Pump Academy Pvt Ltd: Revolutionarily Innovative Solutions to Revive, Rejuvenate, and Recalibrate

Anil Sethi
Anil Sethi

Globally, pumping stations are the only ways to pull water from underground, overground reservoirs and distribute it over villages, towns, cities, and metros. Pumping stations are common in fulfilling water demands of personal, professional, and industrial scale uses. However, hardly ever anyone thought about these stations’ life, health, and electrical consumption. Pump Academy Pvt Ltd is the first company to create a significant distinction regarding innovative solutions for pumping stations.

Anil Sethi, the Chairman, observed that, as stated in the International Energy Agency report’s estimate that electric motors (used in pumping stations) account for 40% of electric power usage. Anil found that inefficient pumping station operation and maintenance can be caused by poor system design, pump selection, installation, and lack of real-time performance data, leading to excessive energy consumption, high operating and maintenance costs, and breakdowns. A comprehensive solution comprising control, real-time monitoring, management, operation and maintenance is crucial for optimizing energy consumption and ensuring sustainability in the water pumping system.

Over time, Anil became interested in ways to improve performance, reduce energy consumption, and lower the costs of pumping stations. He has over 45 years of rich experience in diverse sectors such as engineering, technology, infrastructure, construction, water, renewable energy, sanitation and environment. As Chairman of Pump Academy Private Limited, his extraordinary entrepreneurial acumen has been an inspiration in building the organization into a unique solution provider with the help of modern technology. In his earlier stint as Chairman of a leading infrastructure development company, he steered the company from a small entity to a multi-faceted conglomerate with experience in Water, Power, Smart City, Municipal Solid Waste Management and Infrastructure. Adding a strategic vision to the company, Mr Sethi has taken the organization from being a small contracting firm to the country’s top infrastructure development organization.

He has extensive experience in managing and executing hundreds of infrastructure development projects and has directly supervised the installation, operation and management of over 400 large and medium size pumping stations of diverse capacities across the country.

He has received several national and international awards and accolades for his valuable contributions towards infrastructure development and technological intervention in the water sector. He is a recipient of the Asia Pacific Entrepreneur of the Year Award, The Pride of India Gold Star Award, the India Quality Gold Star Award and The Vikas Jyothi Award, among others.

He is recognized as an industry leader and has represented industry associations like the World Economic Forum, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), and Bangalore Chamber of Commerce etc.

He is also actively involved with social initiatives and leading philanthropic works through various trusts and institutions, including Kesrichand Punamchand Charitable Trust, Charitable Eye Hospital, Mobile Healthcare Unit, Charitable Ayurvedic Hospital, and organizing camps for artificial limb distribution, among others.

Anil spoke in an interview with Insights Success, where he elaborated on Pump Academy and its most popular solution iPumpNet. Highlights of the discussion are given herein.

Sir, please describe Pump Academy Pvt Ltd in detail. 

Pump Academy Private Limited was established to provide pioneering solutions to optimize pumping station operations nationwide. The idea behind the formation was to transform existing pumping stations into more efficient infrastructure for various sectors such as water supply, wastewater treatment, power generation, irrigation, oil and gas, paper and pulp and other industries.

The company has launched a patented IoT-enabled innovative system called iPUMPNET. This advanced system aims to improve the operations of pumping stations while enhancing energy efficiency, thus making the pumps smart and responsive. It is a secure and centralized platform that monitors pumping station operations in real-time through an intuitive dashboard interface accessible via the Internet and mobile applications. It can improve pumping station operational efficiency by up to 35%, reduce energy cost by 40%, extend the life of pumping systems by 50%, reduce the life cycle cost (LCC) of pumping stations by 40% and practically eliminates unscheduled breakdowns and maintenance requirements among several other significant benefits.

It streamlines workflows and improves pumping station efficiency, provides access to legacy data, and helps in functional reporting while providing control through a centralized monitoring system, thus helping authorities with deep insights and remote evaluation. It converts the dynamic performance of machines into running parameters by linking electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic factors. It also gathers real-time pump health data and issues alerts to predict and detect potential risks and failures. Almost 5 GW of energy could be saved if iPUMPNET is implemented across all water pumping stations in India.

What inspired you to venture into this sector as a water technology solution company?

It is almost five decades now that I have been working in the water sector and know the situation of water infrastructure in the country. In practically every city, our water supply services depend upon legacy infrastructure built decades ago, and most have surpassed their life cycle. We wanted to create sustainable solutions to optimize the existing pumping station, a vital water supply infrastructure. We are inspired by the innovative technology and its capabilities to address the challenges and solve perennial problems to help water utilities and industries with intelligent pumping asset management with substantial returns.

What USPs make you stand out as a leading water solution provider company?

The iPUMPNET is an innovative solution for moving pumping systems towards smart intelligence with IoT-based technology that controls processes autonomously, identifies faults and solves problems while providing significant energy efficiency and extending the life cycle of pump machinery. It will also help enable the country’s Industry 4.0 and Industry 5.0 revolution.

What were the initial challenges after venturing into the water technology field, and what are the challenges now?

The water industry in India has come a long way since I began my career in the water industry in the 1970s. The initial challenges after venturing into the water technology field included complex processes that were energy-intensive and expensive. However, with technological advancements, these challenges have been addressed to a greater extent.

Today, the water industry faces new challenges with declining water sources and growing demands that are putting tremendous pressure on the water supply system. We must work in unison to enhance the sector’s resilience and sustainability. Innovation and technology have a vital role to play in scarcity and safety, water efficiency, NRW management, utility operations, resource generation, monitoring and treatment and data and analytics.

Being an experienced leader, share your opinion on how technology is transforming the water sector and what advancements can we expect in the future.

The water sector is very large and spread across the cities and towns of India, with millions of kilometres of water pipelines, thousands of treatment plants, pumping stations and other essential infrastructure. It has seen much technological intervention in recent years. Digital transformation has been a way to extract value from data and turn information into business intelligence. Technological advancements include IoT, AMI Structure, Digital Twins, Intelligent Asset Management, Geographical Information Systems, 5G and Artificial Intelligence, Automation and Remote Monitoring etc. These global trends are set to bring innovative changes to address the current and emerging challenges and revolutionize the water industry to a greater extent. As a startup, Pump Academy is advancing technology trends to address pump inefficiencies, tackle water scarcity, optimize systems and processes and contribute with water-saving expertise.

Water-efficient technologies will continue to be developed, but more importantly, the renewed understanding of water as a shared commodity will help these technologies find acceptance with utilities, industries, agriculture, and individuals. Smart technologies, automation, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, machine learning, acoustic sensors, etc., will help redesign water management more efficiently. Over the coming decades, new habits will be created for efficient water usage, and technological intervention will become natural for large-scale use in India.

What would be your advice to the aspirants willing to venture into the water technology niche?

The global water technology market is huge and growing at a healthy pace. India now has the largest world population and needs tremendous water infrastructure to provide drinking water facilities to its citizens. With evolving technology and big requirement in the Indian water market, the opportunities are huge for the solution providers.

If one is interested in venturing into the water technology niche, having a strong foundation in science and engineering is important. In addition, it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest technological advancements and trends in the industry. And above all, one should also have a passion for water and a deep desire to make a difference.

How do you envision scaling Pump Academy’s scope and offerings in future?

We firmly believe that the organization’s culture plays an important role in achieving good results and success in today’s competitive scenario. We are investing in creating resources for research and development to drive innovation in technology, strengthen our brand value and establish higher-impact partnerships and business models. We will continue to enhance our reach to implement innovative solutions in making the pumping system smart and intelligent across the country. Our vision is to become the leader in water technology services and develop products and processes that are sustainable, eco-friendly and cost-effective.

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