The Japanese company Panasonic, plans to increase its business in the African region and the Middle East, to a tune over $1 billion by 2018, according to one of senior executives.
Speaking at the GITEX event week in Dubai, Shinichi Wakita, managing director of Panasonic Marketing Middle East and Africa, said that the company experienced a drop in its market share in the last few years because of growing competition.
“However we have changed our corporate strategy now.” He said. “The company would focus on “quality rather than quantity” in the consumer goods areas, we will concentrate on three products – ACs, refrigerators and washing machines in particular, because we have a very good product line-up in that segment. We will target high-end customers,” He added.
At the moment the consumer area contributes to 70 per cent of regional business, but Wakita says the aim is to make the B2B segment reach 50 per cent by 2018. “Our target is related to big events coming to this market – the Expo 2020 in Dubai and FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar. These big projects will mean many opportunities for B2B,” he explained.
The company revealed a slew of new B2B products on Sunday at GITEX, including smart solutions in healthcare, agriculture and living and new projectors. Among the new launches were two new generation robots – RESYONE and HOSPI – targeting the healthcare sector.
RESYONE is an electric care bed that transforms into a move-around sofa where the patient can be transferred by one care-giver, while HOSPI, which was showcased on Sunday, is an autonomous delivery robot that helps with transportation of medication and lab sample collection 24/7 in hospitals.
Currently deployed in Japan, each HOSPI robot costs roughly $100,000, while an entire package including a system change in the hospital costs between $300,000 to $500,000, officials said. The new products, which are still undergoing feasibility studies, are expected to be introduced in the Middle East over the next two to three years, Wakita said. “We are very confident about our future in this market,” he added.
Panasonic Company, Photo credit : theborneopost.com