Having invited the #PumpTalk Community to nominate an Industry Professional, Empowering Pumps & Equipment is excited to feature this Industry Person of the Week – an innovator, patent-holder, and entrepreneur who began his career in the pump industry 50 years ago! Meet Silvino Geremia!
Q. How did you get started working in the Pump Industry?
Silvino: My professional career has always been in the pump industry. It began around 50 years ago as an employee of a pump factory in the small city of Bento Gonçalves in Southern Brazil. After that first experience, I moved to a close town to become coordinator in another company. Upon those two experiences, I was sure that it was the path I wanted to take, so I decided to start my own pump company.
It was a hard beginning as I had an initial capital of $10,000 and although I had technical skills, I lacked commercial experience. But as everything in life, you have to persist and never give up on your goals. With hard work and focus, Geremia Pumps (name given to my company) started manufacturing submersible pumps for artesian water wells. At that time, there were no suppliers of submersible motors in Brazil. To solve that problem, I decided that we had to develop the submersed motors ourselves.
As I was studying electromechanics, I believed I would be able to apply my knowledge in that motor design. Geremia Pumps grew and evolved to manufacture progressing cavity pumps (PCP) – we were the pioneer manufacturer of that type of pump in South America. With the PCPs it was possible to pump high viscosity petroleum (8 to 15 °API), so our first customer for that technology was Petrobras (Brazil’s largest oil company). That project was fantastically successful. Once the product was consolidated in Brazil, we started exporting to the United States, Canada, Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, and Trindad & Tobago. With this we had reached the some of the largest oil companies in the world, such as National Oilwell and Baker Hughes (both became distributors later that year). Due to the company’s results and the product quality, the North American group EVI (later became Weatherford) acquired Geremia Pumps.
Three years later, I founded HIGRA together with my two children: Alexsandro and Lisiane Geremia. We started with an innovative project that we named amphibious pump – applicable in raw water pumping; mostly used for water harvesting from river dams in both mining and sanitation segments. The various applications of HIGRA’s products are internationally successful as well. Additionally, our pioneering spirit is also in the “Chief Zero“ management, which consists in not having a formal hierarchy of command and remains the same after 18 years of foundation of HIGRA.
Q. What is your favorite job? What are you most proud of?
Silvino: I like Product Engineering and Quality, seeking development of innovative products that the competitor’s best products do not have. I am proud of becoming a professional on my own, to undertake in a country with few incentives, and conquer the international market which is extremely closed and with high technology. I can not fail to mention my pride in creating an educational plan in which we pay educational costs to all our professionals. By that our engineering team got the excellence level according to the market’s competitive demands.
Q. What advice would you give to someone new to the industry?
Silvino: This is a competitive market dominated by large groups that have state-of-the-art technologies, so my advice is to look for specific niches not covered by other players. In addition, it is necessary to have a lot of respect for those who work in the pump industry besides creating innovative products instead of improvements to the competitor’s products.
Q. Can you tell us about a cool project you worked on?
Silvino: After coordinating the design of amphibious pumps and making HIGRA a reference in energy consumption reduction and high pumping efficiency, we are currently developing the amphibious turbine. This product is an option for clean energy generation through hydraulic potentials available in dams, spillways, waterfalls and other sources of accumulated water energy. It consists of a wet type submerged generator with possibility of applications in or out of water. It is intended to primarily service the water/sanitation companies in energy recovery by replacement of pressure reduction valves.
Wow! Silvino, thank you for all your contributions to the Pump Industry and for being our Person of the Week! We look forward to keeping up with you through the #PumpTalk Community!
Know an Amazing Person who is making valuable contributions within the Industry? Nominate them to be an “Industry Person of the Week”!