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Anchor becomes ‘Panasonic Life Solutions India’, sets big growth and expansion targets by 2021

With the new legal entity, by FY 2021, the company expects a three-time revenue growth compared to the overall electrical industry’s growth of 6-8% annually

Anchor Electricals Private Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Panasonic, on Wednesday announced a change in its legal entity to ‘Panasonic Life Solutions India Private Limited’ with effect from April 1, 2019. With this, the brand has also changed its corporate identity from ‘Anchor by Panasonic’ to ‘Panasonic’. The positioning for the two core brands, however, remains the same, with Anchor targeting the value for money segment and Panasonic catering to the premium end of the market.

With the new legal entity, the company expects a three-time revenue growth over the total electrical industry that has a growth of 6-8% annually, by FY 2021.

“We are looking at a good growth of around three times more than the total electric industry. From segments like fan and lights, we expect more than 50-60% growth,” said Dinesh Aggarwal, Joint Managing Director, Panasonic Life Solutions India Private Limited.

In the coming years, the brand targets to expand its manufacturing units to parts of Middle East and Africa.

The brand witnessed 16% growth in FY 18-19 and generated more than Rs 3,000 crore from all its categories together. The profits grew by 32% and sales grew by 16%.

The brand plans to invest on building consumer connect, enhancing the influencer connect and improving its visibility at the retail front.

“We are looking at improving our visibility at the retail front. We have almost 4,500 direct dealers who are connected to us. Our products are sold in 30,000-40,000 retail stores across the country,” said Sunil Narula, Vice-President, Marketing, Panasonic Life Solutions India Private Limited.

The brand believes in a 360-degree approach when it comes to advertising and finds television as the most effective medium to reach the TG. 80% of Panasonic’s total marketing spends goes to TV.

“TV is our major medium supported by digital, OOH, radio and print as well. Television is the most effective medium for us. It reaches to our TG. Of our total spends, digital has 3-4%. However, in a year or two, we are planning to spend 10-15% on it and about 80% goes to television. For the coming years, TV would remain the lead medium but digital will increase next year; outdoor will be 7-8%,” said Narula.

According to Narula, there has been a lot of shift in consumer behaviour in the last 10 years. “We have seen a lot of shift in terms of consumers directly getting involved in making a decision of picking electricals. While they have limited knowledge in these technical products, but at the same time they are trying to get more knowledge about them. For us, creating awareness in this category helps in reinforcing the confidence in our brand. The shift from traditional marketing to digital marketing has been rapid. The growth and the overall money spent on digital advertising by the brand have increased hugely. But at the same time, in a country like India, TV still dominates,” he said.

The brand will launch technology-driven appliances, a new series of lights, fans and switch segments this year. Panasonic will also foray into a new category, modular kitchen, which is being launched currently. The brand’s wiring devices holds an overall market share of 40%.

“We are bringing in housing and other automation products, which can be sold at homes and offices. We will also bring in technology-driven products that can be used in smart cities,” pointed out Aggarwal.

Speaking on the change in the brand’s identity, Aggarwal, said, “Changes that we expect from the change of name are all positive. Our employees are motivated being a part of Panasonic. Our image increases when we go to the customer. Earlier there was confusion on whether Anchor is a subsidiary or a joint venture with Panasonic. That is gone now. We are a complete Panasonic company. These are all the positives that we see.”

Talking about the brand’s journey, Tetsuyasu Kawamoto, Joint Managing Director, Panasonic Life Solutions India Private Limited, said, “The journey has been good all these years, which was full of growth, better margins, and higher market share. We have been consistently increasing top line, bottom-line and market share. We as a company are valued for trust and our product quality and avaibility. We cater to all consumer categories; we have a presence in the entire spectrum and that’s our USP.”

Speaking on the brand’s relevance, Aggarwal said that they have to keep innovating and improving the products to be relevant. The challenge always is to keep the brand aspirational for various people.

According to Narula, the electrical sector is typically dominated by lot of influencer marketing and this is one big challenge. The challenge is really to get all the people to promote the brand, especially to influencers like electricians, architects, consultants and consumers. There are a lot of people to target to ensure the consumer has a good saliency for the category and good demand for the product. “We use mass media to interact with our consumers but to interact with our influencers, we have created a platform where we educate electricians about the benefits of our products. Balancing these two parallel lines is a challenge,” he said.

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