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Samsung to make India production hub for consumer electronics

Chennai, Nov 26 (IANS) South Korean electronics major Samsung, which has announced Rs.350 crore fresh investments at its facility near here by 2016, is planning to make India its production hub for Middle East and other neighbouring markets in five years, a company official said Friday.

Announcing commencement of Samsung’s second refrigerator plant in India, J.S.Shin, president and CEO (South West Asia), told reporters: ‘All our future expansions will be at our Chennai plant. We will invest Rs.350 crore in Chennai plant and five years later, India may be the production hub for Middle East and other neighbouring markets.’

Samsung’s Indian subsidiary, Samsung India Electronics has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Tamil Nadu government to expand its facility located on 80 acres near here to make mobile phones and accessories, consumer electronics and information technology hardware.

Queried about the company’s plans to develop a vendor base in the state, Samsung India’s deputy managing director Ravinder Zutshi said efforts were on in this direction.

He said the percentage of local content in the company’s products varies from product to product.

According to Shin, Samsung’s Indian subsidiary contributes around 2.5 percent of the company’s global turnover and this is expected to double by 2013.

Samsung India posted revenue of $2.2 billion last year and this is expected to go up to $3.5 billion this calendar year. Samsung’s global revenue is $116.8 billion.

In order to increase its business, Samsung India has decided to design products for the Indian market rather than customising products designed and made in South Korea for the domestic market.

The company has set up a five-member product innovation team at Delhi that will work on some product segments, an official told IANS while declining to comment on the products that Samsung India is planning to design and develop for the Indian market.

Samsung India will Saturday commission its $75 million refrigerator plant (1.2 million capacity per annum) at Sriperumbudur near here to make frost free (Inspira brand) and direct cool (Pride brand).

With the commissioning of the second plant, Samsung India’s total refrigerator annual production capacity will go up to 2.6 million units.

According to Zutshi, the refrigerator business contributes around $500 million to revenues.

Samsung India also makes flat panel televisions, front loading washing machines, liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors and split air conditioners at its Sriperumbudur facility and refrigerators will get added to the list Saturday.

The company has invested in the plant over $100 million since 2007.

The company’s other plant is located in Noida near Delhi making all the above products as well as mobile phones.

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