Panasonic Life Solutions India has announced that Vivek Sharma, Managing Director, will step down from the operational leadership on September 30 in line with the company’s superannuation policy.
Sharma’s replacement for the position will be soon announced from the brand’s Japan team.
After retirement, Sharma will continue as a coach, trainer and public speaker, having made his presence felt through lectures and presentations at prominent educational institutions and industry platforms.
Sharma was leading the consumer electrical business (lighting, wiring devices, switch gear, cables and wires, fans, appliances, etc.) under two key brands: Panasonic and Anchor. He joined the company in 2017 as the Joint Managing Director and was soon elevated in April 2018 as the first Indian Managing Director of PLSIND. At present, he was overseeing the growth of all the businesses that saw accelerated growth in both revenues and profits.
He has led Panasonic Life Solutions India (PLSIND) to great success. Under his leadership, the company has had a tremendous growth journey over the last three years. PLSIND’s revenue grew from Rs 22.9 billion in 2016-17 to approximately Rs 33.9 bn in 2019-20. Similarly, the operating profit more than doubled from Rs 2.65 billion in 2016-17 to Rs 5.8 billion in 2019-20.
The company’s sales grew at a CAGR of 15% and operating profits at a CAGR of 22%, during this period. This helped PLSIND emerge as the fastest growing Indian Fast Moving Electrical Goods (FMEG) company, both in terms of sales and profitability. A reflection of this stellar performance was when, earlier this year, Forbes magazine rated Anchor as the No. 1 FMEG brand in the country.
During his tenure, the company took certain far-reaching and path-breaking initiatives like moving from a dealer-driven channel to a multi-channel, distributor-led GTM strategy that included strong participation in alternative channels like e-com, MFR, exclusive brand outlets, etc. This was preceded not only by the setting up of separate sales teams for B2C and B2B/B2G segments but also introducing exclusive business verticals for the power, lighting and indoor air quality businesses.
Having realised the critical importance of brand equity in the 21st-century business, Sharma had invested in brand building. Partnering with cutting-edge advertising, media and digital agencies, during his tenure, the marketing team led the development of a new communication platform for brand Anchor, ‘Naye India ke badhte load ke liye’.
To connect with the contemporary and aspirational Indian consumer, the campaigns that have been undertaken for the last two years have led to the brand be re-evaluated by the trade and consumers. These initiatives will help the brand sustain the momentum in the years to come.
Sharma said, “These last three years have been a journey of immense satisfaction. It is a befitting way to end a career spanning over three-and-a-half decades. I have had the privilege of working in the FMEG/FMCD industry for more than 35 years and leading Panasonic Life Solutions India has been the highlight of my career. It has been a pleasure partnering all the stakeholders both internal and external to re-invent the company and set it on higher growth trajectory by focusing on the employees and the consumers while enhancing skills and competencies across the stakeholder spectrum. We have had very significant achievements with regards to our factory operations in India. Our manufacturing has traditionally been manpower-intensive. However during the last three years, we have put in a lot of efforts and investments and have technologically upgraded it, with state-of-the-art robotics and automation solutions. These technological upgrades have given us a competitive edge, with the highest cost efficiencies, in the entire ECM industry.”
“A strong and vibrant culture is the best legacy of a successful leader. I am particularly proud that during my tenure at PLSIND. We transformed from being a conventional electrical switches company to becoming a part of an iconic transnational organisation. Most importantly, during this exciting journey, our existing internal talent culturally transformed itself to adapt to contemporary best practices, which are the hallmark of a performance-based culture that we have established. This transformation of the team changed the way we do business, from the historical individual-oriented method of the past to a process-oriented technology-driven way of doing business, with complete autonomy and empowerment. I can proudly say that as I depart from PLSIND, it is poised to achieve far greater success and scale newer highs in the years to come.”