After over a decade of having taken over by Panasonic of Japan, Anchor Electricals Pvt Ltd announced that it would now be known as “Panasonic Life Solutions India Pvt Ltd.” The 50-year old “Anchor” brand, a traditional leader in the wiring devices space, will however continue. The change in corporate identity is effective April 1, 2019.
Addressing a press conference in Mumbai on April 10, 2019, Vivek Sharma, Managing Director, Panasonic Life Solutions India Pvt Ltd, said that the new corporate identity will help strengthen the company’s position in the market. “With this change, we would position the brand as one that would take care of the expectation of modern India consumers,” Sharma noted.
The erstwhile Anchor Electricals Pvt Ltd, it may be recalled, was acquired by Panasonic in 2007 and become the latter’s wholly-owned subsidiary. Anchor has been the industry leader in wiring devices with a significant presence in areas like switchgear, wires & cables, lighting equipment, indoor air quality (IAQ) products, etc.
Vivek Sharma noted that though Anchor is the undisputed leader in the wiring devices segment (switches, sockets, etc), it is aiming at improving its market share in other high-growth areas like lighting, wires & cables, low-voltage switchgear (e.g. miniature circuit breakers), etc.
It may be mentioned that the company also sells wiring devices (switches and sockets) under the “Panasonic” brand. When asked about the coexistence of the two brands “Anchor” and “Panasonic”, Vivek Sharma explained that “Anchor” was by far the strongest brand in the wiring devices segment. In financial year 2018-19, “Anchor” had a share of around 36 per cent in the wiring devices segment. In combination with the “Panasonic” brand, the market share worked out to around 40 per cent.
Anchor will be the value-for-money brand while Panasonic will cater to the high-end market
On the other hand, in the IAQ segment that comprises high-speed fans, exhaust fans and ventilators, all high-end products are branded “Panasonic” while “Anchor” occupies the middle segment. In summary, as Sharma put it, “Anchor” will stand for the “value for money” segment while “Panasonic” will represent the premium or the “money for value” range of products.
Dwelling more on the two brands, Vivek Sharma observed, “Brand Anchor brings knowledge of the Indian market and familiarity of customers while the Panasonic brand brings innovation and high technology.”
On the company’s future plans, Sharma also noted that while the company was currently a predominantly a “B2C” company, efforts are on to tap the B2B segment as well as the B2G (business to government) market.
New plant in south India
Panasonic Life Solutions India Pvt Ltd has firmed up plans to put up a manufacturing unit in southern India, for wiring devices and other electrical equipment. This will bring the company closer to the south Indian market. Currently, the company has six manufacturing locations but none in south India. Details of the new plant will be officially disclosed by middle of May, Sharma said, adding that capital investment “is not an issue” as the company was cash-rich and virtually debt-free.