation sector have huge potential which we are looking to tap into.
What is the vision in terms of business growth for the company in the years to come?
India is one of the top 10 markets for Grundfos globally. As a responsible pump manufacturer in the country, we have been able to successfully receive double digit growth since inception barring few years in our journey so far.
We plan to increase our presence in business segments where we compete with local and international manufacturers. Our focus is going to be extensiveon our innovative digital solutions and solar range of products.
Our two manufacturing facilities in Chennai and Ahmedabad have enough capacity to accommodate future requirements at least for next few years. We will continue to strengthen our offerings through energy efficient pumps and smart pumping solutions for various applications – heating and hot water service systems, cooling and air-conditioning systems, industrial applications, pressure boosting, liquid transfer, groundwater supply, domestic water supply, sewage and wastewater transport, dosing, chlorination systems, disinfection systems and pumps for various other applications.
What has been the contribution of Grundfos during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Migrant workers and underprivileged communities have been severely disrupted due to this pandemic. We have provided food kits to over 1000 people around our Chennai plant and distributed about five tonnes of rice and 250 kgs of pulses to 2000 people in the city. We have also supported 42 families from a slum rehabilitation area situated close to our Chennai facility.
In order to aid frontline workers, we have donated funds that will help procure key medical and protective equipment for government hospitals, including ventilators, surgical masks, CVN95+ mask, protective goggles and nitrile gloves.This has positively impacted over 4000 individuals. Our production facility in Bjerringbro, Denmark is manufacturing up to 5000 face shields a day to support the health and medical workers. These visors are also delivered to other countries where Grundfos has production facilities
ThePoul Due Jensen Foundation (Grundfos Foundation) has pledged £25 million to support research into COVID-19. The Foundation has also provided community engagement grants to three COVID-19 relief projects in India.