From a low key entry in India, 15 years ago, to becoming one of the mega brands in consumer durables and mobile handsets, Samsung India has changed the business of durables.
Samsung entered India in December 1995 as a 51:49 joint venture with Reasonable Computer Solutions Pvt Ltd (RCSPL), owned by Venugopal Dhoot of the Videocon Group. In 1998, after RCSPL diluted its stake in Samsung to 26 per cent and latter bought 23 per cent of this in November 2002, it became a wholly-owned subsidiary of its South Korean parent company.
While Japanese brands like Sony and Panasonic were more or less inaccessible to Indian consumers thanks to the super-premium price of their products, Indian brands failed to launch products keeping the evolving technology in mind. The companies still sold old-generation products. While Samsung launched products that were affordable to the 'common man' and also ensured that its product were manufactured with the latest technology. Samsung India recently unveiled Samsung Galaxy Tab, Samsung 9000 Series LED LCD TV.
Apart from introducing innovative products, the company focused on after-sales services, a key area often ignored by companies. Samsung, on the other hand, consolidated its after-sales service that further turned out to be a major reason for consumer to buy its products. Distribution was beefed up and today, Samsung India, has 17,000 outlets across India. It also reached out to its customers directly through road shows and demos of the products and distribution of pamphlets and promotional literature in regional languages.
Next, Samsung decided to something about the image. It went about creating a premium brand image by emphasising on the design and technology aspects of its higher-priced products and building a more affluent customer base. Sponsorship of cricket and cricketers created even more buzz. It also had movie stars like Aamir Khan non-cricket sportstars like Abhinav Bindra to promote its consumer durable range. In October last year, Samsung roped in actress Priyanka Chopra to promote its home appliance products.