GEORGE TOWN: Pensonic Holdings Bhd plans to adopt a new business model to market its latest smart power bank device under the fonebud brand, which had received positive reviews and response from the recent Consumer Electronic Show (CES) held in Las Vegas this month.
Group chief executive officer Dixon Chew told StarBiz that the strategy was to offer the ownership of the fonebud brand to distributors, who had hit a consistent sales target over a two-year period.
Pensonic was the only Malaysian exhibitor among the 3,000 international exhibitors with a display booth at the CES.
“Other major brands don’t make such an offer to their distributors. Once they are the brandname owners, the distributors can co-develop the future range of fonebud smart device products with us.
“They can give us their inputs, based on customers’ feedback in their respective countries, so that the smart device can be designed with features to suit the needs of the customers.
“In this business model, Pensonic becomes the product developer and supply chain manager,” said Chew.
The fonebud smart power bank has also received good reviews from the US-based online IT magazine. “What caught their attention was the colour, the user-friendly features and the functions,” he added.
Besides serving as a power bank, the fonebud allows you to talk for an extended period of time without having to worry about the heat generated by the smart device, according to Chew.
“You can also use it to talk while your phone is being charged.
“Once you paired it with your smart phone, the fonebud, which is equipped with a range detector, will alert you when you leave your phone behind.
Chew said Pensonic was targeting for 100,00 units of fonebud to be sold worldwide this year.
“Based on the response at the CES, we are confident such a sale target is achievable.
“About 70% of the fonebud will be sold in the domestic market, while the remaining is targeted at overseas market,” he said.
Chew said the group planned to appoint 40 distributors worldwide.
“In Malaysia, we have already appointed a local company to be the sole distributor,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chew said the group was in the process of developing the second generation of fonebud with new features that would be revealed in the second quarter 2015.
“Our RM50mil warehouse cum design development centre, scheduled for opening this March, will serve as the headquarters to develop future generation of new smart devices,” he added.
The fonebud smart power bank marks the first step Pensonic is undertaking to diversify from small domestic appliances marketed under the Pensonic brandname.
“The domestic market has become challenging, making it necessary for us to diversify,” he said.
For example, the group’s Cornell brand recorded a 3.7% drop in sales from June to November last year, compared with the same period a year ago.
“The reason has to do with the cautious mood consumer is adopting pending the introduction of goods and services tax (GST).
“We anticipate brisk buying prior to the GST introduction this April, but it still has yet to happen,” Chew said.
Chew said the Cornell’s kitchen appliances performed better than the audio-visual and the major appliances such as washing machine.
“We hope to see a another round of buying during the Chinese New Year holidays as we will offer attractive deals.
“We also expect to see slowdown after the implementation of GST,” Chew said.