OSAKA: Malaysia is among the five countries being given top priority by Japan’s Panasonic Corporation under an intensive effort to promote its Toughbook mobile computer business in Asia.
Hide Harada, overseas sales general manager of the IT Products Business Unit, said the company planned to invest more in marketing its IT products in Malaysia, India, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand.
Panasonic, he said, would also be focusing on Indonesia and the Philippines as new developing markets.
“For us, Malaysia is highly strategic as the company has already invested a lot in manufacturing activities in the country. We intend to capitalise on the high Panasonic profile to spread awareness about our computer products,” Harada told Bernama during a briefing at the Panasonic headquarters here.
“There is a lot of things to do in Malaysia. We are determined to invest more in marketing and sales activities, targeting various segments, including government-related sectors like the police,” he said.
Harada said Panasonic would work with channel partners in Malaysia to provide solutions for private enterprise sectors which have not yet been penetrated, adding that the company was also talking to a number of hospitals on using the Toughbook to improve productivity.
“Healthcare, which now contributes less than 10% to annual revenue, is one of the segments with high potential growth,” he said.
Panasonic recently held a press conference in Kuala Lumpur to keep the media informed of the latest developments in its Toughbook technology and the company plans to hold direct meetings and forums with end-users as part of its product development process.
In Malaysia, national carmaker Proton and KPJ Healthcare are major users of the Toughbook mobile computers, which are designed to perform under rugged conditions and are able to withstand rough handling.
All the Toughbook computers are manufactured at the Panasonic factory in Kobe, Japan, with the exception of one model, the CF-S2, which is produced at the company’s factory in Taiwan.
Harada said as the worldwide field mobile computer market leader with 63% share in 2009, Panasonic is giving the highest priority to the Asian region which had been experiencing annual growth of over 20% in past five years.
“Panasonic can design, manufacture and do the service on our own, ensuring the quality of our computers. We have been allocating 6.4% of our annual sales on research and development, the highest among Japanese manufacturers,” he said. — Bernama