Ion Exchange Services, a key player in the water purification and treatment business, is eyeing acquisition of smaller players in the north and eastern parts of the country in order to strengthen its presence across India.

According to Mr Dinesh Sadasivan, CEO of Ion Exchange Services, “In geographies like north and eastern parts of the country, we have a presence, but the regions are dominated by many small local players.

“In order to achieve scale and economies, we are planning acquisitions to get a dominant position in the country.”

India's total industrial and waste water business, including municipal waste, is said to be around Rs 16,000 crore. Of this, Rs 5,200 crore is industrial water and waste water business. The total value of just the industrial and institutional business is around Rs 350 crore. Ion Exchange Services has a dominant position in this business with 25 per cent market share.

Building capabilities

The company plans to close this financial year with Rs 90 crore in turnover and has formulated a five-year strategy to grow the business to Rs 500 crore through both organic and inorganic routes.

Mr Sadasivan said, in addition to acquisitions, the company is investing in building capabilities to handle eco-management (solid waste), tech-collaboration and getting into facilities management.

“Across industries and institutions, the company has about 250 clients under operation and maintenance (O&M). The company has been handling sewage treatment plants in eight Infosys Technologies campuses under O&M,” said Mr Sadasivan.

“Increasingly, companies are now preferring to go for ‘build, operate and transfer (BOT)' projects. Currently, we are offering this to projects in the industrial sector, particularly utilities and other non-core areas,” he added.

Recently, the company executed projects under BOT to TVS Srichakara in Madurai (Tamil Nadu) and Rudrapur (Uttar Pradesh) and National Steel in (Madhya Pradesh).

“Here, the clients get the benefit of utilising the services of specialists in the field, to design, build and finance the asset and also to operate it over a long term leaving the client to focus on its core business,” said Mr Sadasivan.