The convergence mantra takes hold

| Updated on: Mar 23, 2011
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Technology obsolescence is a nightmare and a window of opportunity for most manufacturers. How is Samsung coping with this challenge and opportunity?

At Samsung, we put a lot of thrust on innovation and over 8 per cent of our sales is invested in R&D every year to introduce innovative technology products for our consumers all over the world. In fact, Samsung is leading the convergence era with newer technology products that are enriching and re-defining consumer experiences.

Most urban consumers are opting for newer products as consumerism spreads its wings. Does this help in gauging consumer buying behaviour while innovating for new products?

Yes, consumer research is integral to new product development and when we launch newer products, we factor in the changing preferences of consumers, whether it is in terms of hardware or software. And yes, Indian consumers are rapidly adopting new technology products, whether it is devices such as tablets, smartphones or flat panel TVs.

Also, with input costs moving north, how are you trimming logistics costs?

We continue to strive to improve our operational efficiency in terms of our manufacturing operations as well as logistics. For instance, our Chennai facility caters to markets in the South and West for colour televisions, while the Noida facility caters to markets in the North and East.

How many new products will be launched this year and what categories would they be in?

We launch over 200 new products every year and we will be introducing new products across all the business verticals — in consumer electronics, mobile and IT businesses. We will be strengthening our 3D TV and flat panel TV offering with our new 2011 range of smart televisions. We continue to enhance our smartphone offering with new launches. We will also be focusing on strengthening our tablet offering in the Indian market.

Any investment lined up during the current year?

We have already invested $10 million in the year for new moulds and plant/machinery for ACs. We are committed to investing Rs 350 crore in our Chennai facility till the year 2015.

Manpower is another area of concern. You have made top management appointments in the recent near past. Will there be additions at other levels as well?

Yes, we are making the additions in sales and marketing as well as R&D, across both the Noida and the Bangalore R&D centres.

What are the new trends driving the electronics space in India?

Convergence is the biggest trend driving the electronics sector in the country. Consumers are looking for smarter, sleeker devices that provide them with a more converged and connected experience. The larger trend is towards personalisation of devices; features and applications that allow consumers to do more. Thus, one is seeing the growing popularity of devices such as tablets and smartphones that are re-defining the manner in which users create and consume content. This year, we expect to see the Smart TV concept catch up as consumers are exposed to new television technologies that allow them a more connected and immersive viewing experience. — B.D.M

Published on March 23, 2011

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