A step forward
Danish pump major, Grundfos, which has a direct presence in over 55 countries, including India, sees immense growth potential for its products and solutions in India. “We are focusing on developing products specifically for the Indian market and line of thinking is to focus on local manufacturing and sourcing of components from local suppliers,” says Vinit Gupta, head, industry (East & West) & energy audit, Grundfos Pumps India Pvt. Ltd.
Over the years, the company has gathered a loyal set of customers who are already aware of Grundfos pumps and how it can help their business. “We are now focussing on pushing the new range of products to our existing customers and ways we can get them to try out the new applications,” says Shankar Rajaram, head, transportation and power, Grundfos Pumps India Pvt. Ltd.
The company’s products are extremely popular in industry segment such as food & beverages, pharmaceuticals, power, oil & gas, automobile, etc.Grundfos India also has numerous products for various industries and each has its own set of applications.
Considering that India is a price-sensitive market, Grundfos India’s biggest challenge is to educate consumers here not to look at just the purchase price but the total cost of ownership. “Our products may be priced higher but offer immense benefits in terms of quality, power consumption, less service and overall efficiency. We need to convince consumers to look at the full picture and that the initial purchase price is not everything they should look for,” says Ajit Jainath Singh, head, water treatment OEM, Grundfos Pumps India Pvt. Ltd.
The lifecycle cost of a pump matters. “Across pumps, the energy cost varies between 70-90%. If you look at lifecycle costs, the initial investment would be about 5-15%. And customers have to
pay for electricity. It makes sense for them to understand reasons to buy Grundfos. We have slowly moved out of positioning as a product. We now identify the problem of the customer and
try to work with them on a solution,” says Gupta.
In order that customers understand the solutions better, the company personnel are always travelling across regions to meet customers – old and new. “We often tell customers the little more they can achieve by using our pumps. Take an application like dosing where precision matters. The right amount of dosing is what gives the final product its quality. For instance, consider a product like chocolate. If the chocolate doesn’t come with the proper dosage of its flavours, then you cannot get the chocolate out of it. That’s the kind of synergy which we are trying to build in our products,” says Rajaram.
For most customers or new buyers, a pump is a pump. There are many players in the market. “We look at it from the customer perspective. We get into the design details of the pumping requirements and then make it for them. This way they end up saving money as they have helped with the design. Moreover, during the actual buying of the product, they will not bargain because they know they have saved money as compared to buying a product off the shelf,” says Singh.
Not only looking at the energy perspective is important, but one also needs to consider adding value. It’s not the cost of the pump that matters alone. “Here we are looking at changing the buying thought. Finally, we are still selling a product, but the value addition helps. The customer is buying a solution and not just a mere product,” says Gupta.
The company officials gather their experience by travelling the length and breadth of the country constantly meeting existing customers and looking out for new ones. Over the last 10-15 years, Grundfos’ strength has been stressing on lifecycle cost.
In terms of research & development, the Indian arm prefers to offer products from the parent firm. This way it ensures quality and consistency. It’s not denying the fact that in future it may look at local R&D. The parent company constantly takes patents to protect its technology and solutions. The best defence is to continuously develop innovative solutions. However, as a global company, Grundfos India is a great believer in competition. “Though we firmly believe in offering value rather than low-priced products to customers, the price at which our competitors offer their products challenges us to look for solutions. We are also beginning to use India as a source for our global business. We are looking at areas where we can have a production base for our global products, taking advantage of costs levels, competencies and the supplier base. We are looking at other ways to use India to improve our global footprint,” NK Ranganath, managing director, Grundfos India, had said in a previous interview to Construction Week India.
Two things have changed the game for Grundfos within the country. It has a couple of small products that are local which it is promoting here, and second is the application knowledge. “There are certain products used conventionally and now replaced with some new ones. We are offering the same pump, but giving something new such as adding electronics to it, or putting some variable speech to it or bringing in certain amount of controls to it, etc.,” says Gupta.