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Panasonic looks to be a solution technology firm in coming years

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Home appliance and consumer electronics maker Panasonic India is aiming to position itself as a “solution technology company” in the coming years rather than being a product company, a top company official said. Panasonic India, a subsidiary of Japan-based Panasonic Corporation, has identified five pillars to drive growth, which includes – growing consumer business, developing solutions for living spaces, coming out with products and technology solutions in the supply chain segment and expanding energy business.

As part of its strategy, Panasonic is expecting an increased push from its consumer durable business in its revenue in the coming years along with a special focus on its solutions business which may contribute almost one-fourth of its B2B business in the next five years. Panasonic India, which is expecting a revenue of Rs 12,000 crore this fiscal, would also expand its retail footprint focusing tier-III & -IV places and introduce products catering those small markets with local R&D push as per its strategy.

“We would expand our portfolio of appliances dramatically and rapidly. Currently within the consumer durable business, half of the revenue comes from electronics and the other half from appliances. In the next three years, 65 per cent of this would come from appliances,” Panasonic India President & CEO Manish Sharma said.

Products such as TV, audio products, AV accessories come under electronic segments, while appliances include refrigerator, AC, washing machine etc. “We are looking to double our appliances revenue in three years. TV business would not double but it may continue to grow in line with the market growth,” Sharma said adding “TV would continue to be our identity. This would not change.”

Presently, Panasonic has around 9 per cent market share in TV, while in appliances, it has 8.5 per cent in AC, and 6 per cent in washing machine. “In three years, we are aiming to increase our market share to around 10 per cent in all categories,” he added.

Over expansion of sales network, Sharma said that in the next one year, Panasonic is going to penetrate small towns of the country.

“Currently, we operate in around 500 towns of the country and we have identified 480 towns with a population of more than one lakh. Our strategy was around 500 towns and now we are going to enter into tier III & IV towns also and for that, we need products which are suitable for those markets,” he said.

The company is introducing products such as semiautomatic washing machines and single door refrigerators and many more products with the help of local R&D push. “Global products can go into the urban area and locally developed can go into small towns,” he added.

Panasonic, which had marginal growth in its sales number in the last fiscal to Rs 10,300 crore impacted by factors which include low demand, weak rupee etc, now expects over 15 per cent increase to Rs 12,000 in the current fiscal.

“Panasonic has an aim of clocking Rs 12,000 crore revenue by FY2020 spurred by key strategic initiatives,” said Sharma adding that it expects its B2C businesses to contribute Rs 8,900 crore and B2B to contribute Rs 3,100 crore in the current fiscal.

Recently, Panasonic has merged its two verticals – welding business and SMT (Surface Mount Technology) equipment business to offer integrated Smart Manufacturing Solutions. It has Integrated smart homes solution, a new vertical created by Panasonic and is bringing connected solutions for the home with its step down firm Anchor Electricals.

“If you look Panasonic today, outsiders feel that this is a company which makes TV, appliances and those kinds of products. The transformation, which is going to happen … we would become a solutions technology company from being a product company. Of course, it would make many years but we would move towards that in the next five years time, we are considering that 25 per cent of our b2b revenue, should come from solutions business.”

“Idea is to leverage the diversity of the portfolio of Panasonic,” he said.


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