Electronics firm set to create more business opportunities in Africa
With the global household appliances industry expected to reach an estimated value of $324.2 billion by 2019, Director, Corporate Communications Division, Panasonic Marketing, Middle East & Africa, Mr. Anthony Peter, has said Panasonic was planning to promote and create new business-to-business and business-to-governments opportunities in Africa. He also noted that it would continue to sustain the products in the traditional business-to-consumer market.
In a chat with The Guardian, Peter stated that Panasonic would be offering ‘locally-fit’ products to help the brand understand its customers better and enrich their lifestyle. Two years ago, Managing Director of Panasonic, Middle East and Africa, Shinichi Wakita, had said the company was extending the manufacturing of its air-conditioners and TV sets to the shores of Nigeria.
He stated that the company was partnering with SIMS Nigeria Limited, an electronics and home appliances marketing/distribution company in Lagos, to make this happen.
Wakita had said, “As a contribution towards the society which is based on our basic business philosophy, we are establishing our local manufacturing unit for air-conditioners and TVs in Lagos. We believe this will make a small contribution towards job creation and the economy of Nigeria. Africa is one of the fastest growing economies with a rising consumer class. Setting up this manufacturing base in Nigeria is our strategy to deal with the business challenges in this market. We will be working closely with the Nigerian population, with an aim to provide products which are ‘locally-fit’ and in accordance with their demands.”
Peter, however, noted, “Africa is an emerging market and the widespread reform across the continent has resulted in an ever-improving business environment and this, together with other factors such as increased infrastructure investment, has contributed to the doubling of the economy over the past decade.”
With 2018 marking the centennial year of its founding, Panasonic, according to him, stands as one of the top five global manufacturing giant of household appliances, adding, “With our continuous efforts towards bringing innovation, smart technology and best-in-class products, we are confident of a promising future.
“We are always thinking ahead of our customers when it comes to introducing a new line up or upgrading the existing. As a customer-loving brand, Panasonic aims to stand strong on offering the top Japanese quality products, which is rooted in our 100-year old foundation. Some competing brands may have an edge over in terms of pricing but consumers today have evolved immensely and they make informed choices. As a part of our growth strategy, we are focusing on the battery and automotive business strongly. Collaboration with Tesla Giga factory is a significant and recent milestone achieved by the company to reach its progress plan.”
But just like every business, there are challenges, in the case of global electronics and home appliances industry such as commoditization of products, especially in the developing countries. He noted that Panasonic is untiring in its efforts in continuously advancing the products and solutions it offers.
He further noted, “In terms of product innovation, we ensure to be ahead of times in order to meet the futuristic needs of our customers and this also helps us deal with phenomena such as commoditization. The dynamic nature of the household appliances and implementation of contemporary technological advancement have reenergised this industry over the years. With new product development, increasing urbanization, and rising working class population, the demand will continue to grow at a steady pace”
While commenting on counterfeiting, he argued that this global challenge has been for years, saying, “Panasonic is a global technology giant and like other big brands we do face this issue to some extent. However, our strategy to deal with the situation is to continuously upgrade our products and technologies and keep our customers informed and assured of the quality and safety of authentic goods.”
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