Aug 1 2017 | Q&A

Ravichandran Purushothaman, President, Danfoss Industries Pvt Ltd

“Our state-of-the-art Industrial Automation Solutions, be it pressure or temperature sensors, are an integral part of many industrial applications varying from Air Compressors, Water Pumps, Industrial and Marine Engines, Wind Energy and Hydraulics. Our High Pressure Pumps and Energy Recovery Devices provide best-in-class efficiency and has the lowest foot-print, making it the preferred choice in water treatment plants.”

Ravichandran Purushothaman, President, Danfoss Industries Pvt Ltd
shares his view with Sandeep Sharma about his organization, manufacturing base, core competencies, latest technology trend, Industrial Automation solutions, improving urban efficiency, application of AC drives, cost effectiveness through Electronic Controls, business generated and impact of GST. Edited excerpts...

Tell us in brief about your organization, objectives, manufacturing base and core competencies?
Danfoss Industries Pvt Ltd is a 100% owned subsidiary of Danfoss Group that is focussed on climate and energy efficient solutions. Our technologies find its applications in areas such as refrigeration, air conditioning, heating, motor control and mobile machinery. Established in 1998, Danfoss India is headquartered in Chennai with nation-wide sales and support network comprising 10 offices, a manufacturing unit, a fully committed R&D centre and a strong network of channel partners.

Focussed on its promise of energy efficiency, the manufacturing facility at Danfoss’ Oragadam campus in Chennai recently received a LEED Platinum certificate.  It is the first such facility in India to be recognised for its green and sustainable setup. We are also active in the field of renewable energy as well as heating infrastructure for cities and urban communities.

What are the latest technology trend / innovation in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning space?
In Air Conditioning, the latest innovation is Variable Speed Technology, which means the compressor works with a variable frequency drive and the system runs on different frequencies to match varying load requirements. This helps in saving power to the tune of 25%, be it for industrial or residential use.

In Refrigeration, a new trend which we see is System Diagnostics which means you can monitor what is happening in your supermarket o cold room sitting in your office or while on travel, tracking the same on your mobile phone.

There are systems available even for households, which help you connect multiple home appliances to your mobile with digital technology, that helps you remotely operate and control the same for enhanced comfort.

How far Industrial Automation solutions offered by your company result in getting more out of less?
Our state-of-the-art Industrial Automation Solutions, be it pressure or temperature sensors, are an integral part of many industrial applications varying from Air Compressors, Water Pumps, Industrial and Marine Engines, Wind Energy and Hydraulics. Our High Pressure Pumps and Energy Recovery Devices provide best-in-class efficiency and has the lowest foot-print, making it the preferred choice in water treatment plants.

Danfoss Industrial Automation is primarily focused with the development and production of fluid controls, pressure/temperature sensors and controls. Our expertise in the business starting from 1933 has been able to provide effective technology to make modern life easier and we continue to break new ground in our core business areas.

We offer a plethora of technologies which help in providing accurate and reliable solutions to our customers, thereby helping them get enhanced system performance, energy efficiency, customised solutions and cost savings.

Keeping business aside, Danfoss believes in building strong partnerships – it is only through this process that we understand our customers’ needs better and deliver innovative solutions for them, building the technology of tomorrow which is fast, easy and relevant!

Could you provide us some actionable insight about how your solutions can improve urban efficiency?
We have solutions ready for all upcoming eco-friendly refrigerants and we are working on many solutions on controls side which helps improve energy efficiency for all applications, be it chiller units or cold storages or HVAC solutions for commercial buildings.

Urban efficiency is the most cost-efficient and smart way to decarbonise the economy. The present state of the planet requires individuals and industries to be responsible for their actions that contribute to the well-being/detriment to the planet.

Danfoss possesses the necessary technology that is required to accelerate low-carbon development in the world’s cities:
  • Our solutions for smarter infrastructure lets the world’s cities grow and connect sustainably.
  • We engineer energy savings from industrial production to commercial and residential buildings.
  • With our intelligent indoor climate solutions, everyone can enjoy greater comfort and lower energy bills.
  • Our engineering helps ensure food security, prevent wastage and improve quality of storage.
  • We possess the technology to prevent the leakage of water from the various sources.
  • We promote the local use of renewable resources made accessible using our technology

What are the areas of application of Danfoss AC Drives?
Danfoss AC Drives can be found in use across industries and sectors. Some of them include: Marine Technology, Water and Wastewater management, HVAC, Refrigeration, Food & Beverages Industry, Lifts and Escalators, Mining and Minerals, Chemical and Cranes and Hoists.

Drives play a key role in enhancing process and energy efficiency in most industries, right from Air Handling Units to Conveyer Belts to Energy storage to Chemical centrifuges to Elevators & Escalators.

AC drives control the power supply to electric motors and typically save 15-40% of energy consumed. 40% of electrical energy consumption in the world is by electrical motors. Global electrical energy consumption could be reduced by 10% if AC drives were used in every suitable application. This spurs the global demand for variable frequency drives (VFD), which is expected to increase at over 7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the period 2016-2026.

The scope of this segment is ever growing with a constant demand for quality driven energy-efficient technologies that Danfoss focuses on. This is a consequence of individuals as well as industries understanding their commitment towards the planet. However, the scope of our technology and products is ever-growing to meet the requirements of our customers.

How far Electronic controls from Danfoss results in cost effective machine management?
With Electronic Controls from Danfoss you receive Improved automation, ease of use, less manual interventions, proactive monitoring and preventive maintenance, which helps in reduced down-time and increased cost effectiveness.

In commercial buildings, Danfoss controls available to monitor all Danfoss Solutions chiller units and controls.

How did your company fare in FY2016-17 in terms of business achieved, operating profit and new clients acquired?
Danfoss India crossed Rs. 1000 crore worth in sales in 2016 since its inception in India in 1998. Danfoss India is confident of its growing avenues for business and is targeting to cross Rs. 2000 crore in gross revenue in the next 5 years.

Are you planning any Capex in the current financial year?
We haven’t planned anything for the next few years.

What kind of impact does you to expect from GST implementation on your industry?
GST will truly transform India to a single market. The manufacturing sector will largely be benefited as companies will be able to make more informed decisions based on Supply chain efficiency, harness strategic advantage of locations, wages and move goods interstate faster and quicker at lower costs.

GST will truly benefit the "Make in India" push and if we can improve the ease of doing business, ranking the combined impact will be a game changer for Indian manufacturing sector.

With regard to Danfoss, nothing majorly changes for us.  We will continue our focus on customers and will do what matters most to them. Staying closer to customers, understanding their needs better and thereby creating innovative solutions will be our growth strategy.

Overall, we feel the introduction of GST will have a positive impact on the Indian economy, though at present it looks like a white elephant to most people!

India is going ahead with its plan to set up 100 Smart Cities. What kind of opportunities do you see for Danfoss in this segment?
Danfoss is committed to the cause of creating energy efficient technologies that contribute to the reducing the carbon footprint at an individual and industrial level.

Currently, Danfoss has partnered with several designers and architects who are laying the foundation for these smart cities in India in order to understand the manner in which Danfoss can extend its various technological products which can be used to build these structures in the most sustainable manner with the optimum use of energy resources.

60% of Indian economy is consumption driven and with the growth of our services sector and urbanization, we would continue to see opportunities being created under ‘Digital and Make in India’ initiatives. As you know, 2/3rd of India is yet to be built and this offers a great opportunity for investments in infrastructure, which will in turn drive the growth of core sectors of Indian economy. To give you an example, the Indian manufacturing sector has the potential to grow six-fold by 2025 up to $1 trillion, creating up to 90 million jobs.

In line with government’s “Make in India” initiative, Danfoss also kick-started its own version of the same with a new manufacturing campus in India. Danfoss has a three-step approach to ‘Make in India’: First – to make in India for the Indian Market, second – to make in India for the rest of the world and third – to make components in India for application in global innovations.  Furthermore, our promise towards Engineering Tomorrow’s India in a sustainable manner holds true by way of providing energy-efficient solutions to diverse industries.

Going forward, where do you see Danfoss five years from now?
India is an important growth region for Danfoss and Danfoss India is currently a Rs 1000 crore company with strong double-digit growth. We are amongst the top five markets in terms of profitability and within top ten in terms of overall sales across Danfoss Global. We aspire to be in the top 5 within the next 5 years and aim to reach Rs 2000 crore by the year 2020.