The iconic company is aiming to capture a share of lucrative contracts expected from mega projects in the GCC region including ones in the UAE and Qatar
Panasonic Marketing Middle East and Africa (PMMAF) is targeting 20 per cent growth in business over the next two years as high-value infrastructure projects for Expo 2020 in Dubai and the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar begin to take off.
Tatsuya Kumazawa, PMMAF’s director and head of the Eco Solutions Division, said new and challenging arenas in the region are solar EPC and professional LED fixtures.”
Panasonic’s acquisition of the Turkey-based electrical materials producer Viko in 2014 has been part of a strategy to further expand the Japanese giant’s influence, he said.
“We’re already the market leader of the electrical switch and socket business in many Asian countries and targeting to be number one in the world by 2018 which will mark the 100th anniversary of Panasonic’s foundation.”
The official said the electrical switch and socket business would penetrate new markets while new and competitive products would be developed for each of those.
Kumazawa gave additional indications of where his firm was heading. “Our future plans include leveraging Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) as available in the region and establishing local production sites. While indoor air quality solutions look at keeping the innovation momentum running with the introduction of new products using the latest technologies, Panasonic’s Eco Solutions division is looking at introducing a new range of water pumps too.”
The company showcased at the Middle East Electricity event held in Dubai recently a wide range of electrical solutions from energy creation (PV Solar Panels HIT) to wiring devices, lighting and indoor air quality solutions under the ‘Homes and Living’ category.
Many of the products displayed had only recently entered the regional market. The water pumps showcased were in line with the local governments’ water management strategy. A new range of air purifiers was also on view as were electrical construction material products from group companies Viko and Anchor India.
Kumazawa said much interest was seen from GCC, Iran and Africa visitors, particularly with the energy and power sector witnessing unprecedented growth from huge investments that offer industry players a challenging yet competitive business environment.
The official cited solar panels as an area of extreme importance, noting that many countries in the region including the UAE, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Saudi Arabia had made forays into large-scale solar programmes. “This has been inevitable as sustainability in this part of the world is becoming a major area of focus,” he said.
“The average Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) is abundant, approximately 6 kilowatt per hour (KWH), clearly proving that solar is the future and driver for fuelling further infrastructure growth. Panasonic continues to look at a value-driven growth with customised solutions in a steadily growing renewable energy market.”
Kumazawa highlighted that all Panasonic products in the field of eco solutions were top of the class in terms of innovation, efficiency and durability. He pointed out that the company offered a broad spectrum of wiring devices, lighting solutions, solar panels, water pumps and indoor air quality solutions. “With our strong brand image, high quality standards, long history of servicing the markets for over 98 years and our strategic alliances with industry leaders, we are well-positioned and catering to a fast growing and potential customer base,” he said
Top Panasonic markets in the Middle East and Africa region are the GCC, Egypt, Iraq and East and South Africa.
“Our strategy will mainly focus on leveraging our solutions to expand business further. A major part of this includes localisation in individual markets – production and consumption. This will help us develop comprehensive products for each market further enabling us to create a proactive sales base. African markets for instance, are not just a low-cost manufacturing base but a fast-growing region too,” said Kumazawa.
The company recently set up brand showrooms in Kuwait and UAE and plans to add more this year. It says its primary aim is to provide seamless integration by creating an ideal venue, where a broad-line up of products is not only displayed but also provides an excellent opportunity of touch and feel.
“Panasonic has always focused and will continue to focus on creating products and associated services that meet consumer’s demands for superior experiences, ultimately transforming the way they live, work and entertain themselves for a ‘better life, a better world,” Kumazawa concluded.