Japanese tech major Panasonic expects a revenue of Rs 2,000 crore from its smartphone business this year as it revamps operations by launching new devices and undertakes aggressive marketing. The company plans to launch as many as 28 devices this year, priced in the range of Rs 6,000 to Rs 20,000.
“We ended our partnership with Jaina in April and are now pursuing the smartphone business on our own. Last few months have been spent on preparing for the launch and now we are ready to bring in the best products for Indian customers,” Panasonic India Business Head Mobility Division Pankaj Rana told PTI. He added that the company is targeting the youth with its smartphone offerings so as to convert them into buyers of its consumer durables range also.
Panasonic has also roped in actor Taapsee Pannu as brand ambassador, along with Varun Dhawan, for the smartphone vertical. “We will launch 28 smartphones this year. About 20 will be offline and rest will be online. In the next 30-40 days, we will bring in 11 of these into the offline market,” Rana said. Panasonic has been trying to make inroads into the hyper competitive Indian smartphone market but has not met much success.
India is one of the world’s fastest growing smartphone markets. Driven by increasing data consumption and falling data prices, a huge number of feature phone users are also migrating to smartphones and seek affordable devices. According to research firm IDC, 27 million smartphones were shipped to India in the January-March quarter of 2017. Samsung led the market with 28.1 per cent share, while Xiaomi and Vivo had 14.2 per cent and 10.5 per cent share respectively. Lenovo had 9.5 per cent, while Oppo had 9.3 per cent share in the said quarter.
“We are not running after market share. We are working on strengthening our brand presence and delivering quality products to customers. This year, we hope to get Rs 2,000 crore in revenue from the smartphone business,” he said. Rana added that last year, the smartphone business had revenue of about Rs 1,400 crore. He said the company expects tier II and III cities to account for major chunk of the sales, especially states like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal.
Panasonic will also use its 250 exclusive retail counters that sell its other products to showcase its handsets. “Apart from the exclusive counters, we are working with distributors across states and large format retail stores to reach customers,” he said.