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India to be growth engine: Samsung

Fuelled by 5G and a techsavvy, dataconsuming young population, India will emerge as the “growth engine” for technology and smartphone makers globally as Western Europe and the US battle recession and face demand reversals, T M Roh, global president of Samsung’s mobile business, said. Roh tells TOIthat the Korean company — which has been in India since 1995 and runs its biggest factory at Noida, apart from the largest R&D centre outside its home market — believes in PM Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Make in India’ and domestic manufacturing as the company lines up new investments, products, and hirings. He predicts that the Indian smartphone population will hit a billion users by 2026, against the estimated 650 million now. Excerpts:
How do you see Indian market at a time when Western world faces slowdown due to inflationary and other pressures?
It’strue that the global market is impacted due to economic recession. Analysts estimate there will be 5­10% decline in terms of global volumes. The Indian market, however, will move in a different direction, because of expansion of 5G networks, where sales will grow by 60%, as the premium segment demand will increase by 30%. This trend in Indiawill not be for one year but will continue further because of a large population of youngsters, who are tech savvy and easily adaptable to technological innovation. Both in quantity and sales, we’ll see growth in India. We see India as a growth engine for the global smartphone market.
But India is highly competitive as Apple and OnePlus go aggressive in premium and Chinese fight in the mid­and premium categories…
Thestrong point of Samsung in India is that, unlike some other companies that started recently, we have been manufacturing products in India for last couple of decades. We have a much better understanding of Indian customers and their characteristics, which is a strong point of Samsung’s business. We have always been emphasising on the concept of ‘Make for India’, and we have strengthened our R&D, production, and marketing units further.


What are your plans for investments in India? Companies like Apple have been focusing majorly on exports…
India is strategically a very important country for Samsung with an R&D centre, and also in terms of production. In the Noida facility, we not only manufacture to meet the domestic demand, but also for many countries. The Noida facility manufactures not only the mass entry­level smartphones but also the S series and Z series flagships. We’ll continue to strengthen this trend by investing more.
In terms of smartphone evolution, we have seen Samsung push foldables and dual­screen devices globally. Where is the industry headed?
Wewill continue our efforts to bring new customer experience, especially through augmented and virtual ­reality, and mixed­reality devices… All this would be supported and empowered by AI.

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