Tiruchirapalli: Panasonic Appliances India, a manufacturer of rice cookers and super grinder mixers, is now eyeing new markets in Africa.
"We currently export our products to US, Canada, Middle East and Gulf countries. We will now look at markets in Africa. Agents have already been identified in these markets. The company will cater not only to the Indian diaspora in Africa but also target regions where rice consumption is high," Hidenori Aso, MD, Panasonic Appliances India Co. Ltd, told PTI after the launch of festive offers in the city.
Exports of rice cookers and other appliances currently contribute 17 percent of the sales.
The Chennai manufacturing plant located near Red Hills has a capacity to manufacture two million cookers per annum, and it is poised for further growth with 25,000 sq. Metres of additional space available to the company.
The plant, which manufactures 4.2 litre capacity rice cookers, will also manufacture 7.2 litre capacity meant for restaurants and hostels within the next one year.
In India, the company has 3,500 dealers with a strong hold in South India given the heavy consumption of rice in this region. There are 300 service centres including 40 in Tamil Nadu.
Hidenori Asa said the company will now target Eastern India markets such as Guhawati, Dibugarh and Shillong and expand its presence there.
The company was also importing appliances like wheat grinder, food processor, oven toaster, bowl mixer, coffee maker and sandwich maker from China to add to its SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) and to variety of products in the showrooms in India.
The company clocked turnover of USD 40 million in 2011-12 as against the previous year figure of USD 27 million. The company had a market share of over 70 percent in electric cooker and mixer segment (Kitchen appliances).
The festive offer of the Panasonic Appliance products is valid from November to mid-January (Pongal festival season).
First Published: Thursday, November 21, 2013, 12:05