Panasonic Homes & Living inaugurated its first Panasonic Living Store in Delhi NCR last week. The company has presented its iconic L-Class and I-Class kitchen ranges at the outlet. As Panasonic inaugurates its first Living Store in Delhi NCR, it now has 28 branded outlets operational across the country.
The NCR outlet, located prominently on MG Road which is the city’s go-to designer home improvement street, has been set up in partnership with franchisee SACMEH International.
The newest outlet marks Panasonic’s entry into Delhi NCR’s fast-growing kitchen market, and adds to the growing number of global premium brands present in India including Hacker, Scavolini, Nolte and Nobilia. However, Panasonic is probably the first international brand to be present directly, whereas the others operate through their master franchisees.
According to Rahul Thakkar, general manager of housing division SAARC at Panasonic Life Solutions India, the brand’s entry into the NCR is going to significantly change the dynamics of the kitchen business. “Panasonic offers a unique proposition for its customers as well as the channel partners, which is not being done by any other brand. We are the only company that offers a complete solution including cabinetry, hardware and accessories, countertops, sinks, sensor faucets, as well as appliances. Besides, we are backed by a very strong after-sales service and logistics backbone to ensure that the customer enjoys a superior experience when dealing with us.”
Thakkar explains that Panasonic’s affordable luxury L-Class range incorporates a host of organisers and sink accessories as a default, while the drawers and sink cabinets feature a unique metallic lining for added protection from moisture. “The joint-free quartz countertops are customised in-house so that there is no messy work at the site. This is one of the key pain areas that we have identified from our customer interactions and have managed to address. With preferred partners such as Blum, Bosch & Siemens and CMC, the L-Class is assuredly the finest option available to Indian customers.”
The I-Class range, according to Thakkar, is targeted at the premium segment and is manufactured at Panasonic’s OEM partner located in India. “We offer a turnaround time of 45 days for this range, whereas for the L-Class range which is manufactured at our facility in Japan, it is 90 days.”
Sachin Mehta, managing director of SACMEH International, believes that the Panasonic brand equity is a major plus in this service-driven business. “We had evaluated several brand options before finalising our partnership with Panasonic. On the parameters of quality, technology and commitment to service, we believe that Panasonic is far ahead. Besides, they have a long history in the kitchen business and are among the leading manufacturers in the world. We are confident that this legacy will help us notch up significant business and a host of satisfied customers for life.”
Panasonic’s growth in the Indian kitchen market has been impressive, as it has managed to establish a strong network of channel partners in over 25 cities. “We prefer to work with partners who are mindful of customer experience and service. Many of them are already working with building product brands in the premium and luxury segments. We support them with a strong back office team that responds quickly and is focused on building store revenues through lead generation and digital marketing. Our policies are designed to ensure that our partnerships remain fruitful for the long term,” says Thakkar.
Panasonic launched its modular kitchen business in India in 2018. In Japan, it has been manufacturing kitchens since 1962, and today has 13 fully integrated facilities across the world that produce all components in-house. The company produces over 300,000 kitchens annually, placing it amongst the largest manufacturers globally. Thakkar says that Panasonic is well on its way to having a network of 50 kitchen outlets in India by the end of the current fiscal and 100 outlets by 2025.