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|September 15, 1997||
Samsung gets more serious about IndiaSamsung Electronics Company Limited is likely to introduce its 'final configuration test and packaging programme' for its PC range in India within a year.
The programme, which involves testing and packaging the computer according to final product configuration, is currently being implemented with some of SEL's leading vendors worldwide.
Samsung Electronics, the Korean consumer electronics major, has announced the merger of the US-based AST Research Inc into SEL.
SEL completed the process of acquiring AST on August 11, 1997 with a tender offer on the remaining 27 million shares of AST at $5.40 per share.
By virtue of this tender offer, AST Research will now become a fully-owned subsidiary of SEL and its shares will cease to be listed separately on NASDAQ.
SEL, the $25-billion company, of the $87-billion Samsung Group, had started the process of acquiring AST Research in 1995 by pumping in $385 million for a 45 per cent stake in AST.
Under the new arrangement, Samsung will market and sell AST's product line in Korea. AST will use its brand name and established customer base to market and sell computers and computer related products in markets other than Korea and, possibly, Japan.
Asked on whether Samsung would be interested in setting up manufacturing or assembly locations in India and utilise the excellent electronics component manufacturing base in India, Hoon Choo, AST president (Asia-Pacific and Middle East), said that Samsung had no such plans in the near future.
"AST is currently the fourth largest selling MNC brand PC in India. We are aiming to become number two in two years time," said Choo.
On dealer and channel networks, Choo said that the availability of AST computers was okay but could be improved upon. Currently there is a wait time of about 2-3 weeks for delivery and AST is working on changing this to an 'on demand' situation.
Choo added that AST had a good support service network with over 25 authorised centres all over the country and a spares depot in Bombay. "We give maximum priority to complaints/queries from customers and, often, we are able to resolve a customer problem within 24 hours," he claimed.
- Compiled from the Indian media
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