Panasonic is in the news for its plans to expand into a new Internet of Things category in the mobility space through the new products such as location trackers. Meanwhile, the company will continue to develop an ecosystem focused on IoT products such as mobile handsets.
The company’s prime focus will be on IoT as well as machine learning, said Manish Sharma, the President and CEO at Panasonic India in an interview with ET. He added, the company is very clear for its IoT strategy. Panasonic is focusing on developing an ecosystem of smart connected as well as energy efficient. Through machine learning, the company is also eyeing to expand its position in the global market. The company is likely to announce further diversification in the AI space.
Panasonic is deploying a newly launched innovation center in Bangalore, India to create the new IoT products and solutions that are powered by Artificial Intelligence. The company further announced its plans for the new center and said that it will be investing as many as Rs 240 crores in the center in the coming five years. A certain part of the investment will be directed towards making solutions for mobile phones such as Arbo, said Sharma.
The plans of Panasonic for its handset business are different from companies providing similar services. Panasonic is mulling to use its handset business for establishing harmony within the existing consumer businesses. The company will use its handset business as a center as well as the Arbo platform to create an ecosystem of a range of connected devices.
For market leaders, Smartphone plays a crucial role in their planning process. But, Panasonic has taken a completely different stance, said Sharma. The company’s plans for many years to come and the aim is not limited to increasing revenue or finding opportunities to add to revenue, added Sharma. The strategy of the company is to learn ways by which it can develop an ecosystem that is likely to stay long.
It would take the company around 2 to 3 years to come up with the strategy for the connected devices in India. Therefore, the company has to rely on its mobile handset business to ensure revenue.
As of now, the handset business of the company adds nearly 10% to its total revenue. The company sells nearly 1.5-1.6 million devices every year. The company has outsourced its handset business in the past to a third-party vendor. However, for its plans to connected devices, it has to manage the handset business. For the past few years, the company has been controlling its handset business by itself, said Sharma.
The company seems to be setting up a new space for itself in the industry as it said that it is no longer looking at competing with its peers in the market. The company is now planning to collaborate with developers and enter collaboration with tech companies to create AI-based solutions and IoT products in the country.