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Kirloskar’s Africa footprint grows inward and outward

Kirloskar Pumps in action in Ghana.

Kirloskar Brothers Limited market growth and responsibility in the continent has benefited both sides

Kirloskar Brothers Limited (KBL) is the flagship company of the US$2.1bn India’s Kirloskar group. KBL has been investing in the African industry and economy for five decades. Its journey in Africa, engaging with and supporting African businesses, exemplifies a clear vision — to provide best services and solutions to make African industry better and support its growth.

KBL had recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with mechanical and electrical department (MED) at the Egyptian government’s Ministry of Water Resource and Irrigation — to build and upgrade the skill sets of MED’s engineers and technicians.

KBL to its credit has also two of the major pumping stations successfully installed at Benban and Rozaikat, located on the banks of Nile.

African Review of Business and Technology spoke to Ajeet Kulkarni, Associate Vice President, Corporate International Business Support, about KBL’s stronghold in African market.

Being an established and trusted brand in African markets for water equipment (like for small-scale agricultural irrigation) right through to large pumping stations, the market is seen developing further as 30 per cent of the turnover came from exports to Africa, ASEAN and Latin America, Kulkarni said. He further added that a sustained amount of KBL’s orders for the year 2013-2014 have originated from Africa thus far.

KBL has maintained an extensive profile in the development of African infrastructure as its vision is to grow and support key infrastructure facilities in many African countries.

With KBL’s manufacturing/assembly set up in South Africa, Kenya and Egypt, the requirements from the whole of the African continent are well served. With these local setups, KBL also contributes in a significant way for local employment as also in imparting technical know-how to the locals from the region. The traditional partners from the African continent include Egypt, Senegal, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Zambia, Morocco, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana and several other emerging economies of southern & western African region.

In near future, the company wants to further increase its footprint in larger economies of the region such as Tunisia, Algeria, Angola, Uganda, Congo and Zimbabwe.

“We do, however, look at doing our piece of business development across the continent,” Kulkarni noted.

At KBL, the importance of taking CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) to the next level of PSR (Personal Social Responsibility) is taken seriously. The global green awakening is making the company take a serious look at its own impact on the environment. Much of its work is integrated with public sector programmes and KBL reflects the Brand India presence in these economies. While KBL works closely with the government of India in the African soil, KBL also works very closely with African missions in India and proactively participates in developmental programmes for those countries.

Talking about core processes involved in system engineering, designing and support services offered by KBL, Kulkarni cited that KBL is capable of implementing a project from concept to accomplishing. Thus, from site surveys to project consulting, designing and conceptualising the projects, as well as looking at appropriate products before the implementation of products becomes a part of KBL competency. With a team of experts and engineers available, the design aspect often translates into economisation of resources that ultimately need to be deployed.

“The post project commissioning is also perfectly fulfilled by KBL in the form of servicing of equipment and training of manpower for best utilisation of the best installed machinery,” Kulkarni said.

To further strengthen KBL’s post sales activities, it has come up with a full-fledged service facility in Cairo, Egypt, to cater to the after sales requirement of our customer base in Africa continent.

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