Sony India’s head of product marketing for Xperia devices division, Mr. Mukesh Srivastava has categorically rejected any idea that brands like Xiaomi and Micromax could even be considered competition by the Japanese giant in the smartphone space. “We are not looking to compete with brands like YU or Xiaomi. Our devices will come in the mid-range and premium category. We are not even looking at electronic sales. We will focus on securing our distribution channels”, he said, referring to the online flash-sales model that both the brands employ to hype up their products and induce sales.
Once the poster boy for innovation with cutting-edge products like Walkman, Handycam and PlayStation, but now struggling to cut its losses, Sony is looking to turn around its fortune, even amidst rapid appreciation of the US dollar against the Japanese Yen. The only unit of Sony group which has made any significant amount of money over the past few years has been its eponymous Hollywood Studio, whereas the company’s consumer electronics business has seen weak sales and an erosion of market share, squeezed by cheaper rivals from China and India at the entry level and rapidly striding Korean and American rivals like Samsung and Apple at the top-end in various product categories. Having already sold off its loss making Vaio division that made laptops, Sony is poised to get back into the black with profits to the tune of JP¥ 140 billion ($1.14 billion) this year, after years of accumulated losses, mostly through weak consumer electronics sales including smartphones, televisions and laptop computers. The company also believes that having turned the corner, it will be able to hit its internal profitability target of more than JP¥ 500 billion ($4 billion) for the Sony Group in the financial year 2016-17.
Sony has also been shopping around for the best place to set-up a headquarter, and after having moved out to Sweden from London in 2011, it has now once again shifted back to Tokyo, the company’s original HQ before the top management of the company decided it would be a good idea to shift base in the first place. Mr. Srivastava said that the company is currently looking to consolidate rather than expand, which will require further investments in marketing and infrastructure at a time when capital is hard to come by. However, Mr. Srivastava did clarify that Sony will continue to launch more products going forward, with a view to developing a larger customer base. He also spoke about integrating Sony’s famed “Bravia engine, CMOS image sensors, sound engine and the PlayStation Network” in order to increase sales of its Xperia range of handsets. “We will launch devices that will really please the customers”, he signed off.