Replenishing resources is key
Dams and irrigation projects cannot be stopped at a time when the demand for water for drinking and irrigation purposes is skyrocketing, says Atul Jain, director (marketing), Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd, the Jalgaon-based group engaged in the manufacture of drip and sprinkler irrigation systems, plastic sheets, piping systems, solar appliances and food processing
As a well diversified company what would you define as the core business focus areas for Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd?
We are an agro-business company operating in diverse but integrated segments of the agri-business value chain. We pioneered the drip irrigation system for small farmers in India and are the world’s second largest company in micro irrigation used primarily in agriculture and crop cultivation. We are also focused on water-based projects while simultaneously ensuring the conservation of water, energy and the environment.
Another key focus for our company is the manufacture of PVC & PE pipes. We are the country’s largest manufacturer of polyethylene pipes (HDPE, MDPE) and among the top three manufacturers of PVC pipes.Jain Irrigation is also a leading exporter of agro-processed products.
In terms of your water infrastructure portfolio, which are the key completed & ongoing projects executed by your company thus far?
Some of the key projects executed by us in this category include: Implementation of water supply distribution system and house service connections to urban habitats under the Karnataka Urban Water Sector Improvement Project, the first phase of the AP Micro Irrigation project, Tanhoda project and another micro irrigation project at Gujarat. The projects currently under execution include: a medium irrigation project at Balh valley and two lift irrigation micro projects at Nalgonda and Kadapa respectively.
How is your company placed in terms of its manufacturing/production spread for your irrigation systems and PVC/PE pipe verticals?
Our main manufacturing facility with R&D is situated at Jalgaon in Maharashtra. This is a state of the art manufacturing facility which has the capacity to produce our entire range of Micro Irrigation Systems’ components and PVC/PE pipes. We also have a plant in Hyderabad in AP and another plant in Udumalpet in Tamil Nadu. Plans are underway to establish more manufacturing units in West Bengal, Punjab and Haryana which will enable us to encompass the entire domestic farming community.
In addition to this we have also established and taken over manufacturing plants in Israel, US and Switzerland to augment our exports. Presently we have 22 manufacturing units spread across five continents employing approximately 6,000 people.
Water and sanitation projects are now a high priority area for the government accounting for nearly 74% of projects sanctioned under JNNURM and about 85% of projects under the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT). What is going to be your strategy to leverage the tremendous potential offered by the government’s focus on the water and sanitation sector?
Given the tremendous growth in urbanization and rural development throughout India, it becomes imperative that water and sanitation projects become a high priority for the government to ensure a hygienic environment for future growth. We have established a manufacturing facility for producing Thermoplastic Piping systems from sizes 16 mm to 1600 mm conforming to domestic and global standards to provide the required infrastructure support for projects under such programmes. We are presently working with designers and consultants on the cost benefit ratio to implement the schemes with thermoplastic piping systems.
Recent surveys have pointed to a massive depletion of water tables across northern India due to overdrawing caused by a slew of water intensive projects like dams & irrigation projects? As a leading player in the water projects domain, to what extent can companies executing such projects be held accountable for eco deterioration?
Dams and irrigation projects cannot be stopped at a time when the demand for water for drinking and irrigation purposes is skyrocketing. Further companies do not execute such projects without the approval of the concerned government departments who have planned these dams and irrigation projects.
As a leading player in this category and in the interests of saving our water resources, we would advice that the implementing authority should ensure that the vendor executing such a project should have an efficient recharge structure in place that should be an integral part of every dam and irrigation project undertaken by the company.
What have been the measures implemented by your company at projects sites to minimize environmental damage? What more needs to be done at a policy level to preserve our natural resources?
We try to minimize water utilization by advocating irrigating the crop and not the land. We also try to provide rain water harvesting techniques as well as ground water recharge wells. On its part the government should make it mandatory for farmers to have at least one recharge well for every four tube wells constructed in a minimum area of 60 acres.
What has been the market response from commercial and industrial users to your range of solar water heating systems? What are the product’s USPs in terms of its technology, energy efficiency and pricing? Kindly elaborate on its key commercial and industrial applications identifying existing major clients in both categories?
There has been a surge of demand for our range of solar heating products and solar photovoltaic appliances which have gained a reputation for consistent performance. The products’ USP include the use of top quality components that ensure 100% energy efficiency in addition to being competitively priced. Our commercial target audience includes guest houses, hotels, health clubs, dairies, edible oil industries, chemical plants, sugar factories and breweries among others. Some of our key industrial clients for these products include: Dewas Printing Press, National Judicial Academy (Bhopal), Kirloskar Brothers, Vikas Milk Dairies and the Vijay Group of Hospitals, Mumbai.