Samsung aims at leadership in frost free refrigerators

Hyderabad: Samsung India is aiming at attaining leadership position in frost-free refrigerators and second place air-conditioners by the end of 2006.

Addressing the media, Ravinder Zutshi, director sales and marketing, Samsung India, said the company is aiming at about 40 per cent growth overall in sales across its various divisions and the revenues are set to exceed Rs6,500-crore from Rs4,900 crore last year.

Said Zutshi, "We expect to consolidate our position at the second slot in the country in the AC category and a leadership position in frost-free refrigerators by the end of 2006."

The company is looking at doubling the sales of ACs in the country this year and expects over 50 per cent growth in refrigerator and microwave oven product categories.

According to Zutshi the company has begun to export refrigerators to CIS, West Asia and SAARC nations. "While we expect to ship about 50,000 refrigerators, the mix would include flat panel TVs," he said.

He said more and more people are opting for split ACs as against window-mounted ones and while the AC industry on the whole is expected to grow by about 20 per cent, the split ACs segment is growing by 40 per cent, reflecting changing consumer preferences.

"He said the company's plant at Noida has the capacity to ramp up significantly and there would be no need to make any fresh investments there. If the business demanded another shift, we would be able to do so quickly," he said.

He said South India was emerging as a a key market for accounting for about 28 per cent in overall sales with Andhra Pradesh accounting for 6 per cent of sales. As against total sales of
Rs145 crore last year, the company to garner sales of up to Rs250-crore sales in the State this fiscal an increase of around 70 per cent from the last calendar year's Rs145 crore.

According to Pradeep Tognatta, senior vice-president (home appliances - sales), "By December-end, we are looking at touching the Rs250 crore-mark in Andhra Pradesh in terms of revenues. Flat televisions, air-conditioners and refrigerators are likely to be the growth drivers here."

Tongatta also said Samsung is looking at starting a Digital World outlet in Hyderabad in a couple of months followed by five Samsung Digital Homes/Plazas in the state by this year-end.

At present, there are four Samsung Digital Homes/Plazas in the state and 73 in the country. The company is planning to double this network in the country by December-end.