Panasonic sets up its first India innovation centre in Bengaluru
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Bengaluru: Panasonic India Pvt. Ltd has announced the establishment of an innovation centre in Bengaluru, the first such in India and the third globally for the Japanese parent firm known for its televisions.
Panasonic India has tied up with IT company Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) for the innovation centre, which will focus on developing technologies in the field of Internet of Things (IoT), mobility and artificial intelligence.
The company will invest Rs240 crore over the next five years in the centre and aims to employ around 60 people within a year, including existing employees from both TCS and Panasonic India.
Panasonic Corp’s other innovation centres are in Japan and the US – both of which were set up last April. The firm’s innovation centres function independently from its research and development centres.
“One of the key focus of this enterprise will be to bring together Panasonic’s research and development efforts under one cohesive umbrella,” said Daizo Ito, managing executive officer and regional head for the India, South Asia, Middle East and Africa regions at the firm.
Panasonic India accounts for close to 2% of the global firm’s revenue, but the country is one of the top three fastest growing markets year-on-year said Manish Sharma, the company’s president and chief executive officer for India.
“We have a very clear strategy, which we call the three engine strategy. The first is air conditioners, televisions and mobile phones which will contribute to a larger part of revenue. That’s followed by washing machines and B2B products. Then comes product categories such as lithium ion batteries or some of the connected solutions products which have large future potential,” Sharma said on the sidelines of a press conference on Thursday, adding that the last leg is what the new innovation centre will focus on.
Last month, Panasonic opened an offshore development centre in Bengaluru with Tata Elxsi for its consumer durables segment. The company doesn’t have a research and development centre in India but the Tata Elxsi offshore development centre helps the global R&D team to customise products for the Indian market.
“My intention for the innovation centre here would be to utilise it as much as possible for India,” Sharma said but added that theoretically the centre could be put to use for other markets too.
The Indian arm of Panasonic earned Rs9,600 crore in revenue last year of which roughly half came from the consumer durables segment, followed by major contributions from its mobile phones and Anchor Electricals divisions.