A new hub for Panasonic’s lighting business in India
Panasonic Eco Solutions Company offers its lighting solutions in 5 markets across Asia. It recently opened a showroom in India directly operated by Anchor Electricals Pvt. Ltd. (Anchor), the No. 1 wiring device company in India, which was acquired by Panasonic. Mr. Otaki, the president of Anchor, gave a speech on the showroom’s opening day, saying, “I am happy that you will be able to experience our greatest Panasonic LED technology. From now, by utilizing this showroom, we will be moving into the lighting fixtures business here in Mumbai,” thus expressing Panasonic’s commitment to its lighting business in India.
Many people interested in lighting - from flourishing architects and interior designers to light dealers - as well as many consumers who saw the ads on city signboards and in newspapers, visited the showroom on its opening day.
- A Ribbon-cutting Ceremony Commemorated the Showroom’s Opening.
- The Beat of Drums Filled the Air as Customers Began Entering the Showroom.
- A Visitor Listens to a Presentation on Ceiling Lights.
Exhibits illustrate how lighting can create an attractive ambience throughout an entire room
In India, many lighting shops do not have a unified look. Instead, they haphazardly exhibit multitudes of lighting fixtures. But this showroom displays lighting fixtures in easily recognizable categories, and the interior has two key color tones, giving it a sophisticated look and feel. When you enter the showroom, you immediately feel comfortable warmth emanating from both the natural sunlight filtering through the windows and the lighting within. The first section you’ll encounter showcases LED lighting fixtures. In one corner, you can experience the difference between conventional LED products and the newly developed one-core LED downlight. Move further inside, and you will find a simulation room designed like a living room where you can experience different moods and applications for lighting. Next, you will find yourself in an area where lighting professionals will help create a lighting plan that meets your unique needs.
The showroom’s two services introduce new living environments to India
- A Showroom Where Visitors Can Experience the Different Effects of Lighting.
- Lighting Planners Who Propose Layouts for Lighting.
To meet the rising demand for more comfortable and stylish interiors, the showroom provides two unique services.
- The first service is consultation, with lighting experts proposing lighting plans. Lighting planners who received training both in Japan and India propose the best lighting plans (including lighting fixtures and installation) for creating a comfortable environment for the layout of the customer’s home. This draws on know-how cultivated by Panasonic, which has created 200,000 lighting plans in Japan. With a “Triple A” approach - Academic, Artistic, and Advanced - Panasonic will help create lighting plans that best suit the lighting needs of India.
- The second service is simulation in a room where visitors can experience various lighting. Until now, lighting plans were simply shown on layouts, but by enabling visitors to experience what different lighting feels like, they can more confidently choose effective lighting and make optimal lighting plans.
The construction and renovation of homes in recent years is handled by architects and interior designers who often consult lighting specialists. In the future, the showroom may be used by architects and interior designers as a place for developing lighting plans together with Panasonic’s “lighting planners” to create even more comfortable environments in homes.
Feedback from Indian designers who experienced the showroom
- “I Wanted to Hear More About It, So I Asked Them to Come to Our Office,” Said Ms. Asta with A Big Smile on Her Face.
To find out what visitors thought of the showroom, I took a look inside the simulation room. The showroom staff was explaining the different effects of lighting in different types of conditions. Visitors seemed genuinely surprised when they learned that not only can the lights be turned on and off, but they can be dimmed and even remember your favorite settings.
“It’s important for users and people involved in construction to be able to experience lighting and imagine what it would be like before deciding on lighting. Until now, the price was the key decision-making factor, but consumers have recently begun choosing more expensive, better quality products. So I believe these kinds of lighting products will be well accepted by the people here,” explained an owner of a design firm. A lighting designer also said to me, “By using this showroom, consumers and experts can deepen their understanding of lighting.” It seems Panasonic-Anchor did a great job of communicating the benefits of the showroom.
The PR crew arrived carrying signage for the showroom.
Anchor will help promote the lighting business in India.
The new showroom was established by Anchor, India’s largest wiring device company, which Panasonic Electric Works Co., Ltd. (currently known as Eco Solutions Company) acquired in 2007. The video report also introduces the relationship between Anchor, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and Panasonic.
Anchor, a familiar presence for Indian consumers
- Wall Outlets and Power Switches Bearing the Anchor Logo.
Anchor is India’s largest wiring device company, but to tell you the truth, I had never heard of the company before. When I asked an Indian friend of mine, she said, “The company is famous for its switches and things like that.” So I took a closer look around my home and saw the Anchor logo on the power outlet. My house was pre-owned, so I only checked to see if the lights worked or not when I moved in, and I didn’t check to see the name of the company that provided our switches. But I learned that Anchor products could be found in many homes across India.
I also looked around at the light switches at the dhaba (roadside restaurants) and small church in the village, and they were all from Anchor. You don’t really notice unless you decide to pay attention, but if you live in India, Anchor products can be found all around you. Anchor truly has a great presence as India’s No. 1 wiring device manufacturer.
Anchor’s very popular dealership
In search of a place that sells Anchor products, I went to Mumbai’s electrical goods market, Lohar Chawl. It is located in southern Mumbai, where much of the architecture was built under British colonial rule. There, various electric goods are sold by electric goods dealers and by boutiques that carry lighting fixtures made in China. This is quite characteristic of India, but these shops are owned by traders whose families have been in the business for ages.
When I visited an Anchor dealer’s shop, I saw that there were many switches (which are key products of Anchor) crammed into a very small retail space, and many buyers going in and out. There were also many packages waiting to be shipped, which was indicative of Anchor’s distribution power in India.
New business strategy — “project sales”
One of the key pillars of Anchor’s business has been the “trading business,” which sells to distributors such as dealers. But a new area it has devoted resources to is the “project business.” This is a B2B business targeting developers and corporations. Generally in India, newly built apartments are sold as a shell, without any interior décor. People who purchase or rent an apartment consult architects and interior designers to give the apartment its final touches, which include lighting fixtures. The benefit of separating exterior and interior construction is that this results in durable buildings, and the apartments are really easy to reform. For example, when you want to change the placement of the lighting fixtures and switches, usually the mechanic hammers holes alongside the power lines and makes renovations where necessary. And the walls of apartments are quite often not covered by wallpaper, so tenants can just paint over the walls when construction is finished.
The new showroom in India may play an important role in proposing new lighting to architects and interior designers who may incorporate such lighting when refurbishing these skeleton apartment buildings.
- Luxury Apartments Being Built in The Southern Mumbai District. They Look Nearly Complete, But Construction is Still Underway Inside.
- The Apartment Under Construction I Went to Observe Was Also Bare, with Wiring for Lighting and Power Outlets Hanging from Ceilings and Walls.
“New lighting” will spread from Mumbai to India
- High-rise Apartment Buildings in The Bandra Region of Western Mumbai.
- Marine Drive, a Street Lined with Southern Mumbai’s Luxury Homes and Office Buildings.
During my research for this article, I witnessed Panasonic and Anchor’s commitment to undertake the lighting business in India using strengths they have cultivated in Japan and India. “Lighting” is an essential part of our lives and I believe the concept of “proposing even more comfortable, enriched lifestyles through lighting” will be widely accepted in India as it continues to undergo rapid economic growth. Anchor’s long-established reputation in India combines with Panasonic’s know-how, credibility, and strong brand to create new value for home lighting in India.
When you walk down the street of Mumbai at dusk, you will see light pouring through the windows of many homes. There are as many different penchants for lighting as there are different people, and I began to realize the breadth of possibilities for lighting. Many people in India enjoy home parties where some of the lights are turned off to create a moody ambience. Using LED lighting with dimmers will help expand the possibilities for lighting. Many people in Mumbai have sophisticated tastes, and it won’t be long before creative lighting spreads across India from Mumbai.
(Written by Kana)