Role of Indian Pump Industry in the Industrial And Utilities / Services Sectors

Industrial sector is spread across many sub-sectors. Major sub-sectors of the Industrial sector have been already identified in the table under the para on “Market Analysis by Usage of Pumps”.

In almost all industrial sectors there have been foreign technologies from different countries around the world, primarily from Europe and USA. Yet most of the pumps in these plants are Indian pumps by virtue of initial procurement itself from within India or by replacement or by import substitution. The urge of plant engineers for Indian pumps is understandable, because prompt and competent after-sales service is critical for the industrial sector. There is better guarantee of this with Indian pumps and Indian pumps have acquitted themselves well towards such faith of the users. Nuclear power sector has always laid full faith in indigenous development.

API-610 has been a popular standard followed not only in the sector of petroleum, but also in other industrial sectors. Worthington, Ingersoll Rand, Sulzer, Weir, KSB, Mather & Platt, Ebara are brand names which connote International leaderships in pump technology. All these technologies have been in India for more than 20-30 years.


Power Generation:  Thermal:

The first ever, concrete volute pumps to pump sea water through a once-pass cooling water system of a 500 MW thermal power station were recently made and successfully commissioned. The capacity range for these types of pumps is 10,000 m3/hrto 120,000 m3/hr.

This was preceded by the design, development, and manufacture and commissioning of 2.2 m delivery size (30,000 m3/hr) vertical mixed flow pumps, with full-scale works-testing of the pumps with huge captive test-facilities for drive-ratings of the order of 3 MWe.

Boiler feed pumps, whether in ring-section or barre1-casing designs for pressure-ratings to the order of 420 bar are available from Indian manufacturers. Likewise, condensate extraction pumps of the encasent pattern for low NPSH have also been made since long.

Amongst the pumps of auxiliary systems, the Indian pump industry has been catering to the needs of ash-handling, abrasion-resistant pumps, pumps for raw water and other miscellaneous duties and screw and gear pumps for fuel-firing and lubrication systems, etc.

Complete pumping systems for captive power generation or co-generation are available indigenously. For industries like sugar, the power generation is often using waste like bagass as fuel.

Power generation - Nuclear:

The programme of nuclear power generation seems to be far less active now. Yet the successful manufacture and development of Moderator pumps, Primary System Feed Pumps, shut down Cooling pumps, Auxiliary Feed Pumps and pumps for emergency core-cooling system, etc., has progressed further with the development of a range of canned motor pumps up to 200 kW and most interestingly of the sodium-coolant pumps for the prototype fast breeder reactor of 500MWe capacity. Canned Motor Pumps for Heavy Water Plants for ratings of the order of 15 kW have been already supplied by the Indian pump industry.

Hydropower and pumped storage power generation:

The capabilities of the Indian pump industry to supply pumps and systems for hydro power and pumped storage power-generation are well established since long.

Oil and natural gas sector:

This being the unique core sector, most of the specialised needs of pumps from this sector have been developed in the Public sector enterprise-segment of the Indian pump industry. The developments have covered the sucker rod pumps, the multiplex mud pumps, Cementing Units, etc. These are supplemented by developments contributed also by the private sector, especially towards the injection pumps, fire-fighting pumps, sea-water handling pumps in duplex stainless steel for off-shore oil-exploration, 1 km long screw pumps, etc. For transmission of crude and refined petroleum products across long distances through pipelines, the high energy pumps upto 2000 kW rating have been produced in the country.

Refineries, fertilisers, lubricants and petro-chemicals sector:

The segment of the Indian pump industry, catering to the industries in this sector keeps itself well abreast of the periodic revisions being made in the Internationally well-recognized standards like 1502858, 150-5199, API-610, etc. and is quite prompt in adapting to the latest editions and practices. For the fertiliser industry, reciprocating carbamate and liquid Ammonia pumps are developed by the public sector pump manufacturer.

Mining and metal ore refining sector:

The coal mining is the most prominent amongst the mining activities, although there are activities of metal-ore mining, mining of diamond, mica, etc. The mining activity itself, whether opencast or underground is growing in size and technology. Accordingly, pumps of large capacities, of submersible and other types and for slurry transport of the mined outputs are coming into vogue. For aluminium production, single and double casing pumps in high hardness abrasion-resistant materials have been developed indigenously.

Steel sector:

The steel sector, while being a core sector, operates at two prominent levels. If the primary level be considered to be the steel plants, then the secondary level can be the re-rolling mills and sponge iron plants and the like, producing the secondary products.

The pumping needs of the steel sector comprise pumping water as the one most important utility and also the pumping of other utilities like lubricating oils, furnace-oil, etc. Fluidizing and removal of the scale is another auxiliary activity, where pumps render a useful service.

The pickling and cleaning processes involve caustic and acidic solutions, for which pumps in non-metallic constructions and in lined constructions are employed. There are a good number of manufacturers specializing in making pumps in such constructions.

Paper sector:

The significant aspect of paper-making is again the extent of fluidizing the paper-stock. Higher the percentage consistency, as much more economical is the process of paper-making, because all the fluidizing liquid has to be subsequently squeezed out during the calendaring. The solids-handling capacity of paper-stock pumps has over the years improved from 4 to 5 percent consistency to some 8 to 9 percent consistency.

Macerator pumps have also been made in India since long. Alongside, with pumps to handle liquors and bleaching solutions, which are akin to chemical-handling pumps, the Indian pump industry has had the capabilities to service the complete requirements of pumps for paper-making.

Noteworthy Features of Indian pump Industry

Indian market for Industrial Pumps and Systems has been a mature market since years

India has been a reliable, technically competent, competitive and enterprising outsourcing option for many multinational companies in the field of Industrial Pumps and Systems for outsourcing

  • Pumps
  • Systems
  • Pump Components and sub-assemblies – cast and machined, fabricated and finished, moulded, customized and/or mass-produced
  • Basic and applied, research and analysis employing also CFD techniques
  • Resource persons for related activities like pump-design, surveying and auditing, repairs and maintenance services, etc.

Most Internationally well-known multinational pump companies have had technical collaborations and joint ventures in India for nearly four decades. Technical know-how of global standard has thus been well absorbed.

The traditional engineering skills of Indian artisans are well-known. They come to the fore especially in the trades of pattern-making, foundry practices, welding and fabrication, etc.

India has a vast pool of well-educated and technically qualified engineers and managers.

Computational skills of Indians and their fluency in English do merit specific mention, because these are important factors in the context of World Trade.


It is about a decade by now that globalization of Indian economy became National Policy. There are different aspects to the Globalization of Indian economy –

  • Growth of Indian economy with investments coming into India from around the world
  • Increasing presence of Indian products and services in the global market-place.
  • Increasing presence of Indian Pump manufacturers in other countries thru’ JVs, Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As), apart from direct supply of Indian pumps and components to the markets in other countries

Prevalent Manufacturing Strategies in Indian Pump Industry And Their Relevance to World Pump Market

One sees both vertical and horizontal integrations in the manufacturing strategies being prevalent in Indian pump industry.

Vertical integration makes for diverse capital investments across all stages of manufacturing, from pattern-making, casting, machining, assembly, testing, painting and packing, dispatch and after-sales service of pumps. This helps to control process-costs and also better confidence of meeting delivery schedules. Also the enterprise can modulate the capital investments according to required scales of production.

Diversified outlay of capital investments also entails increased labour-strengths, supervisory costs, less flexibility in proportioning capacities to fluctuations in market demand.

Horizontal integration helps to have a diversified product-mix and better resilience to market-fluctuations in different market segments.

Many pump-manufacturers have ancillary suppliers serving as component vendors, even across different stages of manufacture. Pattern-makers, foundries, moulders, press-metal suppliers for stampings for motors, manufacturers of mechanical seals are typical categories of vendors to pump-manufacturers.

Foundry practices are prevalent across all types and scales and quality-demands for castings. Foundries do green-sand moulding, CO2 moulding, shell-moulding, lost-form or investment casting, gravity die casting, pressure die casting, et al. The metal-melting practices are also quite diverse ranging from crucible-melting, cupola-melting, to melting in arc furnaces and induction-melting. Castings are made in whole gamut of grades of metals ranging from grey cast iron, SG Irons, Ni-Resist and Ni-Hard Irons, Alloy steels, Stainless steels, Hastealloys, Monels, Bronzes, Aluminium-alloys, etc.

Global pump industry has been outsourcing components either cast or cast and proof-machined or cast and finished since many years, evidencing good faith in the satisfactory quality.

Global pump industry has also been outsourcing from India, pump-assemblies branded or unbranded, primarily made to their designs.

A recent example has been of an Indian pump-manufacturer, who were pump-supplier to a brand in a developed country for many years, for two-three decades in fact, evolved good enough for the foreign brand to willingly merge with Indian company.(2)

There are also examples of multinational brands being much impressed with the work-culture and skills and calibre of the Indian Joint Venture partner that the multinational company acquired the Indian company.(3)

Globalization of Indian economy offers to the world the whole array of outsourcing options for the global pump market.

Prospects for Indian Pump Industry in the Global Market

Globalization of Indian economy has brought forth the importance of the notable features of Indian Pump Industry in the global market. World Pump market is estimated to be of the order of US$ 36 billion by 2010 from its present (2006) level of about US$ 27 billion.

Indian Pump industry is said to be presently of the order of Rs. 3500 crores, i.e. US$ 700 million, which makes it to be about 2.5 percent of the World Pump market. This is a significant percentage for one country, considering that there are nearly 200 countries across the globe.

More heartening is the fact that Indian pump industry is increasing its share in the World pump market. Indian pumps are being exported already to 70-odd countries around the world, covering both the developed and developing countries. “Made in India” brand is making forays into the global market with good credibility. This can be expected to happen increasingly and across many more countries around the world.

India has become a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) hub for a variety of business activities, both of the hardware and software nature.

The hardware segment covers not only finished products like pumps, but also components and sub-assemblies.


A bird's eye view of the global market reveals that most developed countries are large-scale importers of pumps, while being also major exporters. Indian pump industry has as such been a very small partner in this game of the global market. With the liberalization of the Indian economy, similar pattern seems to be emerging also in the Indian pump industry.

There have been many buy-back contracts operating with Indian manufacturers, in some cases, for periods as long as more than 20 years uninterrupted. This underscores the technological and qualitative competence and cost-competitiveness well-ingrained in the corporate philosophy of some of the leading manufacturers, Importers in the developed countries have often found it a competitive proposition to get pumps made by Indian manufacturers for their projects in other countries, especially in the Asian and African continents. Foreign buyers seem to be evincing good interest also in procuring CKDs and components from Indian manufacturers.

India has some of the world's best technically well qualified entrepreneurial and management cadre and traditionally intelligent and highly skilled cadre of technical personnel. The capabilities are becoming more and more sophisticated with computer-aided design, manufacturing and management practices increasingly becoming the order of the day.

Indian manufacturers have also to their credit a very good performance in respect of the deemed exports, by virtue of the execution of contracts for domestic requirements, but against global tenders, hence won in situations of global competition.

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

Direct exports of pumps have been steadily rising and the pattern of exports for the past five years has been as follows:

Exports of Pumps All Types HS Code: 8413, 8414-1000, 2010, 2020, 2090

Rs. (million)
% Increase
US $ (million)
% Increase
2000 - 01
2001 – 02
2002 – 03
- 10.21
- 11.5
2003 – 04
2004 – 05

EEPC – Statistics Department

Role of IPMA

Almost all major manufacturers of pumps in India are members of IPMA, the apex body of Indian Pump Industry.

IPMA puts forth representations to the State Governments and to Central Government on issues, which affect pump industry at large.

IPMA always lends participation in Governmental programmes on issues of National concern.

IPMA and its members undertake preparing drafts for Indian Standards on pumps and motors and many other related topics. IPMA also actively participates in their finalization.

IPMA members voluntarily take licenses to mark their pumps with ISI mark, wherever applicable. IPMA members thereby demonstrate their commitment to quality and commitment on issues of National concern such as energy-conservation.

IPMA updates itself and disseminates awareness of the technological developments in the field of pumps through its journal and also by participating in exhibitions and trade-fairs and also by organizing National and International conferences on pumps.

IPMA keeps intimate interaction with global pump community and associations of pump manufacturers in countries around the world

IPMA members are the major contributors in the country’s exports of pumps to the global market.

Ever since its inception in 1951, such has been the creed of IPMA that even though IPMA members are competitors in the market place, as IPMA, they are together on all issues of concern, which affect the Indian Pump Industry at large and also on all issues of National concern.

IPMA and its members help make the Indian Pump Industry grow and be more competent and competitive and in turn help the National economy grow and prosper.