8 November 2012

Tanzania: How Samsung Leads the Way to Innovations

The Korean electronics giant, Samsung, starting earlier this week began a one week campaign to celebrate the company's innovations and products in the country and has targeted Tanzania as a key focus market. Staff Writer MASEMBE TAMBWE explores more on what the company has achieved and its future plans for Tanzania.

Recognized for its industry- leading performance across a range of economic, environmental and social criteria, Samsung Electronics was named the world's most sustainable technology company in the 2011 Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

Employing approximately 206,000 people in 197 offices across 72 countries, the company operates two separate organizations to coordinate its nine independent business units which include Digital Media & Communications, comprising Visual Display and Mobile Communications.

Other business units include Telecommunication Systems, Digital Appliances, IT Solutions, and Digital Imaging; and Device Solutions, consisting of Memory, System LSI and Light-Emitting Diode (LED). The Samsung Tanzania Country Manager, Mr Kishor Kumar in an exclusive interview revealed that his company was currently looking at the African market and particularly in Tanzania because it believed that the country is a key and strategic market for Samsung with a Gross Domestic Product growing steadily, at an average of 6 percent.

"We have a fast growing middle class population also, which has an improved spending power, and spends more on lifestyle and personal goods and products, which includes our smart phones, consumer electronic products, " he said. Mr Kumar explained that there was also more demand for global news and information as they happen, and Samsung enhanced this as well as the fact that the IT infrastructure had improved over the last few years, like internet speeds have gone up through under-sea cables, which gives them enough opportunities to tap the market for their IT products, smart phones and smart TV.

During the Samsung Week consumers who visit Samsung Brand shops will have the opportunity to get special offers on mobile and IT products, 10 percent discount on all cameras and 20 percent discount on selected consumer electronics. Mr Kumar admitted that the week targets the youth more because the youth population as innovators in technology, was key to them. They set the trends in use of new products, applications and social media.

"Our products offer them the benefit of fast connectivity, and apps that enhance their interaction with each other and for students, we have apps which save money, offer convenience and is easy and fast to use," he said. Citing an example, he said Cam Scanner University students can copy and share notes thus saving money for photocopies. They can save the same notes and not go through the hustle of carrying books around.

Samsung also have solar laptops that the students and general population can use even outside the office and on trips upcountry without the worry of electricity access. Their Galaxy tablets and Galaxy Notes can replace notebooks in the classroom in the near future. This however doesn't mean that the older population has been left out as the company addresses the needs of all age-ranges and all income groups.

In the fight against counterfeit products, Mr Kumar said that he was aware of the challenges that the menace caused and that Samsung dealt with this problem through consistent consumer education on the benefits of their products. "This will enable the consumers make informed decisions when they visit the stores. We also offer our customers experiential zones where they can get to touch and feel our products prior to purchase.

"We also offer customer care services with national coverage and still expanding. We have 2 service centers in Dar, 1 in Mwanza, Dodoma and Arusha each. We are expanding to Mbeya and Zanzibar soon," he explained. At present, Samsung is the only company in Africa offering 24 month warranty for its products which came into effect on May 1, 2012. "This shows our commitment to our customers on our high quality value.

To give peace of mind to the consumers, we started e-warranty loyalty program 2 years back, which ensures they can get their products serviced at our customer service centers during the product's warranty period," he said. As the continent strives to sustain itself economically and putting to mind that technology plays a key role in enhancing know-how for our people, Samsung has pledged to continue investing heavily in enhancing the capacity of the local population.Samsung have opened up an exclusive Samsung Engineering Academy training center in Nairobi, and look forward to expanding similar facility to Tanzania in the near future.

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