Meet Sonu Kalavara, Supply Chain Manager
Sonu heads our Supply Chain Department. Sonu has worked at Advanced Watertek for 16 years plus, and he is a valuable member of the management team. If you want to know the trends in the water treatment industry or you have a question about membranes, filters or suppliers – Sonu is the man with the answers.
You have been at Advanced Watertek for nearly 17 years. What made you stay for these years?
Advanced Watertek is a company that offers opportunities for growth and maintains high ethical standard. The impression of the high ethical standard was given me when I met MF (founder and MD) for the first time at my job interview, and I can say that this has not changed during all these years.
I have been here nearly 17 years, but I have changed responsibilities and work areas every 2-3 years. Hence, I have had opportunities to grow and learn new things. Though I have spent sixteen plus years here, it is like I have worked for five or six different companies. This is part of the reason and motivation for me to stay.
I will also like to highlight the employee and employer relationship here at Advanced Watertek. All employees are treated as equally important. We are one team working towards the same goal. As a result we have a very good work culture.
Which role do you have today?
In the recent years I have been very lucky to develop myself in the field of Supply Chain Management, and today I head the Supply Chain Department. I will say that the strength of a company is actually depending on its supply management.
The field of procurement and supply management has changed over the years, from a transactional role to a more strategic, commercial and business focused role. Hence, we also need to follow the development and change our processes. I’m very happy that we are upgrading our ERP system to SAP these days. This step will improve our internal processes and also better the communication with our clients and suppliers. Furthermore I have plans to adopt world class manufacturing approaches like JIT (just in time), TQM (total quality management), lean production as well as a state-of-the-art warehouse management system.
How do you see the water treatment market today compared to 15 years ago?
Advanced Watertek is a pioneer in Reverse Osmosis and in the water treatment industry here in the Middle East. When I started to work here we were one of the few companies in the market. As a result there were plenty of opportunities.
Today I will say that the market has changed. Currently, the competition has increased as the market space is crowded with both local and international players. Still, I will say that we, as a company, have found our position, by offering complex and high-end water solutions and equipment for the customers that appreciate high quality and reliability over price.
The future of the water treatment industry
It is important for me to stay updated on trends in the water industry, so I travel a lot to industry events and read industry news daily. There is a movement towards more environmentally friendly and sustainable technologies. This is a totally new direction. We need to face the challenges and needs of water utilities and therefore develop and implement reliable and long-term solutions with lower environmental impact and lower life cycle cost. At this moment discussions arise on sustainable water treatment systems that empower innovative solutions.
I clearly see that the main focus is on water recycling & reuse. New technologies promise to transform wastewater into a resource for energy generation and a source of drinking water. One of the most crucial challenges for improved supply of safe water supply worldwide, is the adoption and use of new water treatment technology. With urbanisation, there is insufficient space for existing technology and this leads the way for more compact technology.
Recent breakthroughs have been credited with forcing down the cost of desalinated water. New ceramic membranes are helping to make treatment more affordable. I will also like to mention, smart monitoring technologies help companies to ensure the integrity of their system as well as vast water supply networks.