Netbooks to drive Samsung India’s Future Growth
It has always been a tradition for Samsung India to hit the headlines with an exciting news. This time also, it is no exception, considering that the company has hit the headlines with LED televisions. Though it does not have any resonance with the IT market, but yes, as far as the brand is concerned it is at the forefront of innovations. To know more about Samsung India’s present activities, VARIndia has had an interaction with Ranjit Singh Yadav, Director – IT Business, Samsung India Electronics.
According to Ranjit, Samsung as a company in India is quite active and there are a lot of product innovations happening every now and then. From the IT perspective, last year was a bit difficult for many people, but Samsung has emerged victorious from this phase also. The company has refocussed on its core business by strengthening it with many innovations and has been growing throughout the year. The company wants to grow many times of the growth of the past years. Recently, the company has got a lot of new products to sell in the marketplace.
The philosophy of Samsung is to bring out innovations and keep the people guessing what exactly Amir Khan in one of the TV commercials speaks about Samsung Mobile phones. Ranjit said, “In the area of IT, we would like to have breakthroughs at many levels. We will not only be playing in the areas that we were playing earlier including monitors, printers and components where we were growing strongly. Even in those areas, Samsung is known for bringing innovative products. Besides that, we are entering into new areas also. One notable area is entering into the Netbooks space.”
It is a fact that Netbook is the next big thing in the mobile computing space and there is a huge opportunity in India as well as in the overseas markets.
The education sector is clearly the segment which is the adopter of these products aggressively. Besides, the company is focussing on the government and corporate sector as well. As per Ranjit, the company has a number of wins in the colleges. This is a great product to have as a second notebook or computer in houses. There are a multiple number of applications that this product can fulfil.
For addressing the consumer space, the company has a range of exciting consumer offers.
In order to address this market, the company is focussing on the retail space. In around eight cities, the company is going aggressively on the large format retails or its own brand stores.
Apart from notebooks and netbooks, Samsung India focusses largely on display products and printers. Samsung LCD monitors are known for their quality and affordability. Today, the company is focussing on the large format printers and greatest offer is its Lavender range of LCD monitors. Sharing Samsung’s unique “Crystal Design”, the Samsung Lavender Monitors provide a great looking solution for the desktops.
In the laser printer segment, the company focusses on consumer and business segment. The printers for the B2B space have given the company a lot of recognition. For the last six months, the government and education buying has been quite strong. This is one of the reasons why the slowdown has not affected Samsung market. Consumer market is one of the focussed areas at the same time. People have understood the pace and cost per page printing equation and the benefits of laser printers from Samsung.
Samsung depends entirely on the channel business. It has never gone and will go direct. In general, Samsung has a very good relationship with its channel partners. Most of the channel partners have positive things to say about their engagements with the principal. Ranjit says, “One of the key commitments from us is that all our business goes through channel. We treat the distributors and resellers as our extended arms.”
The company has engagement programmes with the partners at all levels, including pre-sale, sale and post-sale. The company has recently put in place a new partner programme strategy, which encompasses all its partners and tells them about the company’s commitment and the expectations from the partners. The partner programme comprises three levels, i.e. platinum, gold and silver.
The difference between one level of partners and the other one is the time and line of business engagement they have with Samsung. Typically, a new partner would start as a silver partner. As his business grows and does business of multiple products they become gold partners and finally the top partners who do business with Samsung beyond a certain threshold of turnover are classified as platinum partners. Ranjit adds, “Our endeavour is that all of our partners move to become platinum partners. And we will work closely with them to help them achieve that. The idea of the programme is to build long-term association with the Samsung and the channel partner.”
Under the partner programme, the company offers training and certification to the partners. Depending upon the level of partners, they get different kind of incentives also.
Ranjit is happy that most of the channel partners have done good number last year and H1 this year defying the market slowdown. The company helps the partners by focussing on demand generation and reducing on stock level. Therefore, most of the partners of Samsung are quite healthy and vibrant.
Towards helping the partners, Samsung India jointly works with the partners in creating end-customer demand generation. Very precisely, the company has a whole set of activities different for locations and different for regions. The company also runs a lot of promotion campaigns in various newspapers for the notebooks. And, in order to attract the consumers, the company is launching a very exciting promotion, which offers a set of benefits to the end-customers.
Although there are many Samsung digital plazas around the country where consumer electronics products are sold and are also used for demonstrating and selling IT products as well, the company has brought out an initiative of brand stores. These brand stores are exclusive to the IT products of Samsung. The rationale behind these exclusive IT brand stores is that the company wants to be present in the IT hubs of major cities like Nehru Place in Delhi and Lamington Road in Mumbai. Ranjit says, “Partners out in the major IT market are not able to show the full range of products available from our company. That is why typically you will find some brand shops around these markets. So, our strategy is to open such brand shops in those markets so that the entire range of products from us can be demonstrated. These brand shops also have accessories and complementary products from other companies.”
He adds, “We will have the first brand shop in Hyderabad. In the next month, we will have more brand shops. By the end of the year, we will have 8-9 of these shops in the top 8 cities.”
In fact, these brand shops will be opened by Samsung India channel partners with a mutual understanding, but Samsung as a company will promote these shops. The partners will have applications solutions running here. All of the brand shops will have Wi-Fi connected. One can wirelessly print and connect with other PCs, or even edit photographs, etc. The philosophy is that if the customer is satisfied, s/he will buy the products.
Bringing value and innovation has always been the mantra for Samsung. So why can the support infrastructure be an exception. Ranjit says, “Our service support and turnaround time is one of the best in the industry. The greatest example is the free pick up and delivery facility for the notebooks in eight major cities. This is a huge benefit for the people staying in the metros and A-class cities as they do not have much time for these things.
The objective of Samsung India is to grow all its business. Notebook will be one of the biggest businesses for the company, although monitor is the biggest business at present. Ranjit maintains, “We are pretty confident about the Netbooks. Samsung as a world philosophy wants to be No. 1. or 2 in the worldwide market, but it is a matter of time. As far as LED monitors are concerned, Samsung LED monitors are available in many of the overseas markets. It is again the time factor that India will see these latest monitors. Given all the strategies correctly in place, Samsung India is confident of growing at 25-30 per cent this year, although the objective in the long run is to grow higher than that.
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