‘Global trends will give a fillip to Hubballi valve industry’


Major global players have shifted their focus to India, says trade body; Hubballi sells, exports valves worth ₹1,000 cr. per annum

Karnataka’s ‘Chota Mumbai’ Hubballi has emerged as a key hub for all kinds of valves and related accessories and started contributing significantly to domestic and exports markets.

The city’s valve ecosystem currently has over 200 valves and valve accessories (pumps, actuators, instruments, products, and other services meant for the valve industry) manufacturers that employ over 20,000 people and clock an annual turnover of over ₹1,000 crore with exports accounting for over 50% of that. These firms comprise micro, small, medium enterprises and also MNC players such as Trillium Floor Technologies and Flowserve Corporation.

President of the newly set up Hubli Valve Manufacturers’ Association Shivanand Awati told The Hindu that Indian valves market was currently in an interesting phase since major global players had shifted their focus to India, considering the upbeat investment scenario and slow-down in West Asia the Middle East and Europe. “This opens up further growth potential for Hubballi which is already a significant player in the valve industry,” he said.

According to Mr. Awati, the industrial valve business is unique. This field of engineering is multidisciplinary calling for the vast knowledge of material science, sealing technology, pressure holding technology, drive train calls for kinematics and dynamics, flow technology, corrosion, wear, chemical engineering, electronics, electrical, instrumentation, automation and control, hazard and safety engineering.

How critical are valves?

Industrial valves are devices used to control the flow of liquids and gases through pipelines. If proper valves are not used, the process industry handling liquids and gases could become hazardous and it may lead to mishaps, environmental degradation, or loss of lives.

Industrial valves may be classified based on the type of function: manual or power operated, modulating or control valves. Based on the construction they can also be divided as linear valves (globe, gate, sluice, knife gate, piston valve, diaphragm, and pinch) or rotary valves (ball, plug, and butterfly), as per the trade body.

Most valves are manufactured in stainless steel, nickel alloy or other metals that are corrosion and erosion resistant with the capacity for high holding pressure. Per unit price of a valve ranges from ₹200 to ₹20 lakh.

“This price range says something about the range we play. Interestingly, Hubballi is a critical player in all categories of industrial valves. As a thumb rule, valves and pumps account for 5% to 10% of the total project cost for process industries,” Mr. Awati said.

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Chemical process industries, petroleum, petrochemical, and allied industries, refineries, oil and gas industries, fertilizer and sugar industries, drugs, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, food, brewery and beverage industries, power generation industries, water supply treatment and wastewater management, nuclear industries, pesticides manufacturing, shipping services, steel plants, mining and mineral processing are some of the key valve consuming industries.

Government support

However, according to Ninganna S. Biradar, president, North Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (NKSSIA), Hubballi’s valve ecosystem has taken a beating in the last decade as key consuming sectors slowed down on procurement.

“Government support and incentives are required for the business to double and grow exponentially. Also, the government has to attract companies to Hubballi–Dharwad. We have the right environment and ecosystem, people, talent, and expertise,” Mr. Biradar said.

NKSSIA has already asked the State Government to work out a special programme to get the valve industry in the region into the next orbit of growth. It also asked for the revival of NGEF (New Government Electrical Factory) in Hubballi to help small vendors and suppliers and also to boost the overall ecosystem.

Mr. Biradar further said, “We have had several rounds of discussions with senior officials when Jagadish Shettar was Minister for Large and Medium Industries to sort out issues concerning small-scale industries. And we hope that the government will implement some of the suggestions.”

Echoing similar sentiments, Mr. Awati said: “Government support is a must for the industry to get into the next level of growth. The economic and employment potential is huge. In the coming years, industrial valves market is expected to post significant growth, attributed to new industrial infrastructure development projects, repair and renovation of existing industries, and expansion in the gas pipeline network.”

Industry landscape

The country’s valve and ancillary industry is spread across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Gujarat with Hubballi, Coimbatore, Pune, Tiruchirappalli, Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Vadodara, and Ahmedabad playing lead roles. As per a CII report, the market is expected to witness a CAGR of 5.9% between 2018 and 2023. According to 6Wresearch, market research & consulting firm, India’s industrial valves market size is projected to reach $3 billion by 2023.



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Sagar Biswas

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