Motto to provide the lowest life cycle cost

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In our estimate, the global oil-free market is between $ 3-4 Billion. We expect it to grow well considering the health of the food and pharma verticals which are large consumers of oil-free compressors. We have disrupted the traditional norm that oil-free compressors are less efficient and more expensive to buy and maintain. Our AB (Always Better) Series of oil free compressors are significantly more efficient than conventional oil free compressors and substantially more attractive financially to buy and maintain, says Dr. Jairam Varadaraj, Managing Director, ELGi Equipments Ltd. in an interview with P.K. Balasubbramaniian. Excerpts:

Q. What’s ELGi’s standing in compressed air technology today?

Any technology has two dimensions – know-how and know-why. Know-how is the ability to put together a product based on a set of drawings without understanding why they are so. Know-why is the deep understanding of the science behind the engineering. Very few companies possess know-why in the compressor business and ELGi is one of them.

Q. How significant was your participation in Hannover Messe, held recently? And what are the technological innovations you could showcase there?

Oil free compressors are used in specialized applications and traditionally these compressors have been significantly less efficient than oil lubricated compressors and substantially more expensive to buy and maintain than oil lubricated compressors. What we have launched – Oil Free. Disrupted – is exactly this.

We have disrupted the traditional norm that oil free compressors are less efficient and more expensive to buy and maintain. Our AB (Always Better) Series of oil free compressors are significantly more efficient than conventional oil free compressors (almost close to oil lubricated compressors) and substantially more attractive financially to buy and maintain.

We will continue to push the envelope on the AB Series so that we eventually merge the current distinction between oil lubricated and oil free compressors. Even as we do this, we continue to expand the boundaries of efficiencies across all of our compressors and we expect to be the best in class in energy efficiency very soon.

Q. How do you help the customer optimize the life cycle cost of his compressor?

Besides innovating new products that are superior in energy efficiency, we engage with customers through structured air audit programs that enable us to study the customer’s application pattern and recommend solutions that can significantly save energy.

Q. How big is the global oil-free market and how do you expect it to grow?

In our estimate, the global oil-free market is between $ 3-4 Billion. We expect it to grow well considering the health of the food and pharma verticals which are large consumers of oil-free compressors.

Q. What are your strategies to enhance your market share globally?

Within Europe, we have identified sub-regions that we want to focus on. This is again using the principle of being focused in our approach. Till date in Europe, the focus has been primarily Italy and to a lesser extent France. We are now expanding this focus.

Q. What are the investments you envisage to increase your footprints in Europe and elsewhere so as to achieve your global aspirations?

Our major investment, if any, would be in the form of acquisition of distributors in Europe. This is not something we control fully as it takes two organizations to agree to come together.
Besides this, our focus would be building the talent required to execute our strategy.

Q. Your oil-free compressors are said to be a hit in the European market. What’s the differentiated offer you could make to meet the specific needs of the market?

The focus is on providing the customer with the lowest life cycle cost. And towards this, it is about energy efficiency and lower cost of owning and maintaining the compressors.

Q. Which are the industry verticals you target in Europe?

No specific industry verticals