Panasonic is looking to diversify into a new Internet of Things (IoT) category in the mobility space with the launch of new products like location trackers, even as it continues its focus to create a complete IoT product ecosystem, including mobile handsets.
To create a complete IoT product ecosystem, including mobile handsets.
Internet Of Things (IoT)
NEW DELHI: Panasonic is looking to diversify into a new Internet of Things (IoT) category in the mobility space with the launch of new products like location trackers, even as it continues its focus to create a complete IoT product ecosystem, including mobile handsets.
“We large focus on both IoT and intelligence. Our IoT strategy is very clear. We want to create and the ecosystem of smart connected and energy efficient. The global push is also in the direction of AI…soon, there will be significant diversification of product category, in the mobility domain,” Manish Sharma, President and CEO, Panasonic India, told ET in a recent interaction.
The company is leveraging its newly setup India innovation center in Bangalore to develop new IoT products and solutions based on Artificial intelligence. For the center, it is investing a total Rs 240 crores in five years.
“A part of this investment will be utilized for solutions of mobile phones, like Arbo,” Sharma said.
Unlike other handset companies, Panasonic is looking to use its handset business to create synergies within existing consumer businesses in the country. It is planning to use the handset as the hub along with the Arbo platform to build an ecosystem of various connected products.
“For other top brands, mobile plays a bigger role in their thought process. It is completely another way around for us. Our intention is the very long term, and objective of the smartphone business is not to chase revenue. Our strategy is how we can build an ecosystem which is the more long-term,” Sharma explained.
Sharma said that the connected product strategy will take another 2-3 three years to take shape in India. “It will continue to evolve, therefore mobile phone is extremely strategic from the point of view of revenue contribution,” he added.
Currently, the handset business contributes about 10% towards the total revenue of consumer appliances for Panasonic India. It sells around 1.5-1.6 million devices annually.
Panasonic had previously outsourced its handset business to a third-party vendor, but to realize its connected devices strategy, it decided to bring it under own control. “In last few years, we have made a significant transition of managing this business by ourselves.”
Sharma further added that Panasonic is not looking at direct competition with players that are exclusively into the handset business.
Panasonic is now aiming to work with developers and form tie-ups with technology companies to build AI-specific solutions and IoT products in India.
“We are looking out for partners. It would be extremely difficult for any organization not only Panasonic to look at these kinds of developments in isolation…it's an era where masters of trades are needed. However, the core technology has to come from your side,” he added.