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Strong Focus on R&D and Technology Promises Sustainable Growth
With its philosophy to provide top-of-the-line customized technology solutions and substantial efforts in R&D, Praj is a renowned brand in the field of environment management. Under the aegis of Pramod Chaudhari, Chairman, Praj Industries the company has grown from strength to strength to cement its position in Indian and overseas market. Excerpts from the interview.

May we have your comment on the growth of your organization during the past decade?
Praj has grown along two vectors in the past few years. One is in the global direction where today we have a reference base in over 55 countries. The other is on the business verticals front where we have added three new businesses to our portfolio. Today, our business portfolio includes Ethanol/ Alcohol Plants, Brewery Plants, Water & Wastewater Treatment Solutions, Process Equipment and Bionutrients.
Organizationally, the Company has grown in terms of manpower strength, product offerings and evolved in terms of systems and processes. The Company has also expanded its offering in the market in terms of offering right from engineering to supplies to entire plant. The Company has set up a state-of-the-art R & D Center which is focusing on sustainable solutions. It is currently engaged in scaling up the second generation, lignocellulosic ethanol production process and conducting R & D in green chemistry.

How are you positioned in global and international markets?
We are considered a leader in many international markets. In the domestic market, it is an established leader in Alcohol/Ethanol and Brewery Plants. In geographies like South, Central America and South East Asia and Africa it has a majority market share. In USA and Europe, the Company has some very significant client base. Praj is wellknown as a reliable and superior technology and plant supplier worldwide. We also provide the same level of commitment and product quality to our customers in water & wastewater Treatment Systems and Process Equipment.

What were the growth drivers that propelled the company to secure its current market position?
It was largely its philosophy of providing top-of-the-line customized technology solutions and investing into R & D for continuously moving the target of most cost effective solutions for customers world-wide.

What were the issues and challenges faced by your organization in the past, how did you address them and how do you see them change during the next ten years?
Earlier we were a much smaller organization in terms of assets size and capacity. We have overcome the same by scaling up. However, that in itself was a challenge. We had to work on capability and capacity at the same time. Now, the challenges are different. It is managing the size itself and ofcourse constantly moving up the level of service to customer and maintaining customer delight as earlier when the sheer number of customers has grown and so has the number of countries where we are serving.
However, we have worked it out over a period of time and today, I can say very confidently that we can serve customer in any part of the world with a very short response time.

How have you cemented your market position?
Since we are knowledge based company, technology up-gradation or innovation is the most important aspect of our strategy. However, managing technology, customizing it to customer requirement at the optimal cost is something which needs a constant balance. Today, we invest 2-5 percent of our turnover into research and development.

Which key areas in your opinion are poised for strong growth in the next decade?
It will be Energy, Water and Environment. We have a play in water and environment through the Ethanol and Water & Wastewater treatment systems that we offer. We use energy solutions in all our offerings.