First Wipro, then HCL, now Samsung.
Padding up for the ‘third innings’ of what is turning out to be a jinxed IT partnership, the government announced on Thursday that Samsung will collaborate with the West Bengal Electronics Development Corporation (Webel) to develop a state-of-the-art, personal computer-assembling centre. Earlier, Webel had named Wipro and HCL as partners in the project, but both had hit revenue-sharing hurdles.
State minister for information technology Manab Mukherjee said Webel will provide its infrastructure and manpower for the project, while the Korean electronics giant will bring in its technical expertise. “Our product will be at least 15 to 20 per cent cheaper than any other branded personal computer model available in the market. And it will certainly be of high quality,” Mukherjee said at Writers’ Buildings on Thursday.
The minister added that the state government was “very keen” on encouraging Samsung to invest in West Bengal. “In this project, Samsung is not going to invest very much, as we are providing the infrastructure,” said Mukherjee. “But we will approach them later for investment in the state,” he added.
Mukherjee also revealed that chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is scheduled to sign an agreement with the Korean multinational in this regard on October 8.
A spokesperson for Samsung Electronics India Ltd (SEIL), subsidiary of the Korea-based Samsung Corporation, however denied knowledge of any such deal being struck between Samsung Electronics India Ltd and the West Bengal government.
“SEIL certainly does not have any such plans, but there could be another company of the Samsung Corporation which the state minister was referring to. We cannot comment on that,” the spokesperson said.