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With more than half a million happy customers, Alfaa UV holds the distinction of being the leading manufacturer of stainless steel UV water purification systems in India. It is India’s number one company in the India’s industrial UV water segment. In 2001, Alfaa earned the certification of ISO 9001, an internationally recognized model for quality assurance in design, development, production, installation and service, being the first UV water purification company in India to be awarded this certification. It is the first company in India to introduce microprocessor-controlled water-purifier. Two of its leading products, Platina & Sparkle were awarded the title of “Best Domestic UV Water Purifier” by Water Digest in association with UNESCO in 2015.
Ankur Parikh, Director-Industrial UV at Alfaa UV, is responsible for new product development, manufacturing, marketing and after-sales service. With experience of more than a decade in the Indian water treatment industry, Ankur is currently involved in the streamlining of the manufacturing process and development at Alfaa UV.
In conversation with Ankur Parikh we have excerpts as;
Alfaa UV is basically in a very specialized field of manufacturing sterilized ultra violet systems for any industries requiring very low to nil bacteria and virus counts. So basically Alfaa UV takes care of the microbiological contamination, and for this we have a wide range of products starting from pre-treatment systems all the way up to the point of view systems in any high purity industry.
Our flagship product is called BioPure which is a UV system designed as per ASME BPE norms which are one of the most stringent norms in the industry today. They take care of the construction of the system, which is high purity construction using very efficient technology and as specified by the standards. It also has a very good system, using which it is possible to achieve very low bacterial and microbiological counts in the water treatment system.
Yes. While many of our products are fairly standardized for use in the industry, every pharmaceutical or biotechnology company is different in the needs they have for their plant. So while the product might be similar, the validation services that we provide are highly customized. Depending upon the scheme of the customer and their requirements, we will make validation and traceability file for them which will help them to pass their USFDA audits or any other similar audits they might be facing. It includes detailed traceability packages and also other qualification that they would need.
Pharma and biotech companies have always required water with very low bacteria counts and this is more important today in the biotechnology industry than in pharma. Because in the pharma industry typically they use the chemicals to manufacture a drug whereas biotech uses highly specialized enzymes and organisms to make the drug effective. In case of any other stray organisms in the water this can have a very detrimental effect on their products especially relating to the shelf life and effectiveness of that product. So by having systems that are targeting zero bacteria counts they will be able to improve not only the product efficiency and effectiveness but also the storage of the product and its shelf life. This is becoming more and more important in today’s competitive industry. Most companies are targeting and moving towards this goal. And off course UV is the very important part of this goal but along with this even the water treatment system needs to be in line. There is a lot of activity in this field to move towards zero bacterial counts and its going to be the future.
While we have aggressive competition, finally it’s the customers who win. We try to differentiate ourselves from them by providing better service and quicker response to the customer..
There are many companies utilizing the concept of Zero bacteria water. While we do have a very good market share, we do have competitors. One of our competitors is a company called Hanovia which is a UK based company and they are a 100 year old company which gives them a good knowledge on the subject.
While we have aggressive competition, finally it’s the customers who win. We try to differentiate ourselves from them by providing better service and quicker response to the customer. We try to be as close as possible to the customers and of course as you know in a Pharma or Biotech Company there can be absolutely no downtime so we do our absolute best to ensure a very quick response to the customers and ensure their systems and processes work as they are expected to.
That is something we are very proud of. We have a lot of big names in the industry. We have customers such as Biocon, Serum Institute, Cipla, DRL, Wockhardt. You name it and most of them are our customers. We are working very actively to develop more customers rather than having just high-end customers. We are constantly evolving to meet up demands and budgets of all the companies. We are working with companies who do not have high end budgets or require high end systems such as Dell and provide them system and solution that meets their end.
Yes. One of the problems in today’s industry is the raw water coming in such as from tankers. This water is getting more and more contaminated which enters the water system of these companies. In today’s day even a single point of control of microbiological parameters is no longer acceptable. There needs to be a multi stage approach. So we are launching a product utilizing a very high intensity and a high dose UV energy to the raw water as it directly comes into the plant.
In earlier times the water had to be adequately filtered and treated before it could be disinfected using UV. So our new high flow system that we are launching now basically uses automatic cleaning system and high intensity UV dose to work even when filtration is not performed. This will actually help the customers to protect their water systems from pathogen such as pseudomonas and cryptosporidium which are becoming more and more prevalent. Not only does it contaminate the water system, it also causes long term damage to their pipelines which becomes very hard to clean once they have thick bio film formed. We are very excited about this product and we have done pilot studies with the customers and they have found it very effective.
We are going to launch it at the CPhI Show coming in December. So very soon!
Starting from product development to piloting we work with our customers and try to come up with a commercial solution..
Currently we have about 70% of the pharma and the bio pharma industry. And thanks to the loyalty of our customers, we are really glad they appreciate our products and services. We are working everyday to increase this market share.
Basically we are catering to the high purity and bio pharma industry. We have already done a lot of work such as zero bacteria water and something to take care of zero discharge of water. We along with a lot of other people in the industry are working aggressively to meet the customer’s zero discharge norms so that we can effectively reuse and re utilize this water since its becoming very scarce.
We have targeted a very ambitious 40% growth this year and another 40% growth next year. We are finding more and more ways by which we can do this like working towards affluent treatment, working towards raw water and along with this we are also working towards air disinfection systems for the pharma and bio pharma industry because that is another area which has very strict norms and is getting stricter by the day. Bacteria, mould, yeast these contaminations can be very easily treated by UV and we are working towards it.
It’s actually very simple. We just listen to our customers. We actively meet our customers and listen to them. It was very difficult for us to single handedly keep the track but when our customers come to us and tell us that these are the new norms and these are the targets that we need to meet, we try to work closely to meet them. So starting from product development to piloting we work with them and try to come up with a commercial solution.
We work with any industry that requires zero or low bacteria or any other microbial content. Some of these sectors would be food and beverage, mineral water industry, paint industry, chemical industry etc.
Absolutely! One India keeps us very busy. We are definitely looking at the export market and we already have success in South East Asia, South America, and some African countries. We are working on getting our products certified for use in Europe as well. So we are close and once that happens definitely it will be very good for us.
Shekhar Suman is a Serial Entrepreneur and the Co-Founder of Biotecnika. Magazine is a way he wants to recraft the way industry opines and expresses its views. With years of experience under his belt, he captains the ship with prudence and perfection. He is the chief-editor of Biotecnika Magazine and a big inspiration to the bio-community.
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