Dubai, UAE, 18 April 2018: Panasonic unveiled its 2018 strategy for the Middle East, in an event celebrating its 100th anniversary, on April 18, in Dubai. Hiroki Soejima, Managing Director, Panasonic Marketing Middle East and Africa, welcomed visitors with a keynote address, in which he traced the company’s milestones as an electronics manufacturer since entering the Middle East in 1955, discussed upcoming initiatives and explained the company’s expanding footprint in the region. The Middle East market, he said, is divided into three main segments: Consumer Electronics, B2B and IAQ equipment within Eco solutions.
Touching on Panasonic’s strategy for 2018, Soejima said, the company is pursuing two fundamental business directions. The first, he said, is business structure transformation, noting a strong emphasis will be placed on air conditioning equipment, refrigerators and washing machines. “We see major potential in major appliances categories,” Soejima said. The next direction, he announced, is marketing and sales transformation. Soejima said: “We want to change how we do marketing towards more a consumer pool activity. Until now we are not investing enough in the market ourselves, but rather selling into our partners. Instead we want to work with our partners to invest more in marketing activities, increasing touchpoints to reach targeted consumers.”
Keisuke Nakagawa, Director-Division Head, Consumer Marketing Division, Panasonic Marketing Middle East and Africa, shared the company’s consumer marketing strategy in the region which, he said, operates in the context of the company’s vision to design lifestyle from home. Nakagawa emphasised that the company will go beyond appliances, “moving from things to experience”. This, he said, is through improvement of business structure, shopfront activities and enhancing brand awareness. He added, the improvement of business structure includes expansion of major appliances such as air conditioning and the company has enhanced its product line of commercial split models to meet growing demands for this sector, following more stringent regulations.
Yasuo Yamasaki, Director-Division Head, System solutions and communications division, Panasonic marketing made a presentation on the company’s B2B strategy, emphasising that it is not simply about challenging and changing the market but also providing a comprehensive solution for consumers through collaboration and ensuring support at the front line.
Hidenori Matsubara, General Manager, IAQ Department Eco Solutions Divisions, Panasonic Eco solutions Middle East and Africa, spoke on the IAQ department history, which began nine years prior to the establishment of Panasonic itself, as KDK, which joined Panasonic in 1956. “In this sense we are proud of our technology and experience,” he said. “We aim to become the best IAQ provider and to contribute to better life.”
Matsubara touched on the urgency of air quality owing to growing air pollution worldwide. Under such conditions, he emphasised, there has been an uptake in respiratory diseases owing to proliferation of harmful particles and concentration of PM2.5. “Currently, 300 million people suffer from asthma,” he said. “In the world, the current rate is 4 per cent. However, in the Middle East the rate is 11% higher and, in the UAE, it is actually more severe.” This, Matsubara said, underpins the importance of ensuring proper Indoor Air Quality, which, he said, can be addressed by providing three main solutions: Supplying and purifying air, exhausting air, and circulation.
Matsubara said Panasonic is eager to expand from the residential segment to providing solutions to commercial buildings and industrial projects. Matsubara highlighted the company’s range of fans, emphasising that their main advantage is their high durability, energy savings and third-party certifications. Panasonic, Matsubara, said, is also highlighting air purifiers, noting that the models are being enhanced with high performance filters and that Panasonic is committed to providing new technology and products developed for the people of the Middle East region.
Hannah Jo Uy is Features Writer at Climate Control Middle East magazine. She may be contacted at email@example.com