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Week-end Edition - Day 2 & Day 3 - IFA International

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Exclusive Interview PAUL

Exclusive Interview PAUL MOLYNEUX In October 2011, Paul Molyneux was appointed as the first non-Japanese Executive Officer to the Board of Directors of Sharp Corporation. He was also named the new CEO, Group General Manager and President of Sharp Electronics Europe. Molyneux held a variety of senior management and leadership positions in sales and operations over the previous seven years. Sharp Europe’s Paul Molyneux: “smarter and more market-focused” SHARP ELECTRONICS A subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based appliance and electronic components giant Sharp Corporation, Sharp Electronics is a leading producer of the LCDs used in everything from airplane cockpits to computers and HD TV sets. The company also markets home appliances, entertainment products (TVs, Blu-ray disc players) and business electronics. Time to Look Outwards Sharp takes new direction amid global restructuring Named as Sharp Electronic Europe’s CEO in 2011, Paul Molyneux is the first non-Japanese executive officer to have been elected to the Board of Directors. As Sharp faces a major global reorganisation, Molyneux gives IFA International the inside story on the Japanese giant’s plans for Europe… What is very clear, and what our president, Takashi Okuda stated in his press conference at the annual shareholders meeting, is that Sharp has to grow its international business. Traditionally, our business has been split 50:50 between domestic and international. There are 120 million people living in Japan and around seven billion globally, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have half your business centred on that one market. In the consumer business, we have two main drivers: one is LCD TV and the other is health and environment. In the LCD TV space, since this time last year we have been developing larger screen sizes — 60-inch and above. At IFA this year, we are launching a 90-inch product. This is a segment of the market that is still growing by over 50% a year, accounting “It’s all about technology delivering a new lifestyle” for over 600,000 units across Europe, and we command a 60% share of that market. We have, in fact, been surprised about the demand for not just 60-inch, but also 70- and even 80-inch sets. This is a key driver, and it is where we have some competitive advantage. It’s about leveraging our manufacturing capabilities — our ability to produce large substrates from plants like Sakai. And we can translate that into a great value proposition in the marketplace. What are your goals at IFA this year? We position ourselves as an inventor for society. We will be showcasing our ability to manufacture very highquality screens and translate that into larger screen sizes. The larger the screen size, the more focus there is on the quality of the screen. Furthermore, for the first time we are giving a public demonstration of our 4K screen including the ICC chip, which is our version of glassless 3D. We are also showcasing our wireless TV proposition. With this, you have a control box, a set-top box and a screen. The signal is transmitted wirelessly to the screen, which gives you real flexibility in terms of how you position your TV. You can even carry it between rooms. It’s all about technology delivering a new lifestyle. We plan to launch these technologies in Europe around the end of the first quarter or beginning of the second quarter next year. What’s happening in Europe? Europe, as a region, is starting to become much more self-sustaining. There has been a big drive in recent years to standardise line-ups throughout the world and achieve scale. But now there are some interesting moves looking at what works in specific regions. And that’s really important. We have learned that, if you take a line-up that has been built and developed in Japan and try to apply that to the rest of the world, it doesn’t always work. We are learning real lessons about how to become smarter about our proposition and how to become more marketfocused. And that needs to translate into product. So for TV, we will be coming up with some new technologies, some different ideas — and the message that Sharp is really in the TV business in Europe. Hall 18 Stand 102 18

Exclusive Interview THTF Global - Increasing Global Reach Chinese giant little known in western world back at IFA to raise global awareness Honoured already with being the “Outstanding enterprise in promoting China’s flat-panel industry”, “Self-Innovated Product” and “China Audio/Video product technology innovation award”, TongFang (or THTF) Global is a major player on the domestic scene, and already last year at IFA made a splash with its global brand: Element. [ by Richard Barnes ] This year, THTF is back at IFA with a new brand destined for the continent – Seiki, and underlining the company’s technological prowess, a 50-inch 4K Seiki brand TV is on display at the THTF stand (among others). With the largest TV manufacturing facility in Northern China, THTF Global has created a fully equipped R&D team for digital TV TH Lam President – TongFang Global Ltd. products, introduced an international, advanced R&D technology system and full testing equipment. Seiki TVs, just like those of the Element brand, feature high quality sound bars (Element features a high fidelity JBL sound bar). Along with the new Seiki brand sets, THTF is also demonstrating a semitransparent display that will no doubt be a hit for digital signage applications. THFT are not just here for the show however. “The reason why we are at IFA maybe different from the other Chinese brands”, says TH Lam, President of TongFang Global Ltd. "Other big Chinese brands may be here to show their image, but we are only here for the orders. So the product we bring to IFA this time is also 100% targeted to the European market.” So what is the biggest challenge for THTF in its global marketing? While the company is very big, it is still not well recognised in the European market. “The European market is complicated for any company”, says Professor Lu Zhicheng – Vicechairman of the Board and President of Tsinghua TongFang Co. Ltd. (the mother organisation). “It is very different from the Chinese market or the US market. There are so many different countries with different cultures, so we have come here to know them better, to understand the cultures. We are training our teams in order to build a solid foundation for our business. So while we are new to this market, we would like to make a good foundation for our business.” Seiki brand destined for smaller retailers When THTF brought its Element brand to IFA last year, targeting the larger retailer, the success was immediate, and now we are informed that Element products can be found in Metro retail outlets across the 17 countries. This year, Seiki is being introduced as a brand for provincial retailers and smaller broad line retail outlets. The strategies of the two brands are thus quite separate, targeting different customer groups. Element is already quite successful in the US market, and THTF Global plans to grow sales in Europe at least to the same level. According to Mickey Cho, General Manager of TongFang Global Ltd Sales and Marketing, the company is growing very fast in Europe – over 150% year on year: “We have now already a company in the UK, and there will be a new one this year in Poland. We will also have a major cooperation with a top Japanese brand here. For our overall marketing, the UK, France, Germany and some Eastern European countries are very important." While admitting that for them, just as for other TV manufacturers, the situation is very tough at the moment, THTF Global Ltd’s mid to long-term sales and 50-inch 4K Seiki brand TV Left to right - Element President and CEO, Mike O’Shaughnessy, TH Lam, President, TongFang Global Ltd., and Mickey Cho, General Manager, TongFang Global Ltd. market share projections are extremely ambitious. “We think we can be the top 5 in Europe within 5 years,” says TH Lam, “And also for the worldwide market, we can be in the top 5 in 5 years, for sure.” To cater for this expansion, THTF Global, in addition to it’s main production facilities in Northern China, already has factories in Detroit, Malaysia and Poland, and will soon be opening yet another fab in China. Hall 25 Stand 150 “We think we can be in the top 5 in Europe within 5 years” www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Saturday 1 st & Sunday 2 nd September 2012 19

IFA International