"We created a niche for ourselves in Indian Pharma Market based on our innovative technology"

V Gokuldas,
Managing Director, HRS Process Systems Ltd
HRS Process Systems operates at the forefront of thermal processing technology and is one of the leading heat exchanger specialists catering to pharma industry offering energy ef ficient and hygenic solutions for an extensive range of applications. V Gokuldas, Managing Director, HRS Process Systems Ltd in an interview with Mahesh Kallayil discusses more on this.

Could you please tell us about the company's journey so far ?
HRS has completed over a decade of being the preferred innovative heat exchanger supplier to a host of industries including pharma sector. Beginning with a modest turnover of Rs 25 Million in 2003, the company today has notched up Sales of over 25 times, at Rs 600 Million in FY 2015-16. Our factory with 20,000 sq ft production area was recently expanded to 45,000 sq .ft. to cater to growing demands of the industry for latest heat transfer technology and value added services.

Customers value our solution, which is backed by equipment design and manufacturing facility which is ISO 9001:2008 and ASME U Stamp certified. Today HRS is one of the premium heat transfer technology company catering to requirements in chemical processing, pharmaceutical, nutraceuticals, probiotics and food processing sector. Over 25 percent of our business comes from Pharma sector and we have seen healthy growth in this sector.

Please apprise us your complete products and service portfolio and their application in pharmaceutical industry?
Our range of heat transfer products include Ecoflux Corrugated Tube Heat Exchanger, Shell & Tube Heat Exchanger, Plate heat exchanger in gasketted and brazed options and heat exchanger based systems for various applications like heating cooling, heat recovery, condensation, sub cooling, re-boiler, among others. HRS products offer various advantages to the customer in terms of higher efficiency, better product recovery, and flexibility in various processes apart from being economical. Our hot water systems for the pharma industry enable better control on the product processing, thus help enhance productivity at lower cost.

We offer heat exchangers in stainless steel and higher grades of metals like high nickel alloys, hastealloy, duplex, alloy 20, titanium, tantalum, etc., depending on property of fluid and process requirement.

What are the initiatives that you are undertaking currently to sustain the frontier position you have in the Indian market? Are there any marketing initiatives being planned?
HRS has been at the forefront of providing cost effective heat transfer solutions to the Pharma sector. One of our key initiatives is to understand customer requirements and provide customized solution rather than selecting from a standard range. This not only gives cost advantage to the customer but also ensures that all the key process requirements have been met.

We have been supplying heat exchangers for standard applications like condensers, coolers, sub–coolers, heaters, vent condensers, etc. In Pharma sector there is a requirement of hot water for various heating applications at different point of use. Understanding this, we took the initiative to launch a new product "Heat Exchanger based Systems". Our expertise in designing heat exchangers, coupled with process knowledge and instrumentation and control to provide a cost effective hot water generating system. As a part of our marketing thrust we are focusing on such value added services along with system for processing various milk/fruit/vegetable extracts for pharma, healthcare and allied industry.

How is the company planning to carry forward its legacy in future ?
The pharma industry has been having a decent growth of over 25 percent in the past years and we expect the industry to maintain and have much higher growth with more patents opening up in the coming years. There is a growing demand for health care product like nutraceuticals, probiotic healthcare supplements, apart from fortified products and generic drugs. The improvement in health care infrastructure has also given a boost to the pharma sector. We have been able to create a niche for ourselves in this highly competitive market based on our innovative technology.

We have sold over 6000 heat exchangers in to this sector with over 50 percent repeat business. This fiscal we anticipate substantial growth in pharmaceutical industry in India and as a company we are looking at an over 20 percent growth. Having worked with top notch Pharma majors including Dr Reddy's, Mylan, Cipla, Sun Pharma, Glaxo SmithKline, Nicholas Piramal, Wockhardt, Glenmark, Hetero Drugs, Matrix Labs, Aurobindo Pharma, Torrent Pharma, Aventis Pharma, Lupin, Cadila Healthcare, Novartis, Ranbaxy and Alembic we are also looking at making inroads in to the Pharma industry in new and upcoming segments.

We plan to continue with regular requirement of heat exchanger for the bulk drug and API plants and special products for value added services for pharma and food sector which has been working together for various nutraceuticals and probiotic products. The recent trends of various health supplements becoming popular has generated a need for well designed heat transfer system for processing of such products which fall in the category of nutraceuticals or probiotics or health supplements. These can be a combination of minerals /nutrients/milk/fruit/vegetable extracts or supplements, processed in sterile conditions for manufacture of nutraceuticals or probiotic products .

How do you evolve the research and development to keep a pace with the changing dynamics of the Indian pharmaceutical market?
HRS has always stressed on R & D as a stimulus to innovation. To keep pace with the growth rate in the industry, continuous improvement in design and technology is imperative and HRS has played a pivotal role. Further, energy efficiency and environment sustainability are twin challenges that a growing economy like India has to deal with. Our research has focused not just on increasing production but doing so in a greener way as we have always been committed to sustainability.

We have our R & D facility in Murcia, Spain; where many technology developments are worked upon. In India, we focus more on applications engineering which is the implementation arm of the R & D effort. We are also working on heat transfer solutions for heat sensitive and viscous products not just for the Pharma sector but also in the rapidly growing nutraceuticals and probiotic product categories in India. We work with various companies on their products processing requirements and design suitable process applications.

Please detail about your future plans for India in terms of strategic alliances, capacity expansion, products launches, investment, etc . We are a key part of HRS Group contributing close to 50 percent on global revenue. Apart from India, we are directly responsible for Asian, South East Asia and Asia Pacific rim countries. We have a group company in Malaysia which helps us in marketing our products and services to these regions. Our Group's global business model provides each Group company direct access to markets across geographies. Thus we are able to provide customers with the latest products and services at the shortest time.

With the aim of becoming a Rs.100 crore company by 2020 we had completed expansion plans at the Pune factory last fiscal. The facility is capable of manufacturing 300 heat exchangers every month and can go upto 500 heat exchangers per month. Our state of the art facility is built to international standards and has energy saving mechanism for light and ventilation.

We will be investing on modernisation to enhance production capacity and quality whereby we can serve more customers. We will be investing in small skid mounted pilot plant which can be taken to the customer facility for production development trials. Thus we will be working along with customers for various new initiatives.