‘New channel policies will drive our IT business this year’



At a time when Samsung India is going through a restructuring phase-the
company is in the process of injecting much-needed vigor within its vibrant
channel community-GM (IT Business ) Harry Ahn speaks about the company’s
channel policies to Zia Askari of CyberMedia. He also discusses the impact of
the resignations of some key personnel.

What were the specific reasons for so many senior people, including Vivek
Prakash, leaving Samsung?
We look for honesty, integrity, and loyalty in our employees, who adhere to
the company’s systems and processes and do not compromise our value systems.
While I would not like to comment on the specifics, I would like to say that as
an organization, we continue to focus on strengthening the systems and processes
to make our IT business grow stronger and more profitable for our trade
partners.

What is the current organizational structure for Samsung’s IT business
in India?
We will continue to structure the IT business division as a value and volume
business. While the value business will be headed by Princy Bhatnagar, we are in
the process of selecting a new head for our volume business. Meanwhile, the
product teams under the volume and value business heads continue to remain
unchanged.

Harry Ahn

Barring Anil Chandna, product manager-Laser Printers, who has joined us
recently, all other product managers have been with the company for around three
years, and constitute our core team. We are also strengthening the IT sales
staff by adding 10 sales managers across the country to address the corporate
reseller segment. I am directly handling the IT business, and we will also get
the support of Ravinder Zutshi, the deputy MD. 

According to a few channel players, these resignations have left a vacuum
at Samsung India. What steps are being taken to make sure that channel partners
enjoy the same level of vibrancy as before?
We seek to strengthen our IT business as well as grow the business of our
trade partners. Our new guidelines for the channel this year: Star Elite
partners will enjoy special programs to offer performance-based differential
support. Star partners should not carry more than 10 days inventory since we
would not offer price protection on dealer stocks.

On the retail front, we will drive Samsung business through our brand stores.
We have identified 1,400 SIs with whom we will work closely to promote Samsung
products to end-customers. Large deal pricing support will be provided only
against end-user confirmation by Samsung sales team and receipt of order
details. We will focus investments in developing note PCs, TFTs and MFPs market
size. These three would form the growth engine for us this year.

There are rumors of resentment amongst the Samsung Star Elite partners due
to several pending claims. What is Samsung doing to resolve these cases and by
when?
We have cleared a significant proportion of pending claims and are carefully
sifting the others to segregate the genuine claims from the false claims. Our
endeavor will be to clear all genuine dealer claims at the earliest and I think
we should be able to do so within a month’s time.

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