Samsung Telecommunications is looking at alternative distribution channels to push sales of its handsets in India.
It has initiated a 4-member team to develop institutional businesses, and the company is on a hiring spree to develop alternative distribution channels and sales in India.
According to Sunil Dutt, country head of Samsung Telecommunications, "We are looking at tie-ups in the online space. We have witnessed an increasing number of consumers purchasing handsets and accessories online. We therefore plan to tie-up with multiple online partners to sell handsets online through their network. We should be able to finalise around four online partners within a week."
"We are also looking at tapping the small and medium companies in India for tailor-made telecommunications solutions. A lot of SMEs and corporates like to purchase phones in bulk and also look for special features and prices. We are looking to cater to the corporate tailor-made product segment too in order to push sales," Dutt said.
A third channel that is expected to drive sales for the company going forward will be tie-ups with local co-operatives to push handset sales in the rural market.
Samsung has recently tied-up with Indian Farmers Fertiliser Co-operative Limited (IFFCO) for rural telephony, which will take Samsung handsets and services to the countryside.
Samsung will use IFFCO's co-operative network for marketing its handsets.
"We are looking at more such tie-ups as the next wave of subscribers will come from rural India," Dutt pointed out.
The handsets will be especially helpful for accessing commodity prices to agricultural inputs, among other benifits.
Samsung is also investing in software development at its laboratories in Noida and Bangalore to offer features tailor-made for Indian consumers.
For instance, software development for regional adaptation would include advanced value-added features like ‘Hinglish' messaging, where consumers can use both Hindi and English for messaging, an already established norm in India.
Other features include Indian calendar, cricket games, email with XHTML browser, among others.
Samsung is hiring around 300 employees at its Noida laboratory for advanced software development in sync with the company's focus on regional adaptation. Currently, it has 200 emloyees at the Noida laboratory.
At its Bangalore laboratory, which in into quality assurance, the company is also on a hiring spree, from 1900 telecom architects at present.
Quality assurance team would ensure that the product engineering time is reduced as well as availability of products in the market is prompt.
Samsung will also focus on its accessories business going forward.
It will launch coin-shaped bluetooth headset, portable speakers, car chargers and other standard accessories.
the company will tap large format retail stores like Croma, Reliance Retail, Samsung Mobile Priviledge Partner Network (SMPP) for the accessory business.
"We are targeting around 10 per cent of the Rs 250 crore mobile accessories market in the first year," Dutt added.
Samsung is also planning to launch standalone stores for all its telecommunications products going forward. It will expand mobile after-sales service channel by over 60 per cent.