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Samsung bets on digital products

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DQW Bureau
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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.

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“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

year.

Samsung

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

colleges.”

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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).

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“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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