Panasonic Marketing Middle East & Africa are determined to take a hold of African market share. Recently Panasonic showcased wide range of the products which are now available for the African market starting with Kenya. Products showcased at the exhibition comprised of Panasonic’s business solutions like telephones, faxes, office automation solutions, educational solutions like Panaboards, High definition communication solutions, network and analog products, home security products, batteries and lamps, air conditioners and last but not the least eco solutions like ventilating fan, ceiling fan and air purifiers alike.
From what I saw during the event, It is clear that Panasonic is taking African market seriously. And to come with it, they are rolling out a program named “Made for Africa”. The program is meant to help the Panasonic to increase their footprint across the African continent by providing access to superior and advanced products.
As a country and even a continent, the idea of coming up with “For Africa project” is all good and of late we have seen many companies trying the same, in their efforts to penetrate the market but I think there should be more. The projects need to be backed up with genuine investment and partnership. In Kenya for example it is important to see more than the products being launched and the fact that people can buy them. It would be great to see things like employment being created by such projects across the continent.
Panasonic say that as part of providing a direct service network, they already established representative offices across Africa, including Kenya, Angola, Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa. In parallel to the representative offices, Panasonic is also planning to open signature stores like the Panasonic Plaza’s across the continent. The Panasonic Plaza’s are set to serve as a one-stop destination for all the consumers. Currently, Panasonic Plaza is already operational in Kenya and Nigeria. Panasonic plans to add 100 more service centre’s to the already existing line-up of 597 service centres across the Middle East & Africa (MEA) by March 2015.
Panasonic Plaza mentioned above was opened in Kenya recently and it is based in Nairobi Westlands. By any standard that was a good start but looking at the bigger picture, I still feel that it is not enough to serve the whole country. Customer care is a big issue in Kenya and most Kenyans, have realized that buying a product that you cannot get help in case there is a problem is not a good idea. It is the reason why the likes of Samsung and Nokia keep on adding new service centers around the country to take care of any problem within the market. So clearly one Panasonic Plaza based in Nairobi is not enough, especially if you were to think about places like Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and others.
According to Mr Masao Motoki, Managing Director, Panasonic Marketing Middle East & Africa.
“Through our “Made for Africa” project, we are committed and focused on increasing our footprint across the African continent by providing access to our technologically superior and advanced products. Our product marketing strategy has been to understand, implement and develop products that our African consumers actually prefer! Our business model will have hands-on approach and will directly engage with the consumers. As a brand – our commitment is to be ‘ALWAYS FOR YOU’! Service is integral to our success are we are determined to add value to customers’ lives wherever they are with a 24×7 support”
That is an encouraging statement, especially on the part of 24/7 support.
Mr Yorihisa Shiokawa, Managing Director, Panasonic Asia Pacific, gave a pointed reasons as to why they here to stay,
“Africa is an emerging market and the widespread reform across the country has resulted in an ever-improving business environment and this together with other factors such as increased infrastructure investment and commodities boom have contributed to the doubling of the economy over the past decade. We as Panasonic are committed to being part of this development process that the country is witnessing and this exhibition is part of one such efforts to reiterate our commitment to the African markets”.
Here is a brief summary of some Panasonic Products to look for
For the laptops category expect three classes within the Toughbook range: Fully ruggedized, semi ruggedized and business ruggedized. The CF-53 and the CF 31 which are part of the semi-ruggedized range, are the two notable laptops which should excite the Kenyan market.
The CF53 has 3.4 GHz Intel Core Processor, 4 GB Internal Memory (Expandable up to 16 GB Max.), a hard disk drive of 500GB, a display method of 14 type (TFT) (1366 × 768 dots), an operating system of Windows 8: Downgradble to Windows 7, a battery operating time of approx. 11 hours.
The CF 31 has CPU: 3.3 GHz Processor with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, a memory of 4GB (Expandable upto 8 GB Max.), a hard disk drive of 500 GB, an operating system of Windows 8: Downgradable to Windows 7, a battery operating time of approx. 14.5 hours.
Panasonic has not been left behind when comes to Tablets. The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-A1 is an Android 4.0 tablet weighing approx 993 grams. The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-A1 has 1.20 GHz Dual Core processor, a memory of 1GB, a storage capacity of 16GB Flash and micro SDHC card (Max. 32GB), a display method of 10.1″ TFT Color LCD 1024×768(XGA), a battery operating time of approx 10 hours.
For the projectors, Panansonic say they have full lineup solutions for fixed-installation, portable, and home theater use. The following are some of the projector models showcased at the exhibition: PT-RW330E ,PT-TW231R and PT-LS26E.
The PT-RW330E features 3,500 lumens of brightness. Contrast is at 10,000:1, and images are reproduced with a wide dynamic range and it is equipped with a 2× Zoom Lens making it possible to throw a 120-inch-diagonal wide screen image from approximately 12.8 to 25.7 ft. The PT-RW330E projector also has new DIGITAL LINK Technology so when it is used with the optional ET-YFB100G
The new PT-TW231R is a LCD projector with WXGA resolution (1,280 x 800) and 2,500 lumens of brightness. It has been designed with a short focal lens that allows the device to project a 1.3 m wide image from a mere 65 cm (2.13ft) away from the display surface
Panasonic PT-LS26 is a PT-LS26 uses 180W UHM lamp offering brightness of 2,600lm from its compact body, A DLP chip with high contrast ratio of 2,300:1 provides clear images
With a weight of only 2.3kg, it is a great portable projector for use in a small classroom to meeting room