Deepak Pahwa, Chairman, Pahwa Group & Managing Director, Bry-Air. In an interaction with Sanjay Jadhav, he emphasises the challenges faced by the company and talks about upcoming trends in the air treatment industry. Excerpts from the interview…
Right from manufacturing your first industrial dehumidifier to handling operations of your own company. How has your journey been?
I realised the latent need for a dehumidification market at a time when there was hardly any awareness about dehumidification. To grow the organisation, we focused on developing world-class manufacturing, which allowed us to offer world-class products. To continually stay relevant, we started innovating to come up with breakthrough products catering to the diverse and ever-evolving needs of the customers and the larger industry. As a result, our company incessantly abides by the philosophy that ‘Innovation is Life’ based on customer-centric needs of the market. Having been in the industry for more than five decades now, we have subsidiaries in China, Malaysia, Brazil, Nigeria and Switzerland as well as an associate plant in the USA. The group has filed 141 international patent applications in 15 new technologies (since 2007), out of which we have already been granted permission for 61 patents. Always striving to upgrade our product line according to the industry‘s needs, we have expanded and diversified our offerings in the long run. Understanding that at present the world is seeking energy-efficient products along with cost-effectiveness for a better ROI, we have come up with advanced products catering to the industry. For example, looking at the buzz around EVs, we provide solutions for manufacturing Li-ion batteries with the shortest lead time.
What do you think sets Bry-Air apart from other companies in the industry?
Our ability to customise products as per the needs of the industry is what sets us apart from the competition. Along with this, given the experience we have gained over the course of more than 58 years in the industry, we have come to realise that taking a problem-solving approach is the way forward for curating relevant products in the market. This helps us in offering suitable solutions to the clients, helping them in upscaling their productivity and business at the same time. As a result, we place a lot of focus on extensive R&D, testing, labs, and patents to gain a thorough understanding and emerge as experts in the subject matter. Based on this, we have products with different USPs for different industries.
What are some of the biggest trends you see shaping the air treatment industry in the next 5-10 years, and how is the company adapting to these changes?
Recently, a lot of conversation has been happening around sustainability, energy efficiency, and optimal usage of natural. This is giving impetus to the EV industry and the demand for the storage of renewable energy. It is a known fact that renewable energy cannot be used immediately and needs to be stored efficiently so that it can be harnessed in the future. This is inevitably giving rise to the demand for batteries, and our dry room facilities ensure the manufacturing of high-quality, safe Li-ion batteries. By providing advanced dehumidification solutions, we have always been a partner of the industry, supporting its growth. Along with this, the world‘s adoption of EVs with alacrity is shaping the demand for batteries in the market. With EVs catching fire and making rounds in the news, the industry is seeking high-quality batteries with no scope for defects to ascertain the safety of customers. Moving ahead, looking at the phenomenal rate at which digitisation is materialising across the world, data centres are a new big thing, creating a buzz in the industry. With businesses as well as various industries upgrading their operations with technology, data has become an imperative asset that needs to be streamlined with the help of data centres for effective use. Keeping in line with this, our product helps reduce the downtime of the data centres, ensuring that there is no loss of information due to corrosion. In recent years, the world has become very attentive to its health needs. As a result, desiccant dehumidification is required for the manufacturing of quality healthcare products that meet industry standards.
How do you balance the need for profitability with your company‘s commitment to environmental sustainability?
Undeniably, profitability is at the heart of every business. But we, at Pahwa Group, are driven by the desire to offer relevant solutions. Our resolve is to always provide innovative and niche solutions that state our position in the market and establish our proposition of valued customers. Taking a problem-solving approach, we try to understand the needs of the industry and accordingly customise our products or solutions to suit the demands of the clients.
How do you maintain a culture of innovation and creativity within the company, and what advice do you have for other business leaders looking to foster these qualities in their own organisations?
At Pahwa Group, innovation is the backbone of the company. Being at the forefront of helping the organisation towards a unified goal of providing niche quality air solutions, I have always believed that there is immense potential in the country. Even during my early days, when there was hardly any market for dehumidifiers, I could foresee the huge opportunity lying ahead and was forced to think that if the US could do it, then why can’t India? Looking at the competitive market at present, to get an edge over the others, it is important to have that fire in the belly to come up with ingenious solutions to solve the problems of the industries. In line with this, to strengthen our foothold in the international market, we place great importance on the curation of innovative technology backed up with intensive R&D.
What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the Pahwa Group and Bry-Air in the years ahead, and how are you working to overcome them?
Being a part of the industry, challenges will always be there in the market in some form or another. The rate at which global needs are changing with new technology outdating the previous one means that the market needs keep evolving. Technology is changing at a very fast pace, heralding the path for rapid digitisation. Being determined to always stay abreast of the times with our advanced solutions, we at Pahwa Group keep evolving with the demand of the market. There was a time when European products dominated the global market. Industry leaders showed a great preference for Western products, thinking that they offered better technologies than other countries. But things have been changing with time. Over the years, the perception has changed, and India rose to the occasion to be recognised in the international market.