Panasonic to invest $250M in India by 2016

Japanese electronics manufacturer Panasonic plans to invest nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in its Indian operations, where it will also launch a range of smartphones priced from US$100.
Written by Mahesh Sharma, Correspondent

Japanese electronics manufacturer Panasonic plans to invest US$250 million over the next three years in India, as it gears up to launch a range of smartphones priced from US$100.

The Hindu reported on Friday that Panasonic was looking to pump about US$67.7 million (4 billion rupees) alone this year into the Asian economy, which the vendor's India managing director, Manish Sharma, described as a high growth market.

Panasonic recently introduced a top-end smartphone for US$449 (26,500 rupees), and there were plans to unveil five more phones ranging from US$269.50 (15,900 rupees) to US$101 (5,990 rupees), Sharma said. 

"The country's smartphone market is poised to grow significantly. We will offer a wide range of phones," he added. "We are also looking at budget phones and may introduce them following up on these launches. Panasonic is conscious of the market and demand for phones priced below 5,000 rupees. We will have offerings in that segment too."

This year, the company expects to generate US$116.6 million (7 billion) from its mobile phone business, and is aiming to achieve overall income of about US$3.66 billion (220 billion rupees) by 2015. "The Southern region contributes to nearly a third of the company's overall sales in the country. We expect various businesses within Panasonic to gain share," Sharma said.

He also expects to sell an increased number of batteries to support the rollout of 4G networks, as well as companies in the automotive and UPS markets. 

Despite its ambition for growth in India, Panasonic has had a rough couple of years, cutting thousands of jobs and plans to exit certain business segments. 

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