Chennai and Rice cookers key to export business for Panasonic? Hidenori Aso looks at Rs 1 billion in exports

Last Updated: Thu, Sep 20, 2018 13:39 hrs
Panasonic (Image Courtesy: Panasonic)

Global leaders, even those such as Apple and Samsung may be worried of trade-wars. But not Panasonic.

Around the sidelines of a celebration of Panasonic's 30th Anniversary of its rice cooker business in India, its Managing Director for India Hidenori Aso, sets an ambitious target.

He is quoted in an interaction with PTI claiming that Panasonic was targeting Rs 1 billion in three years for exports of consumer durable products.

Aso reasons that demand in SAARC countries is soaring. And, this demand would help the company grow export revenue by at least 60%.

Panasonic, at present exports products to at least 43 countries, and looked at investing further Rs 30 crores to augment plant capacity in India.

The India story seems to be key to Panasonic's SAARC business. Aso, explains that Panasonic had been manufacturing in India for at least ten years now.

The reliance of Panasonic on its India manufacturing, especially Chennai based plant is evident from the case of production of Rice Cookers.

It was in September 1990, that the company started mass production of rice cookers for the Indian domestic market. By April 1992, Panasonic, according to an official press release, had started the export of rice cookers from its India manufacturing facility.

The release further explains that the company serves as a global hub factory producing rice cookers not only for India but also for markets in 44 countries around the world.

Its annual production expanded to 700,000 units for the Indian market and 300,000 units for export, with the cumulative production reaching 10 million units in June 2018.

Meanwhile, the company continued improving its manufacturing capabilities to achieve high product quality. In August 2018, the company started shipments of India-made mini rice cookers for the Japanese market.

Aso says that "Unlike current conditions, India, 30 years ago was not quite developed enough in terms of the living environment and business environment."

On the eve of the 30th year celebrations, the company is exporting the made in India rice cookers to Japan, considered a market of strict compliance and stringent quality standards.

Panasonic production of rice cookers
Image courtesy: Panasonic

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