Pumping up African success

Sanjay Kirloskar, chairman of Kirloskar Brothers Ltd, speaks of development and commercial opportunities in Africa, in an interview with African Review.

Kirloskar Brothers Ltd (KBL) today is synonymous with industrial and agricultural pumps in African countries. From small agricultural applications to large irrigation and water supply schemes, Kirloskar pumps have been in operation in Africa for more than 40 years. Lauding the role of Kirloskar Brothers in the process of development of African countries, Jonathan Wutawunashe, Dean of the Diplomatic Corp, in his valedictory address at the recent CII Exim Bank Conclave, expounded how 'Kirloskar' had become a household name in Africa.
Sanjay Kirloskar, the chairman of KBL, talking about his company’s growth and developments, in a quick chat with the African Review of Business & Technology, said, “Our strong presence in the African countries dates back to the 1960s, when we started our pumpset business in Egypt. In a very brief period, we could ‘displace’ the major players from Europe by installing over 50 large pumping stations along the Nile. Today there are 100,000 irrigational pumpsets installed in Egypt alone.”
“In the mid 70s, we established offices in Kenya, Nairobi and couple of other countries. This served as a gateway to East Africa and provided an opportunity to serve other countries like Tanzania and Uganda. And the rest all is history.”

Focus on Africa
KBL had launched a `Focus Africa' programme with country-specific export strategies, a few years ago. The company had initiated the programme with conservation of water table as the main focus.
“The Focus Africa programme has made a lot of difference and will continue to do so to the African countries. One good example is that of Senegal…We have supplied around 2400 pumpsets ranging from 5 KW to 90 KW to that country. About 65 per cent of these pumps had been distributed to farmers by the Government and many of them have been pumping water to the existing farms. With more than 2000 pumps in operation and 60,000 hectares of land being brought under cultivation, half a million tons of rice will be available for consumption,” he said.  
“By working with us, the Government of Senegal plans to provide sufficient irrigation facilities to make Senegal self sufficient in rice production,” he added.  
Speaking about the India-African ties, Kirloskar, who is also the chairman of CII Africa Committee, said, “The partnership with Africa is a key sub-set of India’s global engagements. India has always been a partner of choice for Africa, in waging a political battle against imperialism and colonialism, or in strengthening the South-South Cooperation framework.”
He added that the emerging global economic scenario and the inherent strengths of India and Africa would make any partnership between the two regions a formidable combine, possessed of great capabilities to fashion a new global economic order.
Endorsing Sanjay Kirloskar’s views and talking about the positive changes in Africa that have brought hope for an African renaissance, Jayant R Sapre, director of the KBL, said, “Africa is a continent of the future. It is a land of opportunities and in the next couple of decades Africa will be to the world what Asia is today.”

Prabhu Dev

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