Naohiko Hosokawa is the Director & Business Unit Head – Living Environment Division of Mitsubishi Electric India. He was recently in Kathmandu to launch Mitsubishi Electric products in the Nepali market. Tamish Giri of New Business Age caught up with Hosokawa to know about Mitsubishi Electric's journey so far. Excerpts:
What brought you to Nepal this time?
I had two purposes of coming to Nepal. The first one was to see the Nepali market, and how our products are perceived and evaluated by the customers here. The second was to organise a seminar to introduce our high-end products in the Nepali market.
How has been the journey of Mitsubishi Electric in Nepal?
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation was established in 1921 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. We recently celebrated the centenary of our establishment. Mitsubishi Electric products are sold in more than 100 countries across the globe.
We have been providing our high-end products in the Nepali market for more than a decade now. Our distributor, Airtech, has been importing Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioning equipment in Nepal. Airtech has been providing required installation, testing and commissioning of Mitsubishi Electric products in the Nepali market. They also provide the best after sales support to our customers. Our journey in this country has been going well as we have provided our products in many landmark projects.
How do you observe the Nepali market? What importance does it hold to your company?
Nepal is an important market to us as it has great potential. We are launching the same kind of products that we have introduced in Europe and Americas, and we are glad that the customers here accept and appreciate such high-end products here. We feel like we can lead this market with our high-end technologically advanced products.
The reception towards our products here in Nepal has been encouraging. Our high-tech products are highly appreciated by our customers in the market here. So, this market holds great potential for Mitsubishi Electric products in the future as well.
What models of Mitsubishi Electric are you introducing in Nepal? How are these models different from the products already available in Nepal?
We are introducing the R2 and YKD series of City Multi VRF systems of air conditioners. The R2 series is a simultaneous cooling and heating model sold to countries with four seasons. Our latest models of the YKD series have the most advanced and customer-friendly maintenance features. Both the series are very reliable and efficient products made with robust equipment and engineering.
What are the USPs of the newly introduced ACs?
Our products are highly efficient compared to the ACs currently available in the Nepali market. Likewise, as I said earlier, our R2 series is the only product in the world which can provide heating & cooling facilities simultaneously with a two-pipe system. These products are highly suitable for Nepal as temperature here can vary from 10 to 20 degrees in a day and the requirement of cooling/heating may vary from room to room or area to area of the building. So R2 is really the best product to cope with the needs of such customers in Nepal similar to Australia, Japan, Europe, US etc.
What major challenges are you facing in Nepal?
We have been trying to increase the sales volume of our products. So we are communicating to the market and customers and trying to convince them with our high-quality efficient products that come loaded with premium features. The major challenge we are facing is the pricing acceptability by the customers in Nepal. This has been a major challenge for us.
What is your suggestion to the people who are looking to buy new ACs?
As I have mentioned earlier, we have very high-quality products which ensure customers comfort with low operation cost. But to be the first choice of the customers, the perfect installation and after sales service is equally important so that our products can perform at its utmost level for many years. Our distributor for Nepal, Airtech, has the expertise in good execution of proper installation works. So the combination of high-end product with best installation team and high-class after sales service of Airtech is the strong point so that the Nepali customers would enjoy the quality of our product with high-end installation and good after sales services.