Companies

Samsung bets on premium segments to drive growth

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi May 20 | Updated on May 20, 2013

Samsung India is betting big on growth through new launches with features customised for Indian consumers. It also sees potential in smaller towns and cities in the consumer appliances segment.

“After the consumer appliances segment experienced challenges in the last 2 years, this year has started off well. The last four months have been great compared to the last two years. Across product categories, we have launched new products, whether it’s our new range of panel TVs, ACs, frost free refrigerators or washing machines. There are a lot of products customised for the Indian market,” said Mahesh Krishnan, Senior V-P, Consumer Electronics Business, Samsung India.

He said overall the company expects to grow by 35 per cent at the same pace as last year and expects premium categories in the home appliances segment and its panel TVs to drive growth.

“Our focus is to achieve leadership position in the premium categories in the home appliances and panel TV segments. As India prospers, we believe people will shift to latest technologies. We believe the Indian consumer is a value shopper. He/she does not necessarily want the cheapest product and is willing to pay more for value and features,” he said.

From offering a 10-year warranty on its frost-free range and washing machines, and including parameters such as humidity, lightening and voltage fluctuation in triple protect on a range of its panel TVs or offering additional speakers on one of its entry level LED model, the company is customising products for Indian consumers.

Talking about growth in the smaller cities and rural regions, Krishnan said that India is an agrarian economy and has had decent monsoon in the last two years. The purchasing power has not seen that kind of hit in rural markets. “With growing consumer awareness, it’s easier to convert a first time buyer, for instance, for an entry level refrigerator to frost free refrigerator especially in smaller cities. We are actively expanding our distribution in tier 2, 3, 4 markets as we see a huge potential. These are stable and steady markets with low penetration,” he added.

Asked if the company could look at offering an LED TV in the sub-Rs 10,000 category as some of the other players are talking about, Krishnan said that the category has been witnessing a price erosion and its entry level LEDs are already available at attractive prices.

Meenakshi.v@thehindu.co.in

Published on May 20, 2013

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