Samsung, LG rejig top deck to take on online brands, rivals

Korean consumer electronics firms Samsung and LG have rejigged their senior management teams in India even as they look to defend their turf against increased competition in smartphones and televisions from newer entrants and online-focused brands.

Samsung India has created separate heads to handle the online business for smartphones and consumer electronics as it looks to significantly increase its online presence, particularly in the smartphone segment.

Corporate vice president Asim Warsi is the online head for smartphones while consumer electronics head Raju Pullan has been given additional responsibility to handle online business of televisions and home appliances. Warsi was earlier head of mobile phone marketing and the entire online sales team.

“Samsung wants to gain leadership in online sales to beat Xiaomi,” a senior industry executive told ET, adding that the company would launch models for Amazon and Flipkart across products.

Samsung has also replaced the expat chiefs for the overall mobile phone and consumer electronics businesses in India. JB Park is now the head of the mobile phone business, while Moon Goo Chin will be handling the consumer electronics business.

Ranjivjit Singh, who was heading corporate marketing in Samsung, is now the mobile product marketing head. Expat MS Song will handle corporate marketing. Manu Sharma, who was into sales planning for mobile, is now part of the make for India task force to develop localised products.

In LG, the company has elevated Vijay Babu, who was earlier head for refrigerator, as the senior business head responsible for home appliances such as refrigerators, microwave ovens, washing machines, air-conditioners and water purifiers.

It has also created a new vertical aimed at product innovation and distribution led by Sanjay Chitkara.

LG has appointed separate business heads for key sales channels. Rahul Tayal has been given responsibility to handle Tata-owned Croma and Walmart, apart from the LG brand shops and ecommerce. Vishal Dutta will head rest of the modern trade while Amit Gujral, who was head of corporate marketing, will now handle sales for government B2B business such as canteen stores department.

The company is looking for a new corporate marketing head.

Emails sent to LG and Samsung did not elicit any response till press time Thursday.

LG and Samsung, which have been dominating the Indian consumer electronics and smartphone markets, respectively, till a few years ago, are now facing strong competition from a slew of Chinese brands, many of which are online focused. The changes in their top management are to better deal with the changing market situation in the country, experts said.

The development was reported by

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