Japanese tech behemoth Panasonic is planning to infuse about Rs 200 crore this year into the marketing and promotional efforts for its smartphones for the Indian market, as the competition is becoming fierce in with the launching of different devices by Samsung, Xiaomi and Lenovo.
Panasonic is making a refreshed attempt to capture the emerging Indian market and the company is gearing up to launch as many as 28 devices this year in the Rs 6,000-Rs 20,000budget smartphone segment.
"We will spend Rs 200 crore this year towards various activities to promote our smartphone range. The initiatives will span across TV, print and other media," told Pankaj Rana, Panasonic India Business Head, Mobility Division to PTI.
Other players in the field such as Vivo and Oppo have also pumped in millions of dollars towards branding and promotion of their smartphones. Vivo is currently the title sponsor of the Indian Premier League cricket as well as some other sporting events.
Panasonic has been trying to make its way through the hyper competitive Indian smartphone market but hasn't met with much success as of yet. The Japanese company has recently ended its partnership with Jaina and is now pursuing the smartphone business on its own.
"We have spent the last few months preparing for the launch. We will bring in the best products from our range for the Indian consumers," Rana said. "We have a very strong consumer durables brand. We are targeting the youth with our smartphone range and are confident that they will also become customers of our other products like ACs and TVs," he added.
Like other smartphones makers, Panasonic is also focusing on the offline retail market intensely. Other than the large format retail stores and other distribution points, the tech gaint will also use its 250 exclusive retail counters, which sell its other devices too, to showcase its smartphones.
"Of the 28 devices planned this year, about 20 are offline. The sales numbers in the offline market are significant and we are keen on tapping into that segment," said Pankaj Rana.
India is one of the world's fastest growing smartphone markets. Due to ever increasing data consumption and decreasing data prices, a huge number of phone users are now migrating to smartphones and they do not want the luxury premium models but the affordable devices.
As per a report by research firm IDC, within the time period between January and March this year, 27 million smartphones were shipped to India. While Samsung led the pack with 28.1% market share, Xiaomi and Vivo followed with 14.2% and 10.5% shares, respectively. Lenovo managed to secure 9.5% of the market and Oppo had 9.3% share in the aforementioned quarter.
Panasonic is positive and hopeful about clocking Rs 2,000 crore revenues from its smartphone business this year, which is from Rs 1,400 crore last year.