"We all are more or less facing water-related problems - water logging, water scarcity or anything else. But most of us do not know there is a solution to both. The solution has been brought to Bangladesh by Pedrollo nk."
The company is not only marketing water pumps for irrigation, but also providing solution to water-related problems and working as a water management company.
It was how Nader Khan, Chairman and Managing Director of Pedrollo nk Ltd, spoke of his company to The Financial Express in an interview.
There is a perennial problem of irrigation in both agriculture and tea plantation. Water stagnation during cricket matches in the rainy season forces authorities to suspend matches.
Khan said two games were suspended due to water stagnation caused by rains last year in the divisional Jahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong. The water was removed by installing a submersible water management system.
The water problem at the Bhatiary Country and Golf Club was also solved by Pedrollo. "So we are not only an irrigation water pump marketing company. We are also providing solution to water-related problems and working as a water management company. The underground automatic pump-out system can remove surface water within three hours", he told this correspondent.
When asked about the response in the local market, he said, "it is positive but there is a lot to be done for raising awareness about the Pedrollo devices".
"Our goal is to build a strong management team for Bangladesh. They will fulfill all sorts of customers' demand for water system and solve their problems through delivering high-quality products and appropriate technical services at a reasonable price," he said.
With the slogan 'Pani niye bhabna, Aar na, aar na' Pedrollo nk started its journey in the country's water pump industry in 1985 as the sole agent of the world famous Pedrollo brand pumps of the Italy-based manufacturer of European origin. Incorporated in October 1987 the Pedrollo nk has now become a symbol of quality as well as the market leader for water pumps in Bangladesh.
While doing business at Khatungonj in Chittagong mainly import of rubber tyres -- Nader Khan went to Milan of Italy to join a fair. During his seven days' stay, he visited the Pedrollo stall where he talked to one Mr. Boni of the company. At that fair Khan placed an order for import of 100 units of peripheral pumps followed by another consignment of 400 units which were sold out fast in the Chittagong market fetching him a profit of Tk. 0.2 million.
During that time Pedrollo SAP of Italy was a very small company with a production capacity of only 100 pieces of water pumps a day. But production at their factory has gone up dramatically and currently it is more than 10,000 units per day.
Silvano Pedrollo, Chairman of the company, said Bangladesh played an important role in the growth. Out of his gratitude to the people of the country he also extended benevolent support to the poor people of Bangladesh, Khan said.
He said Pedrollo nk aimed to ensure longer life of product, energy efficiency, minimum maintenance cost and set up country-wide service centres having the widest range of products. These four unique features have made their products 'Best' among those of other competitors.
In an agro-based Bangladesh economy with a large population, Pedrollo's especially-designed irrigation pumps and household pumps can run even on a low voltage of electricity and the prices range from Tk 5250 to Tk. 0.72 million per unit.
He said that the people of Bangladesh had a wrong idea about irrigation water pumps for which the country was wasting a large amount of money and electricity. Pumps of half a horse-power each are suitable for small scale irrigation. But the local farmers always prefer pumps with three or more horse powers. "If you go for three or more horse-power pumps it is sure to be the wastage of money," he said.
After the huge success of the household pump series in 1985 Pedrollo nk introduced the irrigation series and submersible series which also emerged market leaders in a year. "The endeavours of dedicated and competent employees made us the best water pump supplier company in Bangladesh with more than one million pumps in the market," he said.
Besides the brand Pedrollo with more than 350 products in eight categories, Pedrollo nk is exclusively serving its customers with other world famous pump manufacturing brands like HCP which is manufacturing drainage pumps and Rovatti manufacturing multi-stage pumps. Annual sales of Pedrollo pumps have crossed 70,000 units covering around 200 models.
The biggest strength of the Group is its distribution network of 270 distributors and 500 retailers spreading across all corners of Bangladesh covering major cities and important business centre. Through this network it is possible to have easy and quick access to machinery, hardware or other products to the vast multitude of customers throughout the country. There are also 12 outlets showcasing the products all over the country.
In 2003 Nader Khan entered tea plantation sector through starting the Halda Valley Tea Garden in his locality of Fatikchari in Chittagong. This is Bangladesh's only tea garden where the sprinkler system of permanent irrigation is introduced to enhance tea production.
When the average production of tea in Bangladesh's tea gardens is 1200 kilograms per hectare, the Halda Valley produces 3,000 kg per hectare, unlike anywhere in the country.
"This year (2012) my garden has produced 435,000 kg of CTC black tea on an average of 2208 kg per hectare". It has been possible due to permanent irrigation system he has introduced in the garden.
Mr Khan also has stake in the Ramgarh Tea Estate and the Finlay Tea Garden. He is also involved in banking, insurance business (both life and general), financing and flexible packaging.