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Hyderabad, Nov. 15 The boom in the retail, cold chain, entertainment, manufacturing and real estate industry will spur the growth of the Indian heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, cooling and refrigeration (HVAC&R) sectors.

For the past three years, the HVAC&R is growing at an average 25 per cent and by end- of-fiscal 2008-09, it is expected to touch Rs 16,000 crore, according to industry experts.

Air-conditioners have become a necessity and a wide range of upcoming industries need it on a priority. With a bit of support from the Union and State Governments, the sector will grow well, said Mr M.S. Anand, Chairman, CRP Group, Hyderabad.

Needs trained manpower

While the growth prospects are exciting, the worrying aspect is the huge shortfall of trained manpower.The industry also needs to put in place labelling and standards, said Mr Satish Iyengar, former President of the Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air-Conditioning Engineers (ISHRAE). It is estimated that nearly 5,000 engineers are required every year to meet the needs of the industry. To address the issue, the ISHRAE is planning to start Institutes of Excellence and sub-chapters for vocational training for fresh graduates, he told newspersons here on Thursday.

International expo

The ISHRAE is organising an International Exposition — ACREX India 2008 in Bangalore, during February 15-17, 2008 at the KPTO trade centre. The Convenor of the Expo, Mr Pankaj J. Shah, said a delegation of 36 companies and over 200 participants from China and over 25 companies and 50 participants from South Korea would participate in the event. In addition, over 350 companies from the US, Japan, Germany, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc. would also take part.

They are also working with the Bureau of Industrial Standards (BIS) to put in place relevant standards and certifications for the HVAC&R industry. The voluntary star rating feature introduced by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), under the Department of Science and Technology would become mandatory in 2010.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 16, 2007)
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