Panasonic India's direction & vision for next 5 years

Guest Column: Panasonic India Chairman & CEO Manish Sharma says the company wants to make its business more balanced with 50% revenue coming from consumer products & 50% from B2B in the next 5 years

e4m by Manish Sharma
Published: Jan 27, 2022 8:36 AM  | 5 min read
Manish Sharma

As I mentioned in the earlier part of the article, India has two priorities, one is the business opportunity and second is building capabilities under the newly formed Panasonic Operational Excellence division (PEX). To give more perspective, PEX will provide high-quality support services as professionals with specialized expertise to enable Panasonic businesses become more advanced and efficient. While I will elaborate on the business strategy later, building capabilities specifically for the newly formed PEX function will play a major role in creating high value cost competitive governance and shared services for all the Panasonic businesses in India.

Strategies based on our founder's guiding principles and the tap water philosophy

When it comes to business opportunities, one of our leading principles is to be a company that helps people live a convenient, comfortable and heathy lifestyle. We feel this responsibility at Panasonic and look to first implement products and solutions based on this fundamental objective. A second principle, which is one of Konosuke Matsushita's, our founder's, philosophy that continues to inspire me, is that all this should happen at a lower total cost of ownership. In fact, we developed the Miraie solution (an IoT- and AI-enabled home appliance control system) based on our founder's tap water philosophy by looking at how technology can be like tap water - made available in abundance at an affordable cost. We don't want to provide cheap solutions, but rather an overall cycle that allows for a lower total cost of ownership. And India is a very appropriate country for us to execute our strategies based on this philosophy. This is the kind of direction we are taking and going after.

From now onwards, our strategy is to focus on the five pillars. The first pillar is the consumer business. We want to concentrate our efforts on specific businesses, and we will also focus on building sustainability into the consumer business. The second pillar is the life solutions business. And we look to continue to lead here with our wiring devices. The third one is spatial solutions, which is very important - the critical point here is to combine the strengths in our consumer and life solutions businesses creating a common strategy to develop living spaces and build a platform for consumers to enjoy smarter connected living. The fourth pillar is the energy business. As you can imagine with the large population in India, there will be challenges concerning the availability of cleaner energy. And with global pressure and environmental concerns, I think India has a big responsibility to implement clean energy solutions. How can we better utilize our lithium ion battery technology for storage? There are also opportunities in electric mobility - India has a very large market for scooters and motorcycles, and maybe electric cars in the future too although we still have some way to go for that. And finally, the fifth pillar is the supply chain business and establishing our industrial solutions and products to help industries manufacture in a smarter and connected way.

Panasonic India in the next 3-5 years

Our midterm plan in the next 3 to 5 years is to drive sustainability by building organization's ability to generate its own resources and focus on delivering a balanced revenue structure. When you look at Panasonic globally, you will see that majority of Panasonic's business comes from B2B (business to business) oriented products, and share of consumer-oriented products is lower. In India, it is the opposite - where majority comes from consumer-oriented products, and revenue share from B2B oriented products is on the lower side. In next 5 years, we want to make it more balanced with 50% of revenue coming from consumer products and 50% revenue coming from B2B. To put it simply, this means that major revenue growth should happen in energy, industry, systems solution-related products, platforms and services. We will also continue to grow our consumer business but in order to drive sustainability, our intention is to rapidly grow our B2B oriented businesses in the country. And with the kind of infrastructure growth which is going to happen in India in the next 5 to 10 years, we have a big opportunity in the B2B segment.

A second objective is that we want to expand the software developmental capabilities in India. To do so, we will continue to focus on building capabilities in our India Innovation Centre in Bangalore. In last few years, a lot of solutions, including Miraie, have been developed, which are already helping Panasonic India expand its businesses currently. The third objective, which in some senses comes from my desire for Panasonic India to become a capability for the global Panasonic Corporation by providing our talents and services to subsidiaries outside of India. These services may include IT services, audit services, and even people services.

We have a lot to do and some way to go but I see many exciting opportunities ahead for Panasonic India and look forward to growing the business according to our founder's guiding principles and our basic business philosophy.

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Staying relevant & agile is the key to reach consumers: Rasika Prashant, Tata Soulfull

The Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer, of Tata Consumer Soulfull, spoke at Pitch CMO Summit about the strategy to bring millets into the Indian diet

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 28, 2023 11:34 AM   |   2 min read

Pitch CMO

Millets is the now most talked about foodgrain in India with the government pushing the consumption of millets in the country along with increasing exports of the same. Hence, many brands are now making their conversations relevant and agile with bringing millets into their brand strategies.

Sharing more on this was Rasika Prashant, Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer, of Tata Consumer Soulfull Private Limited. She spoke at Pitch CMO about weaving an effective communication strategy for bringing millets into the Indian diet. 

This year has been registered as the International Year of Millet by the UN. Speaking about the strategy that the company is using, she said, “We come from a generation who wants the grounding and the good from the old but also in a format which is modern and today, and that where we made millets mainstream.”

While there are already legacy brands in the category, Tata Soulfull has still managed to be a part of children’s daily snack which is not only interesting but also healthy. Chiming in the idea of making tasty and interesting snacks to cater to the Indian consumers, Prashant said, “We are in a country which is absolutely paramount about taste, it's the most important thing. So our communication is that we are delivering health benefits while making it look cool. That's how India rolls - you give them something tasty, you give it to them at accessible places and then you start talking about health.”

Prashant also spoke about making a premium product and keeping it affordable for mass consumption, rather than just focusing on premium stores, mall outlets and e-commerce platforms. “Where is the consumer is shopping? the consumer is shopping at the next-door store and that's what you really need to do to meet them. We believe that you do not ask the consumer to make a shift for what you are doing, you go into their lives, you attach yourself and you become a part of the shift, that they want you to make. What's even more important is to be available in the length and breadth of the country. In 2021, we were in 19,000 stores, today we are available across 5 lakh stores.” 

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We spend most of our money on brand building: Ambareesh Murty, Pepperfry

At the Pitch CMO Summit, Murty, co-founder and CEO, Pepperfry, engaged in a fireside chat with Nawal Ahuja, Co-founder & Director, exchange4media

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 28, 2023 11:03 AM   |   5 min read

Pitch CMO

The recently-held Pitch CMO Summit witnessed a fireside chat between Ambareesh Murty, Co-founder and CEO, Pepperfry, and Nawal Ahuja, Co-founder, exchange4media.

Kicking off the session, Ahuja asked Murty about agile marketing and pointed out how Pepperfry was a disruptor when it entered the furniture market. “How does Pepperfry signify agile marketing because you had an entrenched ecosystem and you also had competition. What are the things that you did to disrupt the market?”

Murty said that it all started with a vision. “If somebody hangs around long in a suppose somebody's working in an organisation for 10 years, typically the word that gets used for the person is 'yeh insaan to furniture ho gaya'. So the pace we were operating in was one where furniture was not really even thought to be agile or thought to be something that is glamorous, new, trendy and so on. So, the vision that Ashish, my co-founder, and I had was that we were going to make this category really exciting and it started off with a name. We could have been called 'Fabulous Furniture' but we didn't choose to be called that. Instead, we chose to be called something that had nothing to do with furniture – Pepperfry. And I think that is where it started.”

Murty went on to share more on the brand’s journey. “We then realised that when you are on a journey of creating something which is lasting and forever then the approach has to be very different from everybody else. We are fundamentally an online play, however, we spend most of our money on brand building. So, interestingly, most of our budgets typically go into television media and outdoor. Yes, we do internet marketing. There are people who need to find us online but the interesting thing is that by virtue of having created our brand more than 75 per cent of our business today comes organically. We do not have to pay anybody anything in order to drive a customer in our direction. And then, the journey just continued like that. So, I think we have been agile across everything and that there will be five other things that will happen over the next 10 years and will have to respond to it and prepare for it well in advance.”

Ahuja noted that a lot of legacy businesses, in the last 10-15 years, have been disrupted through the use of technology. He gave the example of how Netflix is fundamentally a tech company that is doing fantastic content and they are able to discover what’s better with the use of tech as base. “If you look at content, very few companies come close to what HBO does globally. But Netflix's tech base gives them a huge advantage. Pepperfry is a legacy industry that you have tried to change through technology and you have built many offline legs to it. So, what role does technology play in this since you are offering products which are brick and mortar? The other question, Ahuja posed was, “As you expand and build your brand what is the balance of technology versus old-fashioned insight that you hardwire into the business to scale it up?” 

To this, Murty said, “Fundamentally, we are a technology company. And if I were to add, we are a technology supply chain company at our core. Everything we do is about making decisions regarding our customers and staying in sync with them using tech. For example, be it your virtual experience onsite, be it on an app or be it on your mobile website, everything has to be done using technology, which gauges how customers want to interact with you. Therefore, you interact with them and present the interface that works best for them. We also have added this entire layer of supply chain, which is everything for any business that delivers goods.”

Sharing early realisations, Murty said, “We realised one of things that used to be fundamental before Pepperfry was that furniture used to be a local business. So, there would be a manufacturer, say, based out of Delhi and he would be selling products in a 100-km radius. We realised that for variety and choice we needed to create pipes, which allowed a person in Delhi to sell to a person in Bengaluru.

Therefore, the supply chain had to be created.”  

Coming to the challenges, he said: “But then again, there are supply chains and there are supply chains. The good supply chain has got to operate on data, which is the bedrock for almost every single decision. So, you have heard of the travelling salesman problem, which is how much can you stuff the containers and how fast can you move them.”

“Our entire supply chain works in that algorithm and works to get that data that allows us to be super-efficient while ensuring that user experience is maintained. That is how we think of ourselves as a tech company. We do not sell anything in our stores. Our stores provide a virtual shopping experience to the people. So, if tech wasn't there, frankly, our stores would not have existed. Because, in a 3,000-sq-ft store how many pieces of furniture and décor can you put in? 500? We have 100,000 pieces online. Therefore, if there was no tech, I would never have been able to expose my catalogue to the people. Bottom line, everything we do is technology!”

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Naveen Murali moves on from Pepperfry

Murali was with Pepperfry for more than a year

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 27, 2023 4:02 PM   |   1 min read

naveen murli

Naveen Murali, the Vice President and Head of Marketing at Pepperfry has reportedly moved on.

A report in a leading business portal, a company official said that "Naveen wanted to explore opportunities outside of Pepperfry and hence, he moved on."

Murali was with Pepperfry for more than a year. He joined the company in December 2021.

At pepperfry, Murali was driving marketing and brand strategies with an aim to drive brand awareness across lucrative untapped markets as well as capture share in the furniture and home décor industry.

Murali has an extensive experience of over 10 years in marketing, sales and building business competencies.  Prior to joining Pepperfry, Naveen was associated with brands like Asian Paints and Oracle across business and marketing roles. 

He is an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode and holds a degree in Engineering from NIT, Warangal. 

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There is a significant headroom for growth in MarTech in India: Mihir Karkare

At the Pitch CMO summit, Mihir Karkare, EVP, Mirum India shared insights from the Mirum India Martech report 2023 on the state of MarTech in India today

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 27, 2023 2:51 PM   |   4 min read


In today’s world where technology is an integral part of our everyday lives, marketing has become as much about technology as it is about creativity. At the Pitch CMO Summit Mumbai held on March 24, Mirum India EVP Mihir Karkare spoke about the learnings from the Mirum India Martech Report 2023. Mirum, a part of WPP, is a full service digital and MarTech agency.

 The report, which was released during the summit, is based on insights garnered from more than 200 marketing decision-makers and marketing leaders spread across multiple industries in the country, including BFSI, e-commerce, FMCG, retail, hospitality, real estate, automobile, healthcare and consumer durables, to name a few. During his session titled ‘Rise of the MarTech explorers & insights from the state of MarTech in India’. Karkare also shared a glimpse of the methodology and extensive work that went into putting together the third edition of the report.

Globally, the percentage of spends that marketers make on MarTech is over 25%, but in India, less than 15% is spent on MarTech, as per the report’s findings. This even though there has been a significant buzz around the topic in the last few years, which means there is a significant headroom for growth in MarTech in India, said Karkare.

Significantly, 88% of respondents have shared that they plan to increase their spends on MarTech in the coming years. Some of these companies have moderately used MarTech tools, but will substantially increase their spending & somewhat in the next three years. Some others are extensive users of MarTech tools currently and will increase their spending substantially in the next three years, according to the report.

Another aspect that stood out, said Karkare, was that most of these companies were looking at hardcore business results as objectives from their MarTech spends, which can drive leads and sales.

So while lead generation, customer engagement, and brand building  were counted as the top four objectives to be achieved using MarTech last year as well as this year, this was the first time that ‘driving sales’ made it as one of the top four business goals achieved using MarTech, said Karkare.

Karkare also shed light on some of the biggest challenges that marketers faced in adopting or using MarTech tools. The organizations that refrain from using MarTech tools, cite that the biggest hindrance is being unable to measure ROI. The other challenge that companies encountered are the complexity in setting up or implementation of the MarTech tools. Companies also found the process of choosing Martech tools as too complex.

Some of the hindrances that respondents have shared include not having the required skill sets to use MarTech, their audience not being digital-first, and their partners not having the required skill sets to use MarTech. Another stumbling block that marketers faced was being unable to convince the decision makers.

There is also a marked difference in the approaches of CEOs and CMOs in an organisation when it comes to the adoption of MarTech tools, and how an organisation perceive and use customer data. CEOs tended to be more critical of their organisation’s data maturity and capability, as compared to CMOs. This critical approach taken by CEOs on customer data unification will ensure a significant top-down push for adoption of marketing technologies like CDP in the immediate future, said Karkare. The duo also differed on their viewpoints on the preferred MarTech team skill sets: where CEOs tended to follow a more holistic and broad-based approach when it came to their MarTech’s team skill sets, CMOs tended to prefer some specific skills far more than others. 71% of CMOs cited data and analytics as their most preferred skill in the team, and this is reflected in their approach for executing marketing campaigns.

Significantly, when it came to the preparedness of an organisation for new and emerging technologies like Web 3.0, metaverse, blockchain and so on, a vast majority of respondents claimed that their organisation was unaware about the implications of these technologies. Another set of respondents shared that the awareness about them was sparse and that there was no systemic way to address these changes, according to Karkare.

With the advent of Web3.0, and the movement towards a cookie-less world, rethinking marketing strategy is on the cards for most organizations. However, not everybody seems to be prepared for this change, noted Karkare.




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Campa Cola to partner with 3 teams in IPL 2023

As per sources, the newly launched beverage brand by RCPL will be the official pouring partner for Sunrisers Hyderabad, Punjab Kings and Lucknow Super Giants

By Tanzila Shaikh | Mar 27, 2023 2:51 PM   |   1 min read


The recently re-branded Campa Cola is all set to get on board the IPL season by partnering with three teams.

Sources confirmed with e4m that Campa Cola is going to be the official Pouring Partner with Sunrisers Hyderabad, Punjab Kings and Lucknow Super Giants for this season. 

The brand wants to capitalise and penetrate various regions of the country and become a go-to cola brand being available at off-beat places. 

Sources told us that the brand was planning activities to engage with the audiences using social media, via engagement with the fans and on-ground engagements. 

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Campa’s new avatar sports new colours

The new look has been conceived by Elephant

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 27, 2023 2:22 PM   |   2 min read


The last leading cola brand was launched in India about 50 years ago. And other leading cola brands are global giants. So, it was about time The Great Indian Cola made an entry for today’s Indian youth who will make the most of every occasion to live life to the fullest.

The all new Campa comes in a completely transformed avatar. A popular brand from the 1970s and 1980s, is now being launched in cola, lemon and orange flavours.

The rebranding echoes brand’s bold and confident personality, where the use of deep purple is complemented by category-defining red in the Campa ‘swoosh’. This element emulates wiping a chilled can or bottle to reveal the brand. The font used for the logotype mirrors Campa’s stance of a confident, unconventional brand that is set out to make its own big league. The arrowhead element on the ‘A’ also evokes the feeling of a rising, uplifting beverage that goes above and beyond the status quo.       

The use of purple strikes a balance between category-dominant blues and reds, while its transition toward red is to connect with the young cola consumers familiar with the category.

“We set out to develop a contemporary brand for the confident young India. We believe branding is about helping consumers identify with the product and navigate better; whether through e-commerce or on retail shelves. Our work is always focused on people and guiding them towards the right choices,” explains Nidhi Isaac, Director – Brand & Design, Elephant.

“Rebranding Campa was once in a lifetime opportunity. How many independent brand agencies can claim to develop a megastar cola brand? With the ambition and resources of Reliance team, we had a solid backing for venturing into new ways of bringing the brand to life. As we had a consensus that Campa would be built on the codes of being confident, unpretentious, and highly differentiated, there was no need for creating multiple brands for different flavors as the attitude and promise would remain consistent across all Campa beverages. This would also be a ‘first’ in this category,” says Ashwini Deshpande, Co-founder & Director, Elephant.

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Sportzcraazy acquires kabaddi platform Kabaddi Adda

With this acquisition, the combined reach of Sportzcraazy and Kabaddi Adda will extend to a community of over 5 million every month

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 27, 2023 2:02 PM   |   1 min read

Kabaddi Adda

Sports tech and media platform Sportzcraazy has announced the acquisition of media content platform Kabaddi Adda.

Sportzcraazy will be taking the majority and controlling stakes in Kabaddi Adda.

With this acquisition, the combined reach of Sportzcraazy and Kabaddi Adda will extend to a community of over 5 million monthly enthusiasts in India, with its social following in excess of 3 million giving them a clear leadership position in the digital Kabaddi space.

Sportzcraazy intends to host Kabaddi leagues and large-scale tournaments across the country to build local and regional player opportunities.

Founded by Vaibhav Jaiswal and Aditee Gulati, Sportzcraazy focuses on sports media, merchandise and events. They are also active investors in the sports tech ecosystem and aim to acquire more sports tech platforms going forward.

On asking about the acquisition, Vaibhav Jaiswal, Founder and CEO, Sportzcraazy, said “Having the largest community and with sports tech focused towards Kabbadi, the second most viewed sport in the country, we see vast opportunity in the sport. Sportzcraazy plans to work with kabbadi players through grass root engagement enabling regional players to showcase their talent.”

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