Published on March 28th, 2017 | by Varuna Singh0
Sony Middle East & Africa aims to grow 20% this year
Sony has had a tough last few years as it continues to get back in the game after restructuring itself globally and getting leaner. Over the last years, it restructured, faced some legal ups and internal downs, released some over spec-ed phones, launched a flagship store in the region and its gaming vertical is bestselling currently.
Regionally, Sony seems to be confident of its growth and has announced that it is expecting and aiming to grow its regional MEA business by 20% this year (2017). It’s already end of March and we have 9 months until Sony can prove what they say. Where would Sony find its growth in the region?
According to its new strategy, Sony MEA expects growth in television in sales by 26%, audio product sales by 11% and their interchangeable lens camera business by a big 52%. Goes to show how important lens and camera business is for Sony. It also demonstrates how Audio is becoming a new focus for Sony.
“To achieve our ambitious plans, we are re-engineering our operations and evolving strategies based on data and facts. We are aligning priorities, KPIs, processes and in-market execution plans both within Sony and in our business partner establishments in the region. Our aim is to present a powerful united front in the retail space. This will enable us to offer our customers the best experiences with our innovative products and encourage them to appreciate their unique value” said Kimura.
“…a refresh in business development strategy”
Taro Kimura is Sony’s new Managing Director for the Middle-East and Africa region and he wishes to achieve this vision through new product launches and a refresh in business development strategy.
Kimura has a track record in corporate transformation and business turnaround in the region and he joined Sony MEA in August 2016. Under him, the company grew up 174%.
Sony’s imaging, camera and lens business look like Sony’s biggest strength. “The strength of Sony is that we develop all key camera components in-house. Sony is the world’s largest Image Sensor supplier. In order to achieve highest resolution, highest sensitivity, fastest speed and most reliable image stabilization, we continuously develop ever-more advanced image sensors, image processors, lenses and software algorithms” said Kimura.
Sony MEA hit 16 per cent market share in FY16 in the 55-inch TV size category, 65-inch TV size segment grew by 112 per cent and hit 18 per cent market share, while the 75-inch TV size segment achieved 252 per cent growth with a market share of 20 per cent.
Those are satisfying numbers to see, however there is one area where Sony MEA hasn’t made any announcement – phones.
What about the phone and gaming business?
It’s worth noting that Sony hasn’t revealed a major plan and estimation for its phone business in the region. Sony announced the Xperia XZ Premium last month at Mobile World Congress. Its boasts a waterproof 4K HDR 5.5” display, the latest and fastest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and a super slow motion capable camera of 960fps! While this phone is arriving later next month, Sony MEA hasn’t shared their smartphone growth plans yet in their aim to grow this year.
Sony’s phone efforts look like showcases for their other products. Sony’s 4K HDR display is a demonstration of their BRAVIA TV Series and their new camera lens that shoots super slow motion videos at 960 fps is probably the lens that you will see in future competitor flagships.
Other areas of growth include the audio segment. The soundbar category grew by 126 per cent while the high-power audio one box series achieved 55 per cent growth. The headphone and earphone business has grown by 38 per cent, reinforcing the company’s positioning in sports, Bluetooth and noise cancelling space.