Samsung bets on digital products

DQW Bureau
11 Apr 2006

Samsung India is putting in all its marketing
muscle to pursue the Indian consumer's almost insatiable appetite for
digital electronics.

Subsequent to its succes­sful efforts at selling tele­visions,
plasma displays, TFT monitors and mobile phones, the company recently unlea­shed
a slew of new digital lifestyle products ranging from digital cameras and
digital camcorders to MP3 players.

This countrywide launch would be followed by digital home
road shows all across the country to help build volumes in the new product
categories. The company announced that it would invest $20 million in its Noida
production facility and also towards marketing its new products.

“We will promote our products through Samsung brand
stores, AV zones, road shows and also develop alternate new channels for
marketing these products”,” said R Zutshi, Deputy MD, Samsung India.

He is hoping that these efforts would help the company
build volumes and double the value contribution of the digital products by next

is the first organized player to launch MP3 players in India. Com­menting on
how the com­pany would take on the market, which is now domi­nated by the grey
market, Zutshi said that it would use its strong network base and IT channels to
push the products. “We plan to target the youth and children in schools and

With an eye on the young BPO segment, the company plans to
set up temporary demo 'music rooms' at BPOs where users can touch and feel
the products.

“We want to go to the doorstep of users rather than have
them come to us,” said Zutshi. The company is targeting to capture 10 percent
market share in this segment this year.

To make headway into the digital camera and camcorder
market in India, which is presently dominated by the likes of Canon and Sony,
Zutshi said that the company would bank on photo channels, IT channels and
retail. He also said that the marketing focus would be more on below-the-line
marketing (BTL).

“Our focus so far was on above-the-line (ATL) and we have
succeeded in branding our company well. This year the ratio would be 50 percent
for ATL and 50 percent on BTL. The company, which set up a manufacturing unit in
Noida three years back, plans to cater to markets other than India such as the
SAARC region and the Middle-East.

Samsung, which clocked revenues of Rs 6,300 crore in 2005,
is gunning for a 20 percent run rate this year.

The company withstood the corporate embezzlement scandal
involving Vivek Prakash, the company's former VP last year, and seems to have
emerged stronger.

The proceedings against Prakash are still on and a hearing
is expected this month. A senior company official, who spoke on condition of
anonymity, said that the company has built in better processes to prevent such
incidents in future.

Priya Padmanabhan Bangalore, April 4

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