In the last two decades, while the world market for consumables, electronics has been expanding based on the population explosion. However, silently alongside this growth, there has also been outbreaks of many types of diseases, including the current one COVID-19, that we are all collectively facing.
Unlike some of the previous outbreaks, COVID-19 is not transmitted through insect vectors, whereas Zika virus, Chikungunya, H1N1 virus and dengue were and are transmitted through ticks and mosquitoes.
The Indian Pest Control Association has identified common pest problems in India to include cockroach, rodents, mosquitos, termite, reptiles, wood border, spider, lizards, bed bugs, ants and bats, which are also major cause for pest borne disease.
The same organisation is confident that the pest control market size in India will be growing at 15% per annum for the next few years.
What is driving the growth of Indian Pest Control Market?
The optimism towards the pest control market in India is attributed to several drivers; majorly the climate in the country which is considered to be conducive for the proliferation of the various forms of pests enlisted earlier. So in plain terms, the problem of pests in our houses is not going to go away for a long time as India’s warm climate which is unfortunately suitable for mangoes is also suitable for the breeding of insects, and their faster development and prolonged survival rates.
Another factor of population, human population in India which is currently at 1.25 billion and growing is also expected to provide impetus to the growth of the pests in India. Higher population densities present easy development of newer breeding grounds for the insects. The increasing population will also require additional food storage facilities, specially considering that India is an agriculture dependent economy. To reduce any losses to pest/insect infestation, the storage facilities and in fact the entire food supply value chain will also be requiring periodic pest control solutions.
This growing infestation is expected to be countered with a few positive macro-economic factors such as India being the largest economy and being the fastest growing economy which is a reflection of the rapidly expanding middle-class base; this economic development is bound to increase the ability of Indians to seek out pest control options which is a major driver in the predicted 15% per annum growth in pest control market in India.
Furthermore, the fast pace of urbanisation has created and is expected to create more residential, commercial, and industrial properties. At least for the commercial and industrial properties, where mandatory audit certifications such as ISO 9001 and ISO 2200 will ensure that pest control solutions will be a much sought-after service and that too, will be required periodically.
Considering the pandemic that we are living through, there have been ample guidelines pushed by the government and initiatives towards maintaining pest free and hygiene workplaces and why even railway stations. Any avid train traveller would certainly vouch for this.
Commercial and industrial setups opt for pest control solutions to either protect the property, people and/or adhere to regulatory compliances laid down by the civic authorities.
Damage to property is harmful for any business entity, a rat infestation may lead to them chomping down on the cables to the mainframe server, termites infesting the office furniture and then the business owner is left with minimal options of throwing out all of the furniture. Office spaces with pantries must be more careful as it may affect the employees’ health. Come monsoons, and there are increasing cases of dengue which might have been contracted either at the workplace or home, but the civic authorities do ensure that the workplaces are sanitised.
Based on the above possibilities, compliance forms a solid reason for commercial establishments to seek pest control services to not only keep their workplaces hygienic but also interestingly protect their brand reputation, given today’s rapid involvement of social media.
Are there any areas of concern for the pest control market in India?
Though India has a large population base, but the question bothering the pest control market players is the lack of awareness among us Indians towards pest control; who are either are dependent on temporary solutions to fix the insect infestation such as traps, or any form of insecticides available at their nearest store. Even if there was awareness towards pest control solutions, Indians would be against shelling money for such services as they would often perceive these imperative solutions as “expensive”. Whereas there are several service providers who would provide reliable pest control services anywhere between INR 3,000 – 5,000 and this would be the amount any average Indian middle-class family would shell out for a dinner at a restaurant.
Indians at large would focus on ensuring their houses are safe and clean but would be blissfully unaware that their overhead water tank of their residential properties be it apartments or societies or standalone houses would be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
The players in the industry are hence currently focusing on educating the masses about the detrimental effects of a pest / insect infestation. We wish them all the best as they are facing an uphill task given the length and breadth of the country not only in terms of geography but also varying beliefs towards pest control.
One popular belief is towards the harmful effects on pest control chemicals which is however faulty as there are several harmless and organic methods available for pest control.
What are the services offered by a typical pest control solution provider?
A well-established pest control participant would provide the following services:
- Exclusion is the method of preventing the entry of pests into the property.
- Restriction is another preventive measure which includes identifying possible breeding grounds at the outset and the remedies involved for it such as sealing cracks and crevices.
- Destruction is once there is an infestation, a control measure which either involves chemical or non-chemical methods to eliminate the pests.
- Monitoring is a very important step which is often disregarded as an additional cost but however a monitoring service can prevent the need for using pest control methods.
Though the market in India is largely un-organised, there are few players who are adding a bit of structure to this growing market with several latest solutions such as Bharat Group, Indian Pest Control Co., Jardine Henderson Limited, Orient Pest Control, and Pest Control (India) Pvt. Ltd.
Another example of the potential held by this country towards the pest control market is the entry of a global player, Rentokil Initial under a joint venture with Pest Control India in the year 2017. Rentokil estimated the Indian pest control market in India to sized at INR 1,800 crores in 2017 and grow at 15% per annum for the next few years.