Export Performance of Indian Pumps


K.V. Kannan
M.B.A., M.F.T.
School of Management
VLB Janakiammal College of Engineering & Technology
Kovaipudur, Coimbatore–641 042
Dr. L. Manivannan
M.B.A., Ph.D.
Department of Corporate Secretaryship
Erode Arts College
Erode, Tamilnadu


The Indian pump manufacturers have traditionally catered to the needs of domestic market.  In India, pumps are mainly used for pumping water from wells in households.  With the effect of LPG (Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization) the Indian pump manufacturers have started exporting to foreign countries, where pumps are used for various purposes in different industrial sectors like, oil refineries, steel mills, mines etc.  This has led to the increasing trend in export of pumps.

Absorption of technology has been commendably high across the industry both in the manufacture of pumps to international quality and also in competency resolving field problems.  Hence, even after globalization, imports of pumps have not had any disturbing effect on the indigenous manufacture.

Most MNCs were initially interested in exporting to the Indian market, but soon realized the need and economic viability of indigenous manufacturing and working out a joint venture or foreign direct investment for manufacturing.  Apart from labour being cheap, availability of technologically skilled and knowledgeable manpower with communicative competence made them to favourably consider the above.  MNCs feel that manufacturing base in India can help not only to cater to this market but also to markets in Asia and Africa.

Major Players in the Indian Pump Industry

About 30 of the total 500 units, dominated by SMEs, have already entered the Asian markets, Middle-east, Egypt, USA, Italy, Greece and southern parts of African countries.  Some of the leading exporters from India include Kirloskar Copeland, Tecumesh Products (India) Ltd., BHEL, Ingersoll-Rand, Elgi Equipments, CRI Pumps, Sharp Pumps, Aqua Sub Pumps, Suguna Motors & Pumps, Texmo Pumps, Mahendra Pumps etc.

Export Performance of Pumps

There has been good track record of pump exports to as many as 60 – 65 countries around the world, including developed countries.  They have also been buy-back contracts with MNCs operating sporadically but uninterrupted for more than 20 – 25 years.  This stands proof to the technological and economic competence of Indian pump manufacture.

However, costs of inputs required have a deterrent to enthuse investments appropriate to exploit economies of scales of production.  In turn the share of Indian pumps in the global market is very miniscule and scattered. Driven to the brink by the unorganized pump makers who have drilled into their market share, the unorganized players in the Rs.900 crore industry are looking to pump revenues from foreign soil. 

Reasons for Increasing Trend in Exports

The pump industry has witnessed a steady growth in export sales.  The trend in export sales has been given in the following table.

Table No.1 Trend in Export of Pumps (Quantity and Value)


Exports in Qty.

Exports in Value (Rs. Crore)

1987 – 88



1988 – 89



1989 – 20



1990 – 91



1991 – 92



1992 – 93



1993 – 94



1994 – 95



1995 – 96



1996 – 97



1997 – 98



1998 – 99



1999 – 00



2000 – 01



2001 – 02



2002 – 03



2003 – 04



Source: CMIE, February 2005


From the above table it can be inferred that the trend in export of pumps is increasing.  From the mid of 1990's there has been a tremendous improvement in export of pumps.  The major reason for such improvement is the LPG effect.  The R & D efforts of Indian pump exporters and their marketing strategies in international marketing also plays an important role in the increasing trend.

Global Scenario of Pump Industry

Pump exports from India have been made to number of countries like Australia, Egypt A. Rep, U.K, U.S., Singapore, Ghana, Germany, Nepal, U.A.E., Netherlands, Italy etc.  The U.S. will remain the largest purchaser over the next five years.  China will experience the largest growth rate in the export of pumps.

Significant pump market exists in 80 countries and regions.  In Chile, the largest pumps purchasing segment is the copper industry whereas in Germany it is the chemical industry.  The Middle East has a big pump market due to oil and gas industries.  The Canadian market is distinguished by a large pulp and paper industry requiring different pumps.  The market for pumps in buildings in Europe is much bigger.

All major pump types will experience growth over next 5 years.  The demand for different types of pumps is given below:

Centrifugal type  - 50% of total sales
Submersible effluent pump - 5% of total sales
Submersible domestic pump - 4% of total sales
Other category of pumps  - 41% of total sales

Future of Indian Pump Industry in Export Trade

Indian pump exporters are facing intense competition from the foreign counterparts in catering to global needs.  In this highly competitive scenario, Indian pump exporters have realized the fact that customer-centric attitude is a prerogative to stay ahead.  The key sectors that are major consumers of industrial pumps are water handling/sewage treatment, oil & refineries, and power with a market size of 35 percent, 45 percent and 20 percent respectively.  The industry's growth is dependent on sectors such as the petrochemical, oil and power etc.

In the recent years, the Indian pump industry has been forced to be proactive with foreign players like Grundfoss bringing in superior pumps to the market.  The domestic industry today is in fact looking up for overseas opportunities and quite a few have also made a good impact in the international scenario.  Indian pump exporters have managed to carve niches in the Middle East and African countries, where standards and conditions are akin to what is prevailing in India.  The global market for pumps has been estimated at around US $22 billion.

Table No:2 Market Size for Pumps


Value (Billion $)

American (USA and other American countries)


European (Germany and other European countries)


Asian (Japan and other Asian countries)




Source: Industrial Herald, October 2005, p:26


Indian pump manufacturers are on a sustained growth path backed by strong upswing in fluid handling industries, irrigation and urban infrastructure projects.  However, demand for pumps from the domestic (household) and agriculture market is lackluster.  Fortunately, this was more than offset by high demand growth witnessed in industrial and infrastructure sector.  With industry and infrastructure sustaining the uptrend, this market condition favours the organized industry players with strong order inflow. 

The Indian pump manufacturers have an added advantage in catering to the global market needs.  As Indian pump manufacturers have proved themselves in the quality front when comparing to Chinese pump manufacturers the Indian pump industry has been given global recognition.

K.V. Kannan
M.B.A., M.F.T.
School of Management
VLB Janakiammal College of Engineering & Technology
Kovaipudur, Coimbatore–641 042
Dr. L. Manivannan
M.B.A., Ph.D.
Department of Corporate Secretaryship
Erode Arts College
Erode, Tamilnadu

Source: E-mail December 6, 2005


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