Mitigating Energy And Water Solutions With A Green Transition: Saravanan Panneer Selvam

During an interview with Saravanan Panneer Selvam, heading the INDO Region of Grundfos, he informed about the company's vision on dealing with the water crisis of the country while incorporating innovative solutions for using energy efficiently.

What kind of technology solutions is being provided by Grundfos in the Indian market? 
Grundfos develops water solutions for the Indian market and the world. We set the standard in terms of innovation, efficiency, reliability and sustainability. We are a pump company connecting with millions and millions of people every day. Our solutions help our partners and customers move water to where it is supposed to go. Providing drinking water for the smallest villages and the highest skyscrapers, treating and removing wastewater and bringing heat and comfort to the world – or cool it down if needed. We provide the most energy efficient pumping solutions with the lowest life-cycle cost to its users. These pumps cover a broad range of applications and an even wider variety of configurations across various sectors such as:

•    Buildings: From family homes to commercial buildings, Grundfos supplies a complete range of pumping solutions that ensures optimal comfort and safety without compromising on energy saving.

•    Industries: Offers a broad range of pump systems for industrial processes, utilities, system builders and OEMs. These solutions are customised to meet the specific needs of the industrial processes. 

•    Water Utility: With the entire world at the precipice of a major water crisis, Grundfos has solutions that cater specifically to water utility requirements such as raw water intake, drinking water treatment, water distribution, wastewater transport, flood control and wastewater treatment.

As there is rapid urbanisation and economic growth in India, it has become critical to have intelligent water and wastewater treatment systems in place. Also, with the given focus on Smart Cities, the need for intelligent water management solutions is the only way forward. 

What is your target audience in the country and how do you facilitate them with your solutions? 
We cater to a wide array of customers through solutions for domestic buildings, commercial buildings, water treatment and boiler feed, water supply / service, wastewater, agriculture, transportation, energy, chemical and process, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, cement, steel, mining, textiles, heating, ventilation and air conditioning. 

Grundfos India’s headquarters is located in Chennai and has 14 branch/home offices. It has an extensive network across the country. The company has two production facilities, one adjoined to its corporate office in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and another in Dantali, near Ahmedabad, Gujarat. This well-connected network facilitates the partners and customers to have access to our solutions and other services. 

Recently, as part of our initiatives, we launched ‘Innovation Express’, an on-going roadshow, that showcases the most intelligent and efficient water and wastewater solutions for homes. 

India's CO2 emissions are growing faster than China or the US. What is Grundfos doing to decrease the CO2 emissions in the country?   
As per the latest Grundfos’ Sustainability Report, global emissions of CO₂ have increased by almost 50% since 1990. Emissions grew more quickly between 2000 and 2010 than in each of the three previous decades. Air pollution across the country is a national subject today and rightly so. This also was the theme for this year’s World Environment Day. As a commitment to the planet, Grundfos identified SDG 13 (combat climate change) as one of its key focus areas by offering pumps and solutions that use as little energy as possible and play a tangible role in the green transition.

Water and energy are intertwined resources bound together due to their mutual dependence. This is commonly referred to as the water-energy nexus. Energy is critical for water and vice versa as most water supplies both urban and rural require power to distribute and pump water to ensure that it reaches even the remotest locations. Therefore, pumps are believed to consume 10% of the world’s electricity, of which 90% of these pumps in operation are inefficient. Traditional pumps are known for their excess energy consumption and CO2 footprint. 

Replacing these inefficient pumps with energy efficient ones could save up to 4% of the world’s electricity consumption, two billion m3 of fresh water and reduce the carbon footprint. Grundfos is accentuating these goals further by creating intelligent water handling solutions, including the ones using renewable energy. 

We also conduct pump audits, which is a diagnostic tool to identify excessive energy consumption in any kind of pumping system. Our experience with pump audits shows that 30-50% of the energy consumed by pumps could be saved which translates into significant potential savings for installations, and a little extra relief for the environment. In the last 11years (2007 – 2018), Grundfos India completed 17,874 pumps were audited and identified 47,359 KWs of power savings and 188,134 tons of equivalent CO2 emission reductions

According to the World Bank, India's Water and Wastewater market alone is worth $420 million and is annually growing at 18%. How big is this market and how do you foresee Grundfos growth along with the market?  
According to a study done by Frost & Sullivan, the demand for water in Chennai alone is predicted to increase four times the current demand by 2025, making conservation and recycling of water of utmost importance. Grundfos has a range of intelligent products for water and wastewater management that delivers optimised water solutions for water utility applications, water treatment solutions for each stage of the entire water treatment cycle, and water supply solutions. 

Grundfos also received the 2018 Global Company of the Year Award by Frost & Sullivan for its superior offerings of sustainable solutions for a better world and commitment towards a customer-centric service, coupled with market foresight and innovation-driven growth. 

Q5. What challenges do you face? 
India largely still is a price-sensitive market and consumers are now only beginning to understand and appreciate the concept of lifecycle costs. Energy efficient products, such as pumps might have a higher initial cost. However, given that around 85% of the costs during the lifetime of the product goes towards the energy/electricity it consumes, it is better to invest in an energy efficient system upfront.

Another challenge that we saw from the customers’ perspective was how quickly can they reach Grundfos for service related issues. We, therefore, launched a mobile application ‘SmArt Serv’, an effective way of getting service support for any Grundfos product. Through this app, one can locate the nearest service provider, fill in the details of the complaint/request, attach a picture of the pump/system and raise a service request.  An acknowledgment of the request will be received within four hours. For digital pumps, the service provider will try to fix the problem online by providing remote assistance. For other pumps, the service provider will deploy one of the service engineers to the site. Normally, the complaints/requests will be resolved within three days.

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