The products and services will evolve with consumers reflecting their personal preferences and way of life. For this, the Japanese electronics giant will leverage AI, big data and real-time analytics.
Panasonic president Kazuhiro Tsuga invited business associates and customers from across the globe for its Cross Value Innovation Forum 2018, an event celebrating its last 100 years and charting the course for the next hundred last month.
Changing course for a company as huge as Panasonic that makes almost everything from lights to car batteries is not a small feat. Since 2012, after Panasonic reported a net loss of over $10bn, the company has taken several steps to check its declining market share.
Notable among them was exiting the loss-making plasma TV business– a huge step considering TVs played a major role in making it a global brand. Besides, the company was not only losing market presence worldwide, but was being beaten across the board by Chinese, South Koreans and Taiwanese companies.
Panasonic has diverted focus to corporate customers and is moving towards automobile electronics, car batteries, data-storage devices, among others.
To start with, the company is now partnering with its corporate customers to sell products like compact living spaces, which come loaded with smart devices and connected appliances, targeted for metro cities where housing costs are huge. Tsuga introduced this business concept as a ‘lifestyle update’– which meant that products and services will evolve with consumers reflecting their personal preferences and way of life. This, coupled with trends in mobility, diversifying lifestyles and stress on personal preferences, will create opportunities for Panasonic on a global scale.
Another example is its work with China’s biggest hot-pot restaurant chain, Hai Di Lao Hot Pot, which has more than 360 outlets and 50,000 employees. “Hai Di Lao Hot Pot is using our robot arms at one of its restaurants in Beijing to automate food preparation process and other automated systems are permitting customers to adjust ingredients whenever they want,” he added.
It has also partnered up with Chinese construction software developer Glodon and Beijing Linkdata Technologies, a battery-focused energy management company. Here Panasonic’s vacuum-insulated glass technology is being used on temporary housing units for construction workers. These units can be constructed and put in place within two months and can easily be personalised and transported. They are ideal for places with housing shortages such as Dubai or Mumbai.
On the future of home appliances and consumer electronics business, Tsuga said a comprehensive view needs to be taken on how they support people’s lifestyle.
“It’s an age where one can always upgrade.” He stated.