Sony Middle East aims to grow business by 20% in 2017 with leadership of new managing director Taro Kimura

By Team Feedbaac

In order to boost sales and ambitions in the region, Sony Middle East and Africa (MEA) has unveiled their new business strategy that aims to increase its regional presence and grow the business by 20 per cent in 2017.

Driving Sony MEA’s strategy has appointed Taro Kimura as the new managing director, who will achieve this vision through new product launches and a refreshed business development strategy that will place the company and its business partners in a strong position to gain market share in the company’s focus categories, which are television, digital imaging and audio products. Sony MEA wants to grow television sales by 26%, audio product sales by 11% and achieve a 52% sales growth in its interchangeable lens camera business in 2017.

“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.  

Sony’s first BRAVIA OLED TV A1 Series is scheduled to launch in the Middle East in July 2017.  The display was previewed at the CES earlier this year and generating rave reviews, the BRAVIA OLED A1 series offers a totally new visual experience. It features a combination of superior picture quality, achieved with the company’s proprietary 4K HDR Processor X1™ Extreme; revolutionary sound that emanates directly from the screen itself - a feat made possible by Sony’s newly developed Acoustic Surface™ technology and a streamlined, stylishly minimalistic “One Slate Design Concept” make it a technological marvel.

“Television is our key driver for business growth and our product strategy of best picture quality, design and usability remains unchanged,” said Kimura.  “The BRAVIA OLED A1 Series will be a new addition to an array of best in class televisions that will expand from 23 models in 2016 to 37 models in 2017, offering customers a wider choice”

The ambitious growth expectations in the company’s interchangeable lens camera are spurred by the overwhelming acceptance of the company’s flagship Alpha 7 series by photography and videography enthusiasts and professionals. In the digital camera business, Sony’s mid-segment grew from 58% in 2015 to 65 per cent in 2016.

“Sony is the market leader in Digital camera and our interchangeable-lens Alpha 7, Alpha 6000 cameras and fixed lens RX100 cameras have won several industry awards. They have also been well received by photography enthusiasts around the world and are continuing to gain wider recognition and popularity,” said Kimura.  

He added, “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.  Sony today offers a selection of 24 lenses all of which are High Resolution compatible.  No other camera manufacturer offers such an extensive range of high resolution lenses since legacy lenses are not high resolution and future compatible.” 

Devices such as headphones, wireless speakers and sound bars will be the main contributors to business growth in the audio category for Sony.  “The launch of the MDR-1000X industry-leading noise-cancelling headphones was a breakthrough for Sony, and we expect sales of this product alone to increase 5 fold in 2017,” said Kimura. “Supplementing the MDR-1000X will be the widest range of headphones and earphones that will meet all the types of usage such as in-ear, overhead, microphone function, Bluetooth and noise-cancelling,”.

In all good things to come, Kimura has a proven track record in corporate transformation and business turnaround across the GCC, Europe and Japan. With his vast global experience and local knowledge, Kimura has been driving Sony’s business in the region since he began his second stint with the company in August 2016.

Under his leadership, Sony MEA witnessed massive growth in sales in the television segment in 2016. The company grew the business by 174% and hit 16% market share in FY16 in the 55-inch TV size category. Sony MEA also experienced strong growth in the 65-inch TV size segment and grew by 112 per cent and hit 18% market share, while the 75-inch TV size segment achieved 252% growth with a market share of 20%.

Meanwhile, in the audio segment, the soundbar category grew by 126% while the high power audio one box series achieved 55% growth. The headphone and earphone business has grown by 38%, reinforcing the company’s positioning in sports, Bluetooth and noise canceling space.