Fresh Splash: Ion Exchange To Help Set Up Overseas Plants

Mumbai: | Updated: May 19 2003, 05:30am hrs
In a strategic move, the Rs 200-crore Ion Exchange (India) Ltda water treatment companyhas now decided to set up three plants for production of packaged drinking water on the lines of Rail Neer in Africa, the Middle East and Bangladesh within a year. Rail Neer is packaged drinking water which is specifically marketed by the Railways. The manufacturing plant for Rail Neer has been set up by Ion Exchange.

At present, the company handles projects for water and waste water treatment in Saarc countries, the Middle East and South-East Asia, Ion Exchange (India) Ltd managing director Rajesh Sharma told FE.

On the companys new plans, Mr Sharma said: The expected order value for setting up such a plant will be around Rs 4 crore in Africa, the Middle East and Bangladesh. We will also handle the responsibility of being a consultant-cum-executor, designer and supplier of packaged water to these countries.

As part of the strategy, international companies are also planning to invest around Rs 7-8 crore on this project, he added.

According to Mr Sharma, with the move, the company hopes to garner additional 25 per cent growth in its exports turnover within a year. At present, its export turnover constitutes 10 per cent to its overall sales turnover.

Apart from this, the company has also recently set up a 100 per cent subsidiary company called Ion Exchange Bangladesh Services Ltd in Bangladesh to provide services for operation of water treatment plants. This is part of our new customer relationship management initiatives to tap those customers who are on the look out to outsource services for operation of water treatment plants within Bangladesh, explained Mr Sharma.

As for the Indian market, Ion Exchange is now planning to expand its number of units of Zero-B water dispensing vending machines (priced at Rs 2 per glass, or Rs 3 for refilling water in an empty one litre bottle) from 24 to 70 units to be set up at bus stands in cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai besides Assam and Meghalaya.

At present, the company has presence of Zero-B water dispensing vending machines in Rajasthan, Karnataka, Bangalore, Goa and Kolkata, informed Mr Sharma. We hope this new marketing initiative to contribute an additional Rs 5 to Rs 7 crore within a year, he added.

According to Mr Sharma, with the move the company hopes its overall sales turnover to grow by an additional 10 per cent within a year.

On Ion Exchanges new initiatives, says consulting firm Market Search India Pvt Ltd CEO Sundar Rajan: The companys moves to expand the number of Zero-B water dispensing vending machines is in the right direction as people on the move nowadays do not get access to clean drinking water at Rs 2 per glass.