Pana­sonic El­e­vates In­dia MD as Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer

Man­ish Sharma will be among group of top of­fi­cials that de­cides on the growth path for the Ja­panese co

The Economic Times - - Business Of Brands - Wri­tankar.Mukher­jee@ times­

Kolkata: Pana­sonic Cor­po­ra­tion has ap­pointed In­dia sub­sidiary manag­ing di­rec­tor Man­ish Sharma as an ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, rop­ing him into a group of top of­fi­cials in the par­ent Ja­panese com­pany that works like a cor­po­rate man­age­ment com­mit­tee.

Sharma, 44, will be the first In­dian and the fourth non-Ja­panese to be part of this 24- mem­ber team. He is the youngest ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer for Pana­sonic.

The ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cers meet twice ev­ery year to de­cide on the growth path for the 3 lakh em­ploy­ee­strong or­gan­i­sa­tion. Sharma said his man­date will be to build new busi­nesses such as en­ergy prod­ucts and mo­bile phones in In­dia.

The con­sumer elec­tron­ics com­pany also el­e­vated Sharma as pres­i­dent and CEO of the In­dia op­er­a­tions. The In­dia manag­ing di­rec­tor’s role has been taken over by Shigeto Yuasa, who was ear­lier head of op­er­a­tions in Tai­wan and will re­port to Sharma. “This ap­point­ment at global level will ac­cel­er­ate the ef­forts to make In­dia the hub to drive growth in newer and de­vel­op­ing economies,” said Sharma, who joined Pana­sonic In­dia in 2008 as mar­ket­ing head and be­came MD in 2012. “I will also get ac­cess to more in­for­ma­tion which will help me look at more op­por­tu­ni­ties for In­dia and can ex­tract more re­sources and prod­ucts for the In­dian mar­ket.”

Pana­sonic re­cently forecast an 8.5% drop in profit in the 2016-17 fi­nan­cial year as it in­creases spend­ing on new ar­eas such as car and air­line in­for­ma­tion sys­tems, bat­ter­ies and en­ergy so­lu­tions.

In other changes, Daizo Ito, who was ear­lier pres­i­dent of Pana­sonic In­dia, has been ap­pointed chair­man of the In­dia, South Asia, Mid­dle East and African op­er­a­tions based out of New Delhi. Ajay Seth, who was ser­vice head, has now been made head for the ser­vice and sales divi­sion. Sajeev Ra­jasekha­ran, who headed sales op­er­a­tions is now re­spon­si­ble for the air-con­di­tioner busi­ness and Tadashi Chiba has been made the mar­ket­ing head.

In In­dia, Pana­sonic’s growth rate has been slower than its tar­get due to poor con­sumer sen­ti­ment over the past few years, which is why it is now ven­tur­ing into busi­nesses such as en­ergy so­lu­tions. The com­pany is aim­ing at .₹ 18,000-20,000 crore rev­enue in In­dia by 2018. Pana­sonic’s In­dia rev­enue in 2015-16 grew 20% to .₹ 8,700 crore, with the tele­vi­sion and home ap­pli­ances busi­ness con­tribut­ing about .₹ 4,000 crore, smart­phones .₹ 1,200 crore and .₹ 3,500 crore from busi­nesses such as sys­tems, in­dus­try, au­to­mo­tive, light­ing and switches.

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