The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Samsung plans portfolio expansion to take on HP

Calcutta, Nov. 2: Samsung is beefing up its portfolio with cost-effective products to take on printer pasha HP, while focussing on distribution and marketing in small towns and cities.

“With the launch of the products, we will be in a position to cater to 75 per cent of the demand. By next year, our product range will include all types of printers from inkjets to entry level laser printers to multifunction printers,” says Princy Bhatnagar, national head, solutions sales of SEIIT.

“We have seen a 300 per cent growth in our laser business since we stepped into the business two years ago. By 2005, we expect to see a 200 per cent growth in the category,” he added. The laser printer segment forms a significant part of the company’s strategy and is the focus area for the next two years.

Samsung has also launched a personal laser printer priced below Rs 10,000 to tap the huge home and small business segment. Other products in the waiting are high-end laser multifunction, colour lasers and wider range of inkjets.

While the company has been concentrating on entry-level and mid-range printers, it is readying itself to take on the high-end laser printer segment. Presently, high-end printers contribute to 20 per cent of the company’s revenues, and is expected to go up to 35 per cent by 2005.

Samsung’s strategy to focus on making inroads into smaller towns and cities has paid off, with the company seeing a 12 to 13 per cent growth in sales from these areas. The top nine markets in the country have grown between 2 to 9 per cent.

The company had a 21 per cent market share in the first half of the year and had seen a 50 per cent volume growth in the laser printer category.

Aggressive pricing, marketing and promotional activities, innovative bundling and combo offers have contributed to Samsung proving a challenge for HP, especially in the laser segment.

“The company has been suffering on account of weak brand recall. We have been investing heavily to reverse this trend and reach out to the user,” says Bhatnagar.

“HP is strong in the inkjet segment as they own the technology,” explains Bhatnagar. “Samsung has an edge where laser products are concerned as the technical know-how is with us.”

However, the growth in the multifunction category will eat into the inkjet and facsimile market.

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