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Panasonic is expanding into the residential lighting business in India. Please take a look at the activities Panasonic undertakes from the frontlines of the lighting business.
December 2, 2013. Panasonic opened a new lighting showroom in Mumbai, India. Panasonic hopes that homeowners, as well as architects and interior designers will come and take advantage of the new services offered. Please take a look at this new business strategy Panasonic has introduced to India.
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The new lighting showroom in Mumbai [0 min 14 sec]
A new lighting showroom opened in Mumbai. The showroom not only displays lighting fixtures, but visitors can also experience the quality and mood of different lighting. They can also speak to a lighting planner to see what lighting plans work best for their homes. The showroom is operated by Anchor Electricals Pvt. Ltd. (hereafter referred to as "Anchor"), a company Panasonic (or Panasonic Electric Works Co., Ltd. at the time) acquired in 2007. Anchor is the No.1 wiring devices company in India, and has a strong domestic distribution network.
The showroom as a platform for exchange for architects and interior designers [1 min 10 sec]
Many people in India's upper-middle and middle class now seek to own stylish, designer apartments. Since Anchor's key product is wiring devices, it has a great distribution network for electrical materials, but it did not have a very strong relationship with architects or interior designers. Anchor plans to expand their lighting business in India through innovation, excellent product design and by showcasing their symphony lighting in the new showroom.
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A closer look at Anchor, who plays a key role in Panasonic's Indian electrical materials business
Panasonic's lighting showroom opened in Mumbai on December 2, 2013. The showroom is operated by Anchor, a company that Panasonic (or Panasonic Electric Works Co., Ltd. at the time) purchased in 2007. Anchor boasts India's largest distribution network in wiring devices, but it had serious problems in quality standards and production capacity. Please take a look at the video to find out how Panasonic and Anchor overcame these problems and how they plan to develop the home lighting business in the future.
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Overcoming manufacturing issues, and won the gold award at the Manufacturing Skills Competition through reform [0 min 14 sec]
anaging Director of Anchor, Mr. Otaki says Anchor's number one market share in wiring devices and the extensive distribution channel in India was what made the company attractive to Panasonic. However, "It's quite normal in Japan to have design plans for each product, but there weren't any at Anchor. There weren't any quality standards either, so they had stocks of defective products. We really had to start from scratch," explained Mr. Otaki, looking back at the problems the company had at the time. Yet, they joined hands, tackled one problem at a time, and their technology and skills improved so much so that the company won the gold award at the Panasonic Group Manufacturing Skills Competition.
Reorganizing the sales structure to respond to the changing market [1 min 54 sec]
Although Anchor had a strong distribution network, that too needed some improvements. When Panasonic acquired the company in 2007, Anchor had 3,400 sales offices, but it entrusted its sales to external sales agents. So the company focused on creating their own sales structure, and it now has 55 offices and around 600 sales staff. To understand the new products and explain their features well, Anchor needed a strong sales team. Anchor is also continuing to restructure its sales division to strengthen its "project business," which targets housing units designed by architects and developers in addition to wiring device dealers. In India, housing is sold without any interior design and lighting, so many people buy and install them themselves. Recently the demand for stylish interior planning created by architects and interior designers has increased. Anchor aims to approach these projects directly to sell its electrical materials and lighting fixtures.
Panasonic and Anchor's efforts begin to bear fruit [5 min 22 sec]
With a full understanding of India's business customs and cultures, Anchor boasts the highest share of the wiring devices market in India. By combining its knowhow on how to build a stronger business structure and on manufacturing as well as state-of-the-art technology, Panasonic has built a strong foundation in India. The strengths of both parties have now begun to bear fruit. Mr. Nitin Saolapukar, President of the Institute of Interior Indian Designers, said, "By Panasonic coming in, I think that Anchor will benefit by the technology that Panasonic would bring in, so as a merger I think the whole company would rise to a new level. And I think all of us as designers would benefit from high tech products and really good products, which we can use and feature in our interiors and buildings." It would be interesting to see what results the new showroom in Mumbai will produce.