Samsung Nigeria: We Will Continue to Improve Lives Through Technology
Last week in Malaga, Spain, Samsung hosted its African dealers. At the forum that also attracted dealers from Nigeria, the Director, Hand Held Products - Emmanouil Revmatas and the Director -Consumer Electronics of Samsung Electronics West Africa, Sunil Kumar Pankajakshan in an interactive with Nigerian Technology Journalists spoke on a number of things including Samsung plans for the Nigerian market, product range, digital village, among others. For Revmatas, Samsung will continue to improve lives through technology. Excerpt:
You displayed the Samsung UHD curved Television, when is this going to be available in Nigeria?
The Ultra High Definition television will be available in Nigeria by June. Just before the World Cup begins in Brazil, it will enter the market. The UHD product is just coming to the market. It may not be pocket friendly at the beginning, but gradually, it will. It belongs to certain market segment.
About four years ago when the LED Tvs came out, it wasn't affordable, but today, almost everybody can buy it. That is the way technology works. It may not be affordable today, but subsequently in the future, it will. In terms of the tablet range what was unveiled today also differs from what we have in Nigeria presently.
But if you look at some of the trends taken place between IT and mobility, there has been a lot of convergence. Consumers, whether in Nigeria or other parts of the world want devices or electronics that is portable and allows them to do many things at a go. They want a device that will allow them do so many things, whether as a professional or otherwise.
Today, the device unveiled is targeted at professionals, but consumers have embraced virtually all the inches we have introduced from seven, nine and 10 and now 12. This is a device that offers completely different user interface, enables you to do so many things at a go.
Looking at these products unveiled today, what is your target for the next 12 months?
Our innovation targets every strata of the society. We don't just make products for just one aspect of the community. Some of the innovations are high end, but that does not mean the low end products are not meeting needs as well. For example, the Flatscreen TVs are targeted at the mass market, because they are affordable.
Samsung's strategy is to drive growth year-on-year and become market leader. In Nigeria, for instance, the trends are evolving. If you noticed, what you saw last three, two years, 10 years ago, there has been an improvement on them.
In many ways, our businesses are been remodeled to fit into what people wanted. Nigeria is emerging and the market is exciting, so we are also trying as much as possible to meet the demands of every segment of the market.
In terms of mobile, we have feature phones for as low as N2,500 and Note 3 goes for as high as N105, 000 and of course there are several products in between these two sets.
Our insight this year is to gain insight into each segment of the market. It is this insight that will make us provide products that will meet individual needs. From the insight we have gained, the youths are strategic, not only in Nigeria, but globally. Also not only in the mobile but also in electronics segment.
From the different displays of your products, IT, mobility and electronics, what is the future of technology globally?
From the beginning, everybody talks about ubiquitous technology, anyway, time and anywhere. What we are doing at Samsung is to drive that principle.
The fact remains that we shall continue to look and explore every opportunity that comes our way to improve lives through technology. However, as time goes on, we are looking at the concept of a smart home, which is already in Nigeria with the introduction of our new homesync, which is a clever "media storage device that also connects to the internet. A middle class family in Nigeria can have smart TV, tablets, camera, phones and connect seamlessly.
The future is to be able to stream things live from one destination to another without challenges. It is making it simple, affordable and available; this is where technology is headed.
Samsung is looking at taking its digital village project to all part of Africa. How does this tackle the infrastructure gap in Nigeria and others?
Some elements of the Digital Village already exist in Nigeria. I mean, we invested in the Samsung Engineering Academy. We are also exploring solar technology solutions to bridge some developmental gaps.
We are also talking to more NGOs and organisations who we think can understand the process better. We have started the process but we hope to increase our engagement.
The fact remains that we are very committed to the Nigerian market. Consumers here have been very great. I can't say put a date to full deployment because so many things are involved, but we believe that as we continue in the campaign something will happen.
The fact is about using it to drive value, reason it is important to get all necessary stakeholders involved in the push. It is very easy to deploy, but you need to get the buy in of all necessary stakeholders for it to be successful. It is a work in progress.
Looking at the way Samsung's churn out products, almost on a monthly basis, how strategic is Nigeria's market to Samsung and what has been the response?
Nigeria remains very strategic to Samsung in Africa and will continue to be. The driving force behind Samsung has been to meet peoples' need and we hope to continue in this form.
For example, in Nigeria when we unveiled the Galaxy Grand, we realized that the people likes touch, smartphones and large screen and they also need something that is very friendly to the pocket.
The Galaxy Grand fit into this and it has been successful. Besides, if you look at the current trends in the world, people want to be connected faster, share information faster among others, and so with that in mind, you need to develop technology that could meet such traffic.
So if you look at innovation today, it has followed that trend and it will continue. As the need gets bigger in Africa, we shall make more investments.
Looking at the consumer base of Africa, approx 50 per cent of them are in the youth category, around the age of 25 years, so we know the needs of the youths. They want to be connected at the go, share information faster, so they are the one driving and Nigeria is no different.