Samsung Egypt is currently dominating the TV market, which sold 500,000 sets in 2015, with the highest sales of any brand, acquiring up to 37% of the market share.
Kassem Kassem, head of the TV Division department at Samsung, spoke to Daily News Egypt about the increase in sales of TV sets, which grew by 20% in the first half of the year, compared to the same period in 2015.
What is your share of the Egyptian market? What are the total sales of the market?
According to the latest statistics of GFK, the Egyptian market sold over 500,000 TV sets in 2015. Samsung has 37% of the market, making us the largest company in Egypt.
How do you see the growth of the TV market in Egypt under the current circumstances?
Television has become a common commodity in Egypt. It is no longer a luxury. Many houses now have more than one set; especially with the rise of smart TVs. According to GFK, which specialises in consulting and research, the market in Egypt grew by 20% over the first half of 2016 year-on-year, despite the poor economic conditions currently being experienced in Egypt.
These results prove the possibilities available in the Egyptian market. The high population of 90 million people, the majority of whom are young, means an increasing rate of marriages, which means a greater need for commodities in [newlyweds’] homes. The different segments of society have different needs. Because of this, we are still manufacturing cathode ray tubes (CRT) nowadays.
Does that mean that if economic conditions were more stable growth rates would have increased by more than 20%?
The economic conditions we are currently experiencing is one of the challenges. Growth achieved by the market is high and will not improve, even when conditions improve. The TV market in Egypt has already matured, and is not expected to enter a growth phase. Hence, the rates will not just jump to 50% overnight.
What is your vision for the Egyptian market and your plans to increase your market share?
The Egyptian market is promising. We work to provide a broad base of products to meet the different needs of clients. Some of our customers want small screen sets, while others seek the largest screens available. Some want smart TVs and others care only about the design.
Therefore, we have a broad base of products beginning from a screen size of 32 inches and up to 65 inches. They are manufactured in Egypt at the company’s factory in Beni Suef. Larger screens are imported from abroad. Moreover, each screen size offers different options; for example, 32 inch screens have smart editions and regular ones.
What products are expected to witness a growth in sales, according to consumer requirements in Egypt?
I think the smart TV sector and the Quantum dot equipped sets will grow in the coming period. Egyptian consumers are always seeking higher technology. Researches also show that UHD and SUHD sets will witness an increase in the coming period.
What features are local consumers seeking in the sets they buy?
There are a number of key characteristics affecting the purchase decision of the Egyptian consumer, notably the image quality and purity of sound and internet access through the TV, according to the marketing research undertaken by the company in Egypt.
In the portable devices sector, you are focusing on designing TVs. You held partnerships with fashion houses to provide elegant designs. Do you have plans to develop the design of TV sets?
Samsung cares for the research and development (R&D) sector. About a quarter of the company’s employees worldwide are in that sector. This makes our products close to the consumers’ needs. Samsung is focusing on the design of its sets to make TV part of the house decorations.
Do you have plans to develop applications for smart TVs that commensurate with the Egyptian consumer?
We have applications for smart TVs that have been developed in Egypt and spread to other countries, such as MP3Quran, which was developed by an Egyptian software company and was added to TV sets across the world in eight languages. We also have local applications for cooking recipes, others for animation and children’s education.
Furthermore, we have partnered with a number of entertainment providers, such as Shahid and OSN, next to news applications. Right now, there are 3,000 apps on our smart TVs.
Do the current economic conditions and the instability of the US dollar exchange rate affect the company’s decisions for the Egyptian market? Did that impact the prices of your products?
The parent company is sure that the Egyptian market is promising with many growth opportunities. We opened a factory in Beni Suef in 2012, under even worse economic conditions. This indicates the extent of the company’s confidence in the Egyptian market and its ability to overcome the current economic crisis. Our factory in Egypt now exports TVs to 36 countries in the Middle East and Africa.
Therefore, we have sufficient support from the parent company to put our products in the Egyptian market at fair prices. We reduced the prices of some TVs a few months ago through our “For You” campaign.
What are the features of your plan in Egypt?
We are working on several fronts, and particularly focusing on the consumer. We provide our TV products with the latest technology in the world, such as the Quantum dot, at the same time they are released in other countries. Moreover, we are developing our after- sales and maintenance service to cut the time needed for repairing appliances.
Furthermore, we offer clients a two-year guarantee on TV sets, especially as the television sets in Egypt have a life span of four to five years, while the figure reaches seven years worldwide. This is caused by the Egyptian community’s pursuit to use the highest technologies.
We had partnerships with specialised maintenance centres in various parts of the republic to provide after-sales services to customers in all provinces. We also launched a marketing campaign to teach consumers how to best use their TV sets, especially smart sets.
In addition, we launched a new distance service for remote maintenance. We fix some defects or identify them on Smart TVs without the need to transport the machine to the maintenance centre or send technicians to attend.