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Samtel Color to expand capacity, focus on exports

Neha Kaushik

NEW DELHI, March 6

COLOUR picture tube manufacturer Samtel Color Ltd is all set to make a splash in the export market. The company, which recently bagged a major export order, targets 30-35 per cent of its total sales (in volume) from exports next year.

Says Mr Arindam Ganguli, Head, Business Strategy & Marketing, Samtel Color Ltd., "In the coming year, we are expecting to export half-a-million colour picture tubes every quarter."

The company recently bagged a major order from Turkey-based Vestel, one of the largest manufacturers of television sets in Europe, to supply 14 inch and 21 inch colour TV picture tubes. Although, Vestel (which produces 6 million television sets per year) has a total of eight colour-tube suppliers, Samtel has now become the second-largest supplier to the company.

Samtel has been exporting to countries in Europe, Africa and Asia, with companies such as Philips and Sharp sourcing picture tubes from it. Meanwhile, the company is strategising on the domestic front as well. "Our focus is on improving productivity and implementing processes to create internal capabilities. We are adopting six sigma across our plants to increase productivity. We will also be increasing capacity and launching innovative products to stay ahead of competition," says Mr Ganguli. "We have also applied for a patent to protect our technology. This can serve as a source of revenue at a later stage," says Mr Ganguli.

Meanwhile, Samtel's new line near Delhi, to be commissioned by March 2002, will widen its product offering to include 21inch super flat colour tubes for televisions, and 14 inch and 17 inch CDTs (colour display tubes) for computer monitors. "The launch of domestically produced super flat colour picture tubes is expected to decrease the prices of super flat television sets in the market, mainly because television manufacturers have been importing flat picture tubes due to their non-availability in India," adds Mr Ganguli.

A leading market analyst says, "Currently, the biggest factor preventing consumers from going in for flat television is the pricing. If the prices come down, there is likely to be a spurt in demand for these sets."

Samtel is also expecting the launch to help increase its current domestic market share of 40 per cent to 50 per cent in the next three years. Presently, domestic consumer durable majors such as Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Philips, Videocon, Onida and BPL among others source more than 70 per cent of their picture tubes from Samtel. With these initiatives, the Rs 667-crore company expects to increase its volume sales to 4.5-4.8 million units in the next fiscal, up from 2.8 million units this year.

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