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Samsung's Thai unit to boost dealerships in adjacent emerging economies

Sasitorn Khoopatanakul: We are talking with a number of digital-TV broadcasters and leading content providers in order to co-create and develop smart content via applications installed in all models of Samsung

Sasitorn Khoopatanakul: We are talking with a number of digital-TV broadcasters and leading content providers in order to co-create and develop smart content via applications installed in all models of Samsung

To capitalise on the emerging economies in Indochina, Samsung Electronics is pursuing a business-to-business strategy by expanding its major dealers in Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos through its Thai unit.

South Korea's leading electronics manufacturer plans to launch a range of new products throughout this year to serve the unique needs of customers in Southeast Asian countries.

"The Southeast Asian market continues to show growth. We hope to contribute to this growth by combining our deep local consumer insights with our innovative technologies to cater to the demands of local market," Moon Soo Kim, president and chief executive officer of Samsung Electronics, said yesterday.

He made his remark at the "Samsung Southeast Asia Forum 2014" in Bali. During the event, the company introduced a range of new products for next quarter to its regional dealers and the press.

The highlighted products include a series of curved and ultra-high-definition (UHD) televisions with new cutting-edge features, Food ShowCase refrigerators, new front-load washing machines with a minimalist design, new innovative printing solutions, cameras, and its new tablets, Galaxy NotePRO and TabPRO.

On behalf of the parent company, Sasitorn Khoopatanakul, head of corporate marketing at Thai Samsung Electronics, said that with a range of new products this year, her office was set to build dealer networks in the three emerging neighbouring countries.

"We witness a huge opportunity in Myanmar after it reformed its political and economic systems to welcome more international investors. With a population of more than 60 million, there is more room to grow in Myanmar, in terms of consumption in electronic devices and home appliances," Sasitorn said.

Cambodia has also become a fast-growing economy in terms of real-estate development in urban areas. Thus the company predicts increasing demands for its products. Laos is following the same trend.

Sasitorn believes that those three markets will be key contributors for the whole company within five years, although at the present time the combined contribution from those markets accounts for less than 10 per cent of total income at Thailand's Samsung unit.

Meanwhile, the Thai market continues to grow. The growth is being driven by the change of consumer behaviour and needs in line with innovative development and urbanisation.

Not only will the company focus on development of cutting-edge products to cater to more sophisticated consumers, but it says it will also focus on creating value-added service for those products.

Sasitorn said her company last year formed a "content service team" to manage and aggregate the content from leading local providers to customers via applications in its smart TVs and smart mobile devices, including tablets and phones.

After the current transition to digital terrestrial television in the Kingdom, the company is talking with a number of broadcasters and leading content providers in order to co-create smart content for customers via all of Samsung's smart-TV models.

She noted that normally, all smart TVs had built-in digital tuners. But digital-TV broadcasters are able to provide special content such as video on demand, multi-screen features, sound and screen capture and soccer mode via Samsung's Smart Hub.

"All these special features were designed and built for Asia," Sasitorn CEO stressed.


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