Matsushita eyes India for eco-friendly goods

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BIG PLANS AHEAD: Mr Yoichi Morishita, Chairman of Matsushita Electric. Ramesh Sharma
BIG PLANS AHEAD: Mr Yoichi Morishita, Chairman of Matsushita Electric. Ramesh Sharma

Moumita Bakshi Chatterjee
Thomas K Thomas

New Delhi, Aug 24

CONSUMERS could soon get a respite from high electricity bills for using consumer durable goods. Japanese electric major Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd is exploring the possibility of bringing its Panasonic brand environment friendly electric goods range to India, including energy saving washing machines and refrigerators.

The company is also exploring the possibility of collaborating with Indian software companies for developing mobile applications in the country to tap the booming cellular market.

Mr Yoichi Morishita, Chairman of the board, Matsushita Electric Industrial, told Business Line, "One of the areas that we are looking at is launching eco-friendly items that will enable consumers to save energy and labour costs. For example, we plan to bring washing machines and refrigerators that consume less power. These are selling very well in Japan, Europe and the US."

Mr Morishita, however, added that the company would explore the readiness of Indian market before launching the products. He also said that it was up to the Indian Government to promote introduction of such products with favourable policy initiatives. However, no specific time frame was set for the launch of the eco-friendly products.

Matsushita plans to strengthen its marketing and distribution network for Panasonic in India and is eyeing the flat screen TV segment.

"Our priority is to strengthen marketing initially and then look at investing in production of TV and household appliances. Our strategy is to introduce technology driven products in India to strengthen brand image," Mr Morishita said on the sidelines of the first meeting of the India-Japan ICT Ministerial forum.

"I see India as potentially the fastest growing market in the world. We have a huge role in the country. Through the Panasonic product line we can supply convenient items to improve the quality of life," the Chairman said.

Mr Morishita, who is also the Chairman of Asian Broadband Committee, said that a host of Japanese companies from sectors such as communication, carrier, manufacturing and service provider were part of the visiting delegation to India.

"Each of these companies has their own plans to promote broadband and networking in India. As a unified intention of the group we hope to promote broadband network in the country," he said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 25, 2005)
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