Panasonic to invest Rs 1,500 crore in India over next 3 years

GUWAHATI: Japanese consumer durables major Panasonic will invest Rs 1,500 crore in India over the next three years as it looks to increase revenues to $3.66 billion (over Rs 22,000 crore) from the country by 2015. 

"With a studied focus, strong plans and an investment of Rs 1,500 crore towards expansion in the next three years, Panasonic is aiming a revenue of $3.66 billion by 2015,"
Panasonic India Managing Director Manish Sharma told PTI. 

Out of this planned investment, Rs 450 crore will be put in during 2013-14, he added. 

Talking about the sales target for this fiscal, Sharma said: "The company's revenue was $1.3 billion in 2012-13 and we are aiming to achieve $1.45 billion in 2013-14." 

The company will invest in future to strengthen its operations in the country across all the segments such as television flat panels and air conditioners among others. 

"We plan to invest Rs 120 crore in 2013-14 in the split air conditioner segment with the aim to capture around 20 per cent of the market share by the end of this fiscal," Sharma said, adding the company is growing at 80-100 per cent in split AC segment. 

The company currently enjoys around 15 per cent of the 30 lakh units a year strong Indian AC market. 

The split AC units currently comprise about 70 per cent of the market base, while the rest is held by 'window' category. 

According to industry experts, the domestic AC segment has been growing at 35 per cent annually and will rise by 45 per cent this season. 

When asked about the TV segment, Sharma said: "For flat panels, we are at 9.5-10 per cent of the total market and we are targeting 15 per cent by March next year. It has been a tough market for the industry, but we are growing faster than the market." 

As per industry estimates, the market size of the TV segment is approximately 46 lakh units annually at present. 

The value of the total flat TV market in India is pegged at about Rs 11,000 crore per year. 

"The TV Segment has been a very important business category for Panasonic India and the company is heavily investing in the same. 

Keeping in mind its focus product development, the brand has recently rolled out its new line-up of DT/ET Series as a part of its 
VIERA TV range," he added. 

The company currently has a workforce of 12,500 people in India. Out of them, 25 per cent are on contract while the rest are permanent. 

Asked if Panasonic India will expand its manpower, Sharma said: "Currently, we are keeping it at current level, however it will increase as new businesses come in."