India’s Praj Plans Overseas Expansion of Industry Water Business

Jun 05, 2014 2:17 am ET

June 5 (Bloomberg) -- Praj Industries Ltd., a water- treatment company backed by investors Vinod Khosla and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, will seek to add pharmaceutical and food- processing clients as it begins to expand in emerging markets beyond India, Chief Executive Gajanan Nabar said.

“Going forward we’re looking at more internationalization of business,” Nabar said in an e-mailed interview from Praj’s headquarters in Pune, western India. The company’s clean-water technology unit, Praj HiPurity Systems, earns a fifth of its $17 million revenue from overseas industrial clients, he said.

Praj is betting on rising demand for water-filtration systems from pharmaceutical, biotechnology, cosmetics and food companies in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, where the U.S. Food & Drug Administration now monitors standards. Companies across the world are competing with individuals to source clean water as two million tons of sewage and effluent drain into the world’s waters every day, according to the United Nations.

Praj HiPurity Systems supplies water to 30 percent of Indian drugmakers, Nabar said. In India, the company plans to add revenue through clean “intake” and waste-water recycling systems sold by the parent, he said.

Industrial water demand in India may surge 57 percent by 2025, according to HSBC Holdings Plc.

Praj had sales of 7.83 billion rupees ($132 million) in the fiscal year that ended March 31. The shares have surged about 70 percent this year, exceeding a climb of almost 17 percent in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex index over the same period. They rose 0.2 percent as of 9:59 a.m. in Mumbai.