The global industrial pumps industry was valued at $63.29 billion in 2022 and is predicted to increase at a CAGR of 4.9 percent from 2023 to 2030. The increasing implementation of these products in multiple industries such as water and wastewater, chemical, oil & gas, and power generation is likely to boost product demand. The COVID-19 epidemic has had a severe influence and impeded the growth of the industrial pump industry in the country throughout the year 2020. Many smaller players and companies with somewhat weak financial situations faced challenges in 2020 and 2021. The industry is now expected to overcome that and make major strides in terms of development by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 4.5 percent. One of the most prominent players in this industry, Wilfley India, also faced similar challenges as many competitors. However, under the brilliant leadership of the firm’s Managing Director, Sunil Sawant, the company emerged from these challenges stronger.
Leading by Example
A.R. Wilfley established a presence in India way back in 1997. Over the years, the company has come a long way and has now established a reputation as an industry leader. The company’s unique features like Waterless Sealing Technology, advanced metallurgy offerings, and the heavy duty and durability of product have set the company apart from competition. The company offers a range of products, with flagship offerings like heavy duty Slurry Pumps, heavy duty Chemical Pumps fitted with unique sealing technology and Process Pumps for General applications fitted with mechanical seals.
The passionate leadership of various top executives over the years has motivated the workforce to give the company their best. Since his joining, Sunil Sawant has led his team through example.
“Wilfley India is a steadily growing company, building on its own prosperity, planning in long terms, and forming relationships with like-minded partners around the world. Our goals are not primarily focused on market share or size, but rather on our standard of Quality, and our own definition of excellence”, shares Sunil.
Bringing almost three decades of experience in the Industrial pump sector, he has gathered tremendous hands-on experience across multiple verticals including production, planning, purchase, assembly, vendor development, and business development, to name a few. He completed his education in Mechanical Engineering in 1990, post which he pursued Management from IIM Bangalore. Further, undergoing training from CII for assessing companies based on the Business Excellence Model, he equipped himself with the right knowledge required to excel in his professional life.
In addition to inspiring his team through his inherent work ethic, Sunil Sawant also focuses on emphasizing the value of inculcating the culture of Demand and Assist, putting in the best efforts to better serve customers, not compromising on quality, understanding customer needs and offering relevant solutions, ensuring a logical end to every task, believing in the 'Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)' to drive sales, and believing in the process and adhering to it.
As a result of this focus, the customers of the company have developed full confidence in the safety and reliability of Wilfley pumps.
Sunil makes strategic efforts in order to stay aligned with the periodic advancements in the industry, and guide his teams to stay ahead of the market demands. Visiting customers, reviewing & tracking the projects in the pipeline, acquiring market information from various journals, company’s channel partners, improving knowledge about critical applications and processes, and attending technical seminars are some of the ways Sunil Sawant keeps himself updated.
His dedication and tact have allowed Wilfley India to achieve some significant milestones including setting up a new manufacturing facility during the onset of covid, launching the full operational capabilities of a new factory in a short span since its inauguration in May 2022, retaining old clients with the same level of attention while onboarding new clients, motivating new members of the workforce and inspiring them to overcome challenges, out rolling a new range of pumps with design support from Denver, US office and completed development of investment cast dies and first articles, and lastly, expanding marketing territories, focusing on Asia, Africa, and Australia markets. Now, Wilfley India is serving for almost half of the globe.
“Wilfley’s presence in India has been augmented by the commissioning of its ultra-modern manufacturing facility at Sangli, Maharashtra. This facility contributes to the production of pumps, pump parts, proprietary metal treatment processes, assembly and testing facilities providing competitive solutions to our esteemed customers”, further shares Sunil.
As an industry leader, Sunil takes the initiatives to ensure that the company is on the right path. His vision is to develop a vibrant and creative team committed to exceeding customer expectations. He follows a customer and employee-focused approach which enables him to handle the needs of every stakeholder. Along with his core team, he brainstorms ideas for various aspects of company growth, and plans for the future, while addressing existing and potential challenges. He also takes on the responsibility of empowering his people and providing technical support where needed.
The Stepping Stones
Throughout his career, Sunil Sawant has overcome several challenges that have shaped him into the leader that he is today. His approach to taking calculated risks and foreseeing the worst outcome in order to be prepared for it as a last resort has allowed him to be ready for all kinds of situations. A defeatist attitude towards business and an unwillingness to improve are the biggest hurdles faced by many, however, Sunil Sawant chooses to take all challenges head-on and emerge victorious. Instead of focusing solely on the end result, he believes in putting maximum effort into the work itself.
As an industry leader, Sunil not only motivates his team members but also takes initiative to ensure that the company is on the right path
“The most important business challenge faced by Wilfley India is to achieve sales growth while maintaining delivery capability. To overcome this challenge, we have put efforts to streamline the business operations with effective change management and subsequently put in place systems and processes to ensure sustained superior performance in the long term”, adds Sunil.
In order to overcome all the challenges posed by the industry, Sunil is dedicated to the work and emphasizes the importance of following work ethics. He encourages his team to not only come up with new ideas and thoughts, but also to present them confidently, while also being open to new ideas from others. Sunil strongly believes in the process of business, and understanding the strengths & weaknesses of the team and finding ways to overcome the weaknesses while leveraging the strengths most efficiently. He strives to plan for the future and make it happen through conscious and strategic planning. Most importantly, Sunil advocates the idea of keeping things simple and understanding that success is progressive and bound to come to those that work for it.