Samtel unleashes aggressive pricing strategy 



SAJI M P
MUMBAI

Samtel India Ltd has initiated an aggressive pricing strategy for monitors by slashing prices by eight to nine percent. The price cut, which was initiated recently, is applicable to color monitors and only in
Mumbai. 

Says Purushottam Samarai, Zonal Manager (West), Samtel India Ltd, “We cut down our prices to entice resellers and SIs to buy more.” According to him, Samtel has increased its sales by 50 percent since the price slash. 

The monitor market suffered a major setback when the demand for PCs had dropped drastically after the recent slowdown. Samtel, which used to sell around 4,500 units a month in Mumbai alone before the slowdown, touched a figure of 2,500 in the month of February. However, the sales have once again gone up to reach 4,500 units.

“The sales of 14-inch Samtel monitors have increased by 50 percent. But, the sales of 15-inch has not come up to that level,” says Manoj Fagwani, Director, Systematic Infotech Pvt Ltd, which sells all major monitor brands. 

According to Manoj, this is mainly because of the price factor as well as the three-year onsite warranty offered by Samtel. He says that when partners work on a very low margin, the onsite warranty proves to be beneficial to the channel. “In the wake of any problems, Samtel takes care of the monitors,” opines
Manoj.

Manish of Arihant Infotech, Mumbai, says, “Since the cut in prices, Samtel monitor sales has gone up by 25 percent.” However, Sandeep Parasrampuria of The Best in Mumbai does not find much difference in sales volume among major brands. He says, “We haven’t seen a major growth in Samtel monitor sales. The sales have slightly gone up since the price slash.” 

Market sources say that it was Samsung who started price war in November 2000 followed by LG in April 2001. Currently, Samtel 14-inch monitor is available at Rs 5,600, LG at Rs 5,950 and Samsung at Rs 6,200. Whereas 15-inch Samtel monitor is priced at Rs 6,500, LG at Rs 6,950 and Samsung at Rs 7,000.

Market sources say that Samtel has not been able to meet the demand created by the price cut. Clarifies Purushottam, “The problem has cropped up due to a strike in Madras port. This has affected the movement of picture tubes to our manufacturing unit in
Pondicherry."

It is believed that Samtel has eaten up the market share of Microtek. Sources at Microtek say that there was a nominal drop in sales for 14-inch and 15-inch during the month of May.

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