If you recently stumbled upon some interesting news regarding a former famous and large tech company by the name of Sharp in association with agriculture and you wondered what has a Japanese electronics company to do with gardening, the answer is as simple, as it is mind – blowing: Sharp will indeed start cultivating Japanese strawberries in Dubai, apparently a place where recent culinary fashion trends involve the sweet, scented fragility of Japanese strawberries.
The matters are both serious (for Sharp especially) and funny (for bloggers, mostly), as the first tries to save whatever is left of their company, while the latter adds a little bit of irony to the covering of the news.
In short, Dubai is a place where money can buy everything and they don’t lack money at all. Instead, they lack some climacteric conditions and a certain type of soil to grow their own world-imported delicacies, such as Japanese strawberries. Sharp, on the other hand, met in the last years serious financial problems, with loses roughly estimated at around $5.5 billion, according to Reuters, cited by Newser.com. Turning their attention to experimental agriculture, Sharp is cultivating strawberries since 2009 on a trial basis, being ready to implement a mass production strategy in Dubai in the immediate future.
Apart from the jokes on the Internet regarding these matters, Sharp didn’t give up to its former reputation as a reliable, solid and professional electronics producer and technology provider. If you imagine Sharp employees pampering Japanese strawberries under the hot sun of Dubai, you couldn’t be farther from the truth. They use quite high – end technology involving facilitated photosynthesis with the help of LED purple lighting, Plasmacluster technology for managing air quality and other technological means of being able to control crops remotely from Japan. They will be able to gather real – live data on the crops and apply environmental alterations so that the final product will perfectly resemble the fresh one Middle East is so very fond of.
Their vision of the future, however, seems to focus more on agricultural development through technology rather than reshaping and re-vamping their famous television sets. A Sharp official stated for The Asahi Shimbun that “if we can generate results in cultivating strawberries, a plant that is difficult to grow, we can apply the technology to other farm products.” The quote circled the Internet and of course, triggered all sorts of reactions, but what is truly important to take note of, is that the company is ambitious enough to re-orient itself and cover a market that until now, lacked the proper attention. Since the Japanese strawberries are indeed very fragile and get spoiled at transportation, growing them indoors and on-site in the Middle East, thus meeting the local consumers’ needs and desires means that Sharp still knows to do business and to adjust to current global economic changes, which cannot be said about many other brands that face financial loses.
People’s voices may reveal a little bit of a discrete irony (although Chris Matyszczyk’s comments about Sharp’s past presence at CES 2012 and its future presence at CES 2014 are quite entertaining), but this doesn’t mean that Sharp isn’t on the right track. Mary Beth Quirk from The Consumerist asks herself what’s going to be next in the world of tech companies pivoting to new industries and new markets, while she wonders if BlackBerry won’t be forced soon to grow black berries in order to survive the crisis it has been hit by, but consulting the recent Gartner analysis and the news regarding Fairfax Financial buying the Canadian company, who knows, maybe they will have to step into Sharp’s footsteps and rethink their business.