Panasonic Aims To Become the World’s Largest Wiring Device Manufacturer

Panasonic Group reveals its plans in a recent round-table interaction with the Indian media, at Varanasi, India...

L to R: Shahab Naqvi,Vice president and Head B2B & B2G; Raja Mukherjee - BU Head & Sr Vice President - Lighting; Kawasaki Toshinobu - Joint Managing Director - Panasonic Electic Works India; Kato Yoshiyuki - Deputy Managing Director - Panasonic Life Solutions India; Rajesh Nandwani - Director - Power Business, Amit Barve- BU Head -Solar...

The round-table started with Kato Yoshiyuki explaining the future ideas of Panasonic Corporation, Panasonic Holding, and Panasonic Electrical Works with a focus on the Indian market.

Kato Yoshiyuki, Deputy Managing Director oversees the Panasonic Electric Works India, a business unit under Panasonic Life Solutions, which focuses on the Electrical Construction material business. The other part of Panasonic Corporation which was formerly known as Panasonic India focuses on product categories from the industry – sales, in-vehicle, and home appliances. Panasonic Electrical Works India has around 8600 employees, 300 offices, and 7 manufacturing plants under the two business brands Anchor and Panasonic.

Kato was elated to inform us that this year is the 60th anniversary of Anchor and Panasonic Electric Works India is celebrating its 60th anniversary since their founding year 1963. They started with electrical and wire business, and expanded into other products. Currently, the product line includes switchgear, electric wiring, lights, solar, building monitoring systems, and fire alarm systems.

Kato added, “We are currently involved in a wide range of business-related dealings and aim to not only provide a comfortable life to the people of India but also connect them to each of our products and services.”

By paying $400 million, Panasonic acquired the business of Anchor which had (then) a business turnover of Rs. 800 crore. Speaking on the current growth and future growth plans, Kato mentioned that they have updated and activated their SCM (from December 2020) for optimum customer satisfaction. The net sales of Panasonic Electric Works India account for 8% of Panasonic Electric Works’ total sales in FY22, the largest portion outside Japan. In FY 22, the net sales in India were 83 billion yen (approx. Rs. 5,180 crores). With a rising focus on the B2B sector, the company has seen a 6.4 times higher turnover since 2007.

Kato Yoshiyuki, Deputy Managing Director, Panasonic Life Solutions India

For future growth, the company is focusing in 4 directions – firstly strengthening the current core businesses. Secondly, strengthen the project lineups and sales structure. Third strengthen the system offerings and lastly expand the business – aiming at a 3X growth till FY30.

Kato wrapped up his hour by concluding that Panasonic Electric Works India will continue to focus on CSR activities as a core philosophy of its founder Konosuke Matsushita which is “ A company is a public entity of a society.”

Rajesh Nandwani – Director of Power Business took over and spoke about Panasonic Electric Works India’s (PEWIN) core business, which is the wiring business. He added that Anchor is a West-based company started in Mumbai and their first and oldest plant is in Gujrat, Walsad near Daman they expanded their presence with two more units in Haridwar (2004).

Rajesh Nandwani, Director – Power Business, Panasonic Life Solutions India

Last year they launched the Sri City plant, the first plant in the southern part of India, which has the leading cutting-edge automation and innovations for product line keeping in mind the connectivity and satisfaction to their customers. It is also the latest plant from Panasonic for wiring devices using technologies like AGVs (Automated Guarded Vehicles), Auto Pivoting Machines, and the latest IoTs.

Speaking on future manufacturing synergies, Nandwani informed that by bringing AI business together, PEWIN has two major focuses – first promoting export business and second enhancing the business in the South Indian Market.

Nandwani concluded by saying, “Going forward we will be enhancing our exports further as we want PEWIN to be the global hub for exports – enhancing our business of electric construction material in India and we will continue to contribute to the growth of India society.”

As we entered the evening, Raja Mukherjee – Head and Sr Vice President – Lighting Business, welcomed all under the Panasonic glare-free lighting. He started by mentioning that Panasonic aims to become a solution-centric company rather than a product-centric organization.

Raja Mukherjee, BU Head & Sr. Vice President – Lighting, Panasonic Life Solutions India

Mukherjee focused on recent iconic projects done by Panasonic like the New Parliament building (still under work) where the entire lighting management system consisting of around 8000 lights is under their lighting control. Tata Projects was instrumental in Panasonic’s involvement in this project. He added, “Right from the approach road of the parliament to the inside of the parliament, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, everything is controlled by the LMS of Panasonic.”

Another project is of the FIAT factory, where the solar solutions (complete EPC solutions) have been installed by PEWIN. The solar solution generates close to 9 megawatts of power, which constitutes about 25% of their consumption at an efficacy of about 20.7%.

Mukherjee further spoke about the RUDRAKSH – International Cooperation and Convention Centre, Varanasi. Built with grant aid from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the 3-acre Convention Center with a seating capacity of 1,200 people was inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi in July 2021. The building, constructed in the shape of a ‘Shivalinga,’ is designed as a hub for cultural exchange, while also illustrating the confluence of Indian and Japanese architecture. The structure includes high-efficiency solar panels on the circular roof of the building, a smart KNX system to control the entire lighting network of Rudraskha from a single touch panel along with the 108 LEDs that illuminate like the symbolic Rudrakshas.

Mukherjee also mentioned that they are looking forward to a future event demonstrating a new concept of facade lighting. The event will be held during the month of November, during Diwali – the festival of light at Powai, Mumbai. Panasonic will be tying up with one of the leading builders in India to light up a few iconic buildings in Powai. Attendees will be able to control the lighting of the facades through the help of a mobile app or web-based app.

Mukherjee concluded by saying, “We are committed to India, we already have been existing for the last 7 to 8 years and growing at a steady pace. We have recently invested close to about eight crores in state of a state-of-the-art R&D Lab, which is in our Daman factory and this is NABL accredited. – And we are also planning to have an in-house manufacturing setup. This is planned towards the end of this year and they will start with a very small assembly unit and primarily we’ll be starting the production of one or two trade fixtures.”

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