New Delhi: Panasonic is investing in India to build capacity as it expects the country to emerge as a manufacturing hub for the African and West Asian markets for its appliance business, a top official of Japanese electronics major said.
For Panasonic, India is the fastest growing market globally and the country is among its high priority markets, CEO of Appliance Company & Senior Managing Executive Officer, Panasonic Corporation, Tetsuro Homma told PTI.
Besides, Panasonic Appliances is also pushing India to be a research & development (R&D) hub to serve its other global markets.
"Panasonic Appliance Company has severals regions globally and Indian market is the fastest growing. So we have a confidence in this market and are broadly expanding our product range," Homma said.
"Panasonic Corporation has a very clear strategic intent, and that is to enhance its appliances portfolio for which India has been identified as a developmental hub. Be it innovation, R&D or exports, the corporation aims to mould the country into its Offshore Delivery Centre."
As per its strategy, Panasonic Appliances is placing India along with China in its high priority markets.
"We put high priority on China, India and those so on Asia. Those are our prioritise countries because we change our consumer electronics strategy not to heavily depending on audio visual products but we spend much resources on appliances business and AC business," he added.
In FY2016, Japan contributed 56 per cent to Panasonic Appliances' revenue and the rest 44 per cent came from other markets comprising of Asia, China, Europe and ISAMEA (India, South Asia, Middle-East and Africa).
"Indian population would be bigger than China. We already have USD 10 billion business in China and so we expect same size of business in this country.
We would like to grow the appliance business of India as same size of China," Homma said. On a question that when India is expected to be one of the top three non-Japan markets for appliances, Panasonic India President and CEO Manish Sharma said: "I believe that it is going to take some time. It would take few years but the growth is the fastest."
Yesterday, Panasonic inaugurated its refrigerator factory at Jhajjar, Haryana. It has invested Rs 115 crore in the plant which has annual production capacity of 0.5 million units approximately and cater domestic as well as global markets.
"My expectations to PIAP (Panasonic Appliances India) is that it would be hub for those Africa and Middle East countries both manufacturing and product marketing," Homma added.
Over the business expansion in India, Homma said that Panasonic has a good brand awareness in this country and this could be utilised to expand business. Citing example of its washing machine unit, he said that it became profitable within three years.
"We would like to duplicate that success model to other products," Homma added. Panasonic now manufactures all major products such as AC, washing machine and TV panels.