Submitted by admin on Sat, 09/30/2017 - 19:22

Ranjivjit Singh, CMO - ‎Samsung India Electronics reminisces about the brand’s 20 year old journey of ‘Making for India’



It has been 20 years since Samsung first set up their manufacturing unit in Noida, India, and much has changed for the brand in these two decades. From clinging on to its premium positioning in the first decade to subsequently going after the masses, and from product led ads to those centered around emotional appeal in the past year, but the company claims one thing hasn’t changed -the willingness to ‘Make for India’. Ranjivjit Singh, Senior Vice President - Corporate Marketing, CMO - Samsung India Electronics explains, “Our whole approach is centered not on bringing global innovations to India but creating India specific innovations. We may have our headquarters in Seoul, South Korea but Samsung’s heart is firmly in India.” Samsung has two factories here, five R&D centers, a design center that helps them focus on Indian requirements.

Giving an example of products made for India which have become a big hit abroad Singh says, “We innovate based on the inspiration we get from Indian consumers. Like Samsung ActivWash+, a top loading fully automatic washing machine was built on the insight that we Indians prefer to wash the cuffs and collars in a bucket and then put it in the washing machine for cleaning. We made it simpler for them by making a built-intub in the washing machine where you can scrub if you like and simply tilt it to drop the clothes into the machine. This product has done so well in India and from here, it went to Korea, Europe and U.S where again it was well received. Similarly the inspiration for our 5-in-1 convertible refrigerator, which has five different modes like the vacation mode, options to convert the freezer into the refrigerator etc, also came from India.”

The consumer electronics major has a value share of 43% of the smartphone market, according to data collated by market tracker GfK, bolstered by insights like Ultra Data Saving mode in Samsung phones, “When 4G came to India in a big way, we realized that 90-95% of the consumers were prepaid users, and would exhaust their balance while watching videos. So we inserted UDS technology in our phones in 2015-16 which saved 50% of data.” Also last week Samsung’s virtual assistant Bixby Voice, has been made available for customers in India. Though it was launched in the U.S and European market first Samsung has given it an Indian twist. Bixby, has been optimized by Samsung’s Bangalore R&D facility, which is the company’s largest outside of Korea, to understand Indian accents.

Singh says, “Very clearly we are here to build long term relationships. What our competitors do is bring global products into India and think they will be successful. But, we know that to become a loved and trusted brand amongst the masses of the country, we need to adapt our products for them, not expect them to adapt to the products we bring. So, that’s the key difference we have made through the ‘Make For India’.”

As far as the thrust on advertising is concerned Samsung is spending more than last year in the festive season this time, even though the spokesperson refused to share the actual figures. Currently the brand is running campaigns for Samsung QLED TVs, ActivWash+ and ‘Never Mind’ for smartphones to be visible during the peak buying season.


neeta.nair @exchange4media.com

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