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TMCNet:  Samsung India rejigs top management [Movements] [Times of India]

[December 21, 2013]

Samsung India rejigs top management [Movements] [Times of India]

(Times of India Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) KOLKATA: The country's largest consumer electronics and mobile phone maker Samsung India has revamped its top management with Korean executives taking complete control of the top deck.

The Korean firm has appointed SK Kim as the new managing director of Samsung India, with a single mandate to grow sales of televisions, home appliances and mobile phones. With this, Samsung India integrates the sales function of its television, home appliances and mobile phone business.


Kim was earlier the senior VP of Samsung India, jointly leading the consumer electronics business with Atul Jain.

Jain has now been made the head of business innovation for Samsung South-West Asia operations, covering markets like India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. In his current role, Jain will be responsible for innovation in sales and channel strategy and will not have a direct responsibility for sales or marketing.

Jain and Kim's erstwhile role is now taken by over by JS Ham, who will single-handedly head the consumer electronics and home appliances business. The only Indian in the top deck, Vineet Taneja, who heads the mobile phone and digital imaging business of Samsung India, will now report to Kim.

Taneja used to earlier report to Samsung India and South West Asia president & CEO BD Park, who was also the de facto managing director.

Park, the man behind Samsung's meteoric rise in India, has been escalated globally and will now play an 'emeritus' role and continue as the president & CEO. Samsung under Park has become India's largest consumer goods company and one of the largest MNCs.

The company has tripled revenues from Rs 8,000 crore in 2008 to Rs 27,000 crore in 2012. It has also become the largest smartphone brand with more than double the market share over its nearest competitor.

Samsung India deputy managing director R Zutshi moved away from handling day-to-day business operations of the firm last year. He now focuses more on corporate and government affairs of the firm. In response to an email questionnaire, a Samsung India spokesperson said: "BD Park has been promoted to executive VP and continues in the role of president & CEO, Samsung India Electronics. To further enhance our focus on local sales and distribution, SK Kim has been promoted to the position of managing director, sales. Rest of the organizational changes have been made to increase the efficiency of our business operations." Samsung India has announced these changes in senior management to its top trade partners earlier this week, according to two senior executives of leading durable retail chains.

While Korean expats had always kept a close control of the operations at Samsung India, there used to be a couple of Indian executives in senior roles acting as a bridge between the company and trade partners, the executives said.

One of the executives referred above said this is the first time when Korean expats have taken such a dominant control of almost all the key functions at Samsung India. "Probably, the headquarters has realised that expats can control operations closely now that Samsung is on a firm footing and growth path in India," he said.

Incidentally, Samsung's arch-rival LG Electronics India too has given critical function controls to Koreans over the last two years, which triggered the exit of several Indian executives from the company. This is in stark contrast to the Japanese electronic firms Sony, Panasonic and Toshiba who are roping in more Indian executives in the top deck to trigger faster growth.

(c) 2013 Bennett, Coleman & Company Limited

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