Panasonic to invest Rs 1,400 cr in India over next three years

The company will spend the amount on setting up a technopark in North India and establishing the brand as a home appliances major, besides other technical operations, over the next three years, he said.

"Panasonic has always been associated with TVs and digital cameras. We want to change the consumers' mindset and are hence trying to establish a brand that can be associated with home appliances. We are investing around USD 30 million (Rs 1,400 crore) in the next three years," Panasonic India Marketing Director Manish Sharma told PTI on the sidelines of the launch of its 'camera-to-couch' 3D solutions here.

Panasonic India is currently the market leader in plasma and LCD TVs, with a 48 per cent share of the 3.6 million-unit flat TV market.

However, the Japanese firm is looking at increasing its market share in home appliances such as refrigerators, air-conditioners and washing machines while maintaining its position as a leading TV player.

"We are already selling our home appliances in the market and we want to scale-up this segment. Over the next two years, we want to garner a 15 per cent share in the washing machines market from the current 5 per cent," Sharma said.

He noted this was a huge challenge, as the market is flooded with products from major players such as Samsung, LG and Whirlpool, besides smaller players such as Onida and Videocon.

The company's flat TV panel sales have grown 250 per cent over the last year, thus reflecting a good consumer response.

It now wants to target consumers beyond the metros and enter tier II and III cities to address the latent demand.

The company is in the process of setting up its first air-conditioner manufacturing unit near Gurgaon, he said.

"Within the next two-months, we will acquire land and set up our technopark near Gurgaon. This will house our first AC manufacturing unit. After this, we will focus on fridges and washing machines," Sharma added.

Panasonic is also focusing on advertising and other promotional activities and plans to spend around 15 per cent of its revenues on both ATL and BTL activities.

In addition, it plans to open 40 more exclusive showrooms this year. Currently, it has 110 such outlets.

"We also are focusing a lot on increasing our retail presence in tier II and tier III cities by opening 40 more showrooms. We intend to develop and design products keeping in mind the need of the middle-class consumer," he said.

The company expects to grow in double digits over the next few years, he said.

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