Panasonic ups the ante in mobile phones; focus on mid-premium segment

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on October 08, 2018 Published on October 08, 2018

Manish Sharma, President and CEO, Panasonic India

Targeting 5% market share by the fiscal end

Japanese consumer durables maker, Panasonic, is renewing its focus on mobile phones in India, with a slew of launches.

Moving on from mass and mass-premium devices, priced between Rs 7,000 and Rs 16,000, the company is ramping up its portfolio with mid-premium phones. This segment comprises products priced in the Rs 20,000-30,000 range. It hopes to gain market share with this segment which Hwhich has fewer brands jostling for space.

While Samsung had a presence in the category for quite sometime now, new entrants over the last few months include Vivo, Oppo, Huawei and Mi.

According to Manish Sharma, President and CEO, Panasonic India is targeting a 5 per cent market share in the mid-premium segment by the end of this fiscal. In the overall mobile phone category, it plans to have a three per cent market share. Panasonic, currently, sells most of its devices in the mass and mass-premium categories. Competition is the most intense in these categories.

The Japanese company recently launched two AI-enabled flagship devices in these mid-premium price brackets. “It has been a strategic decision to enter the mid-premium segment. We have been getting customer queries on whether we are there in the segment or not,” he told BusinessLine.

Having mid-premium offerings does not mean that Panasonic will go slow on the mass and mass-premium segment. The company has a slew of products lined up for launch across these older segments over the next few months

The target, Sharma says, is to have a Rs1,200-crore turnover from its mobile phone division. In FY-18, Panasonic had similar revenues from the segment.

“The focus is on having higher average selling price in mobile phones. Turnover-wise, mobile phone sales numbers could be lesser than last year. But, we are hopeful of having around Rs1,200 crore sales,” he said

According to Sharma, the company is also moving to completely knocked down (CKD) manufacturing from November. So far, it was going for semi-knocked down manufacturing. Panasonic has a third-party manufacturing facility in Noida.

In SKD level of manufacturing, components come fixed at motherboard of mobile phones and all the parts are assembled, while in CKD the components are assembled at the unit of the device-maker. “November onwards we will move from SKD to CKD. And at any given point of time there will be seven-eight models available in the market. It could move up to 10 depending on demand,” he said.

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Published on October 08, 2018
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