Samsung Seeks No. 1 Position in Africa

New products and technologies from Samsung’s Television, Digital Camera, Smart Mobile Device, IT Solution and Home Appliance businesses bring Samsung’s 2011 strategy to life

Armed with a strategy designed to capitalise on the unique dynamics of the African consumer market, Samsung Electronics today outlined its regional strategy and 2011 product portfolio at the second annual Africa Regional Forum in Nairobi Kenya. Innovations in Internet-connected TVs, consumer-inspired digital cameras and the latest mobile technology, combined with plans for developing Samsung’s regional market presence, were laid out in the context of Samsung’s unifying principle – Built for Africa.

It is through this philosophy that in 2010 Samsung achieved a remarkable 31% growth rate in revenue for its Africa operations (US$1.23 billion), contributing to the company’s US$135.8 billion in global revenues – the most successful in Samsung’s history. In line with this, Samsung extended its business footprint from 15 countries in 2009 to 42 in 2010, its distributors from 32 to 80 as well as increasing their service centres from 18 in 2009 to 36 in 2010 respectively.

Said Mr. Park; “We’re just getting started, and our vision is ambitious! Through our Samsung Blue Project, we intend to become a $10 billion region by 2015, growing the market to the size of China’s. To achieve this, we will start by more than doubling our 2010 growth to 63% in 2011. Furthermore, in reaching the above target, we are hoping to grow our workforce to 5 000 people by 2015. While, these goals are aggressive, they are the result of a strategy that like our corporate social responsibility programs, are built in Africa, for Africa.”

While the growth of these markets will be predominantly driven by the above, Samsung aim to develop the local industry further by establishing further knock-down plants – where currently there are such plants in Sudan, South Africa, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Senegal. Additionally, Mr. Park highlighted the company’s plans to broaden sales and marketing strategies. In 2011 and beyond, Samsung will focus much of its marketing dollars on 30 cities in 14 countries, developing customised messages that will connect with the African people and support its global and regional products.

“Our products not only make peoples’ lives easier and more enjoyable, but they can also contribute to solutions for social and environmental problems,” added Mr. Park. “One example of this effort is our flagship program – Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy (SEEA), which was created to develop young leaders for Africa’s future.” The launch of SEEA was created to align Samsung’s CSR vision – “Built in Africa, for Africa, by Africa.” Four schools will participate in the pilot program. Samsung intends to develop 10,000 electronics engineers in Africa by 2015.

Additionally, corporate social responsibility was a key discussion point at the regional forum. Applying the same level of dedication to becoming a leader in the electronics industry, Samsung discussed plans to support the development of people around the world.

Another key area for the Samsung brand in elevating their commitment to the African continent, through creating differentiated customer experiences and service levels, are the unique and exclusive brand stores they have initiated for their customers. To date, Samsung boast around 200 brand-stores, 100 shop in shops, 100 Mobile plaza’s and 10 IT solutions centres. Furthermore, Samsung – through their key value of prosperity – has generated strong business and development sector partnerships in Africa with a preferred partner profile of 318 of which – but not limited to – Google, DSTV, as well as government and education ministries make up a large portion. However, unique to the Samsung 2011 Africa Forum was an exhibition zone called “Built for Africa,” which showcased products specifically tailored for the region, as per the below.

1.    Creating the Future of Home Entertainment
As the television becomes the centerpiece of technology in the living room, Samsung aims to strengthen and simplify its product features to create a connected, intuitive TV experience that entertains consumers. Samsung’s new narrow bezel design, flagship LED TV Series and its new Smart Hub feature employed across 2011 LED TV and Blu-ray products seamlessly accomplish this. Samsung has re-designed the TV screen by slimming down the bezel to 0.2 inches in its flagship LED televisions—the Samsung D8000 and D7000 LED TV. The D8000 Plasma Series features Samsung’s Plasma+1 design, virtually eliminating the traditional TV frame with Samsung’s ultra-narrow bezel, which provides extra screen size without increasing the outside dimensions of the set. Additionally, the Samsung D8000 Plasma Series has 51 and 64-inches of viewable screen size.

In addition to superior design features, Samsung has incorporated advanced Smart TV features to enhance consumers’ entertainment. Samsung’s Smart Hub is a simple menu system used to connect, discover and enjoy a wide range of content. Users can easily search for movies, shows and videos via online services and across connected devices, browse the Web from their TVs and access a wide variety of apps from Samsung Apps, the world’s first application store for the television. Samsung‘s 2011 TVs premium series—above LED D5500 series and PDP D6900—will offer Smart TV features.

The Africa region will also see several other visual display and home entertainment innovations from Samsung this year including; Blu-ray Players, Blu-ray Home Theater Systems, Accessories and displays

2.    Smart Experience for Exciting Photography
Embracing the ideas of Smart Design and Smart Experiences, Samsung unveiled an impressive lineup of digital cameras, camcorders and a family of interchangeable lenses in recognition of what consumers want from their devices—to easily capture and share images on the spot, including the SH100, ST700, Q10, WB200, and NX series.

Both the Q10 camcorder and Samsung’s premium camera range deliver Smart Experiences through an easy to use, touch-based user interface called Smart Touch 3.0. This interface, based on Samsung’s expertise in touch mobile phones, gives users the ability to drag, click and control ‘app-style’ icons, and easily flip through photos.

3.    Broadening the Horizon of Smart Mobile Devices
Africa Forum attendees had the opportunity to explore Samsung’s new class of Android-based smart phones and tablets in the GALAXY family line, a powerful lineup exemplifying the Smarter Life in the areas of speed, screen and content, the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Tab 10.1, and the Galaxy Tab 8.9.

4.    Innovation Driven Home Appliances
In the world of Digital Appliances, the Smarter Life is supported by Samsung‘s philosophy of Smart Thinking and its commitments to advancing the market through innovations in technology and energy efficiency; The Trinity 2 refrigerator, Eco Bubble washing Machine, Crystal air conditioner, and OmniPro microwaves.

5.    A New Dimension in the Home and Mobile Office
Samsung’s expansion in IT Solutions products – including notebooks and printers – are on full display at the Africa Forum, led by the Notebook Series 9, an ultra-premium offering that infuses chic design with advanced hardware for consumers who seek utility and sophistication.

The Notebook Series 9 is the world‘s first laptop to use duralumin for its external casing. Duralumin, normally used in aircrafts, is a strong, lightweight material that helps give the notebook an aerodynamic style and light weight with strong performance. Designed with performance in mind, the Series 9 features a vivid SuperBright Plus display up to 100% brighter with 400nit brightness and vibrant color reproduction (16 million colors), providing users with crystal clear picture quality while offering unforgettable multimedia experiences. With its Fast Start technology and solid state drive, the Series 9 can start in just 15 seconds.

The ML-3710ND printer, meanwhile, is designed with purpose, featuring lightning-fast throughput printing speed in the office environment. The ML-3710ND is the world’s first printer equipped with a dual core CPU to support the printing heavier documents with complex graphs and images. The ML-3710ND also possesses the eco-friendly features that have defined Samsung’s reputation in this market. The One Touch ECO button turns on environmentally friendly settings like double-sided printing and toner saving mode, while the result simulator display shows reduced carbon emissions, electricity usage, and the amount of saved paper based on the selected setting.

As an innovative leader in the electronics industry, where 5-6% of revenue per annum is spent on R&D investment and where currently 24 R&D centres and 39 manufacturing subsidiaries across 68 countries exist – it is no wonder that Samsung is ranked the 19th Global Brand for consistent growth year on year, in terms of brand value.

Concluded Mr Park; “Samsung globally is one of the world’s 50 most admired brands and I certainly believe that Africa has a large role to play in this brand reputation and that the continued active investment and commitment to the continent will see Samsung Africa demonstrate an even more larger presence in this regard.”

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Samsung Seeks No. 1 Position in Africa