Panasonic recently revealed its plan to partner with Tata Elxsi in setting up an R&D unit in Bengaluru. This will help the consumer electronics major to fortify its appliance business in domestic and global markets. Tetsuro Homma, President of Appliances Company & Senior MD, Panasonic Corporation comments, “The launch of the R&D center in Bengaluru will help to drive Panasonic’s business in the ISAMEA (India, South Asia, Middle East and Africa) region, with a medium and long-term strategic view.
The establishment has been constructed to house two centers, a Design Division, which would be based at Panasonic’s Jhajjar unit, and an Offshore Development Division based at Bengaluru. The refrigerator plant at Jhajjar was only launched recently, for which Panasonic put in a Rs 115 crore investment. The operations at this plant will start from January 2018, and will be followed by sales, commencing from April 2018.
The Jhajjar unit will primarily focus on factory engineering, product design and QC function for products such as air conditioner, washing machine, and refrigerators, while the Bangalore branch will be responsible for developing technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics. It will help the firm carry out its global operations, besides extending support for product designing in local product manufacturing. “Panasonic will be able to accelerate product innovations in newer categories with the newly established R&D center. The move will also facilitate the growth of the appliances industry,” extols Homma.
Artificial Intelligence can help in improving the utility and performance of home appliances, for individual users over time. This is based on the data collated everyday about an individual consumer’s usage habits and patterns. Work assist systems, robotic household appliances, and interactive machine technology has been part of Panasonic’s AI-based ecosystem for some time now. With this move, there will be an increased focus on driving R&D in India on this platform.
With this move, Panasonic and Tata Elxsi intends to utilize IoT solutions, and push the next generation of home appliances from India to the global market. “Panasonic India, with its Japanese reputation of technology and innovation, is an important partnership for us,” comments Madhukar Dev, CEO and MD, Tata Elxsi. The partnership also represents Panasonic’s commitment towards the Make-in-India initiative.