Japanese conglomerate Panasonic Corporation plans to invest about Rs 400 crore during this year in India as it seeks to expand its business across different segments, including smart phones and energy solutions.

The corporation sees mobile phones business and batteries as big opportunity unfolding in the country.

Manish Sharma, Managing Director, Panasonic India, said, “The company has identified India as a high growth market. The Southern region contributes to nearly a third of the company’s overall sales in the country. We expect various businesses within Panasonic to gain share.”

The company has sewn up plans to invest about Rs 1,500 crore over the next three years towards expansion. It is aiming at revenues of about $ 3.66 billion (about Rs 22,000 crore) by 2015.

“We have recently launched a top end smart phone priced at Rs 26,500 and will shortly introduce three more smart phones priced in the Rs 15,900, Rs 12,900 and Rs 9,900. Thereafter, we will follow this up with two more models at Rs 5,990. This will be further consolidated with the roll out of other models,” he said.

“The country’s smart phone market is poised to grow significantly. We will offer a wide range of phones. We are also looking at budget phones and may introduce them following up on these launches. Panasonic is conscious of the market and demand for phones priced below Rs 5,000. We will have offerings in that segment too, he said.

Panasonic India expects to close this year with revenues of over Rs 700 crore from mobile phones business, he said.

Referring to the energy solutions market, Sharma said that the company has a wide range of batteries for the automotive sector and telecom towers and UPS segments. Apart from this, the company also plays a role in the Lithium Ion range.

“With the country gearing up to launch 4G services, the entire telecom tower network would need upgradation. This would provide Panasonic a big opportunity. In addition, we are looking at expanding our presence in the automotive business, particularly supplies to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs),” he added.

rishikumar.vundi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 12, 2013)
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