IPMA Profile

Relevance of Pumps in the Growth of Indian Economy

In India the manufacture of pumps has by now a history of nearly a hundred years. Pumps are the basic equipment for every sphere of the national economy. Indian pump industry has in its own growth, contributed immensely to the economic growth of the country.

GDP of a country and of India in particular is made up of contributions from

  • Agriculture
  • Industry
  • Infrastructure, utilities and services.

In the context of agricultural sector, it is pertinent to note that much of the credit of India’s self-sufficiency in food does credit also to Indian Pump Industry.

In the context of the sector of infrastructure, utilities and services, it may be noted that Indian pumps have been servicing the needs of urban water supply wholly indigenously since decades. Even large irrigation and water supply project of gigantic scales are being executed wholly indigenously by Indian Pump Industry.

In the context of industrial sector, capabilities and contributions can be cited simply by the fact that almost all pumps in very critical services as in nuclear power generation are designed and made within Indian pump industry.

Size And Composition of Indian Pump Industry

It is estimated that the production of pumps in the country is presently of the order of Rs. 3500 crores, (US$ 750 million), contributed by over one million pumps per year, produced by some 800 odd manufacturers of large, medium and small scales. The pump manufacturers are able to meet most of the domestic market demand and they also export pumps worth Rs. 610 crores in 2004-05.

Market Analysis by Usage of Pumps

General distribution of usage of pumps can be considered to be as follows.

No Sector % By Value
1 Agriculture 35
2 Fossil fuels - oil and gas 6
3 Power - thermal 8
4 Power - nuclear 2
5 Public Water supply and sanitation 8
6 Petrochemicals 8
7 Petroleum refining 4
8 Rural and domestic water supply 6
9 Metals and mining 4
10 Pharmaceuticals 4
11 Fertilisers, insecticides, pesticides 3
12 Coal 2
13 Health, hygiene & cosmetics products 2
14 Construction 0.5
15 Soaps, detergents and hygiene products 1
16 Fire-fighting 0.5
17 Sugar, beverages, dairies, food products 1.5
18 Textiles 0.5
19 Paper & Pulp 0.5
20 Paints, Dyes and dyestuffs 0.3
21 Cement 0.2
22 Others, including marine services, packaged systems
such as lubrication systems, petrol-dispensing, etc.
  Total 100

Market-Potential And Market Trends

As can be seen, market potential and growth in demand for pumps depends on the growth in sectors using pumps. Market demand in different sectors is itself influenced by various related factors. For example, in India demand for pumps for agriculture is substantially influenced by vagaries of monsoon. Projects like equitable distribution of water from regions of abundance of water to regions deficient in water or projects for interlinking of rivers would cause a big boost in demand for pumps for such infrastructural activity.

The pattern of demand will be different in different countries. For example, in desert regions, the demand for pumps for agriculture will be minimal. Information and study of the demand pattern in different countries will be necessary for an exporter. Information on nature and state of economy in different countries can be studied from the website of World Bank. Some basic data has been compiled in this book in a separate chapter.

Pumps And Market-Styles

Among “machineries”, pumps are said to be produced and used in largest numbers, second only to electric motors. Pumps are both power-driven and manually operated.

The market for Pumps operates in various fashions –

  • Bare-shaft pumps to be assembled by the trader or end-user with motor or driver from his stock
  • Pump complete with driver, either as a monoset or mounted and aligned on a base plate and maybe, also complete with switch-gear and controller, etc.
  • Pump complete with driver, either as a monoset or mounted and aligned on a base plate and maybe, also complete with switch-gear and controller, etc.
  • Kits and/or components for the trader or buyer to assemble them into a pump later. People can be outsourcing kits or components for their manufacture of pumps.

There is another way of looking at Market styles and Pump types.

  • Pumps for agriculture and domestic usage are primarily sold thorugh dealers and stockists.
  • Pumps for industrial purposes may be sold through agents, dealers and stockists. But pumps for offensive services would often need special materials of construction and would be made against orders. Even enquiries from pumps from the industrial sector would be often elaborate and would merit detailed technical scrutiny. Manufacturers would get involved right through.
  • Requirements for pumps in the industrial sectors would be either for replacement or for new project. There is a good requirement also for replacement spares. These may be catered to by dealers and stockists.
  • Because pumps in industrial sector are generally run for long, continuous periods, the users would also need after-sales service support from the manufacturers. For marketing pumps for indutrial sector in the global markets, pump-manufacturers may need to establish their own service centres or or have competent representatives.
  • Requirements for pumps for large projects would also be handled by the manufacturers directly.

Role of Indian Pump Industry in the Sector of Agriculture

When India achieved independence, electricity was available only sparsely. Agricultural pumps in those times were prominently engine-driven. Even today, engine-driven pumps come handy to farmers, in situations of vagaries of power-supply and in remote places, where electricity has not yet reached.

With spread of electricity, electric pumpsets, especially of monoset variety (IS-9079) became popular. Propelled by commissioning of major irrigation projects, growth in agriculture soon made the country self-sufficient in food.

Growth in agriculture so much overtook the growth in irrigation, that surface waters were no more adequate. That set the trend for exploring ground waters. This prompted growth in manufacture of jet pumps (IS-12225) and bore well submersible motor pumps (IS-8034).

Hand pumps (IS-9301) and jet pumps were competing with submersible motor pumps until ground water tables had not depleted very low.

Now submersible pumps have caught so much fancy with farmers and with pump-users in general, that people prefer to use them even where water level is not deep. The appealing features are freedom from rigors of priming the pump at every instance of loss of prime and security against theft. Such fancy for submersible pumps prompted the development of also the Open Well Submersible Pumps (IS-14220).

Role of Indian Standards

The mention above, of numbers of IS standards for different types of agricultural pumps should in itself become a point to note.

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), formerly Indian Standards Institution (ISI), has had a Technical Committee for pumps almost since its inception. As of 2005, 42 Indian Standards have been developed. More information on this is detailed in the chapter on Pump Standards.

However, it is important to note, especially in the context of agricultural pumps, that Indian Standards have addressed issues of national concern. Growth in agriculture and growth in use of agricultural pumps started putting heavy strain on power and fuel. Norms for minimum efficiency were incorporated first time in 1979 in Indian standards on agricultural pumps. This aspect is so unique that even today no International standard specifies norms for minimum efficiency. Only in Hydraulic Institute standards, there is a monogram on “Estimating efficiency of centrifugal pumps”. The monogram is primarily a guideline and is not a norm for mandatory compliance.

Apart from developing standards BIS operates scheme for licensing use of ISI mark. Since years, tenders of Government departments have been specifying pumps to have ISI mark. This inherently means compliance with the norms for minimum efficiency. As of 2005 there were more than 200 manufacturers across the country having license to use ISI mark for bore well submersible pumps as per IS-8034 alone.

Importance of pumping system to be proper, so that the consumption of power will be optimal, was realized long time back. It was in 1979 that IS-10804 standard for “Recommended Agricultural Pumping System” was developed. Although the title of the standard read as “Recommended”, NABARD made it mandatory for its refinance of loans afforded to farmers for the pumps.

It is interesting to note that HI also now emphasizes the importance of pumping systems to be optimal for good performance of pumps. At their website www.pumps.org they now provide for free download “Pumping System Improvement Modeling” (PSIM) Tool.

Realizing that a system component such as a foot-valve can cause unwarranted frictional loss and in turn offend optimal performance of the pump, IS-10805, the standard on foot-valves was developed. BIS operates ISI-mark licensing scheme also for foot-valves as per IS-10805.

The norms for minimum efficiency have also been periodically upgraded, so much so, that even as minimum norms, the values are close to 95% of internationally recognized “chart” efficiencies.

Technology Upgradation Across the Industry

It is notable that meeting the norms of minimum efficiency has been greatly facilitated, especially for the small scale sector, by research institute such as Small Industries Testing and Research Centre (Si’Tarc) in Coimbatore, set up by members of Southern India Engineering Manufacturers Association (SIEMA). SIEMA got funding support for Si’Tarc from IDBI, “Project Uptech” of State Bank of India and later on from UNIDO. Si’Tarc developed energy-efficient designs for pumps meeting norms of Indian Standards, taking into consideration the limitations of basic manufacturing facilities of small scale sector. The designs were made available to the industry at a very nominal cost.

In general, the commendable contribution of Indian Pump indusrty in the growth of agricultural sector in the country can be carried by the industry to many developing countries.

Indigenous R & D

Apart from world-renowned technologies having been absorbed through technical collaborations, which were widely prevalent prior to globalisation of Indian economy, Indian pump industry always exhibited an urge also for indigenous R&D. Near self-sufficiency in pumps for nuclear power is the most shining evidence of this urge. Ministry of Science and Technology also lent good motivation to such enterprise by according CSIR registration/recognition to R&D setups of many Indian pump companies.

When CFD software and techniques were not developed, capital-intensive techniques such as scale-modeling, wind-tunnel validation, high-speed photography of insipient cavitations, seismic qualification, etc. were all employed by Indian pump industry.

One can broadly consider pump-technologies into three strata of intensity and complexity

  • Technology appropriate for pumps for agriculture and domestic sector
  • Technology appropriate for pumps for industrial and public services of urban water supply and sanitation
  • Technology appropriate for pumps for
    • power-generation, especially for Nuclear power such as
      • primary coolant pumps of Heavy Water circuits
      • liquid sodium coolant pumps for Fast Breeder Reactors
    • transfer at large flow-rates as for
      • cooling water circulation in thermal power generation
      • transfer from water-rich areas to water-starving areas across hundreds of kilometers

Indian pump industry has a proud record of indigenous R&D in all three strata of technological intensities – for mass-produced pumps as for agriculture, for gigantic pumps as for interlinking rivers and for pumps for critical services as in nuclear power generation.

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/hr to 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
Year Rs. (million) % Increase US $ (million) % Increase
2000 - 01 3496.698 NA 77 NA
2001 – 02 4558.256 30.35 96 24.9
2002 – 03 4092.667 - 10.21 85 - 11.5
2003 – 04 5641.082 37.83 123 45.0
2004 – 05 6103.563 8.19 136 10.8
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.