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Samsung to open 41 stores in the Caribbean
As Samsung seeks to establish itself as the dominant technology provider in the world, the Korean company is moving to seal its presence in the Caribbean. Plans are afoot to open a series of Samsung Experience stores throughout the islands and to engage in educational initiatives and other private and public sector partnerships.
Elias Kabeche, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Hand Held Products (HHP) and IT Businesses, said the Caribbean is very important to Samsung. “Part of the policy of Samsung is that we don’t leave any country behind, no matter how small it is and in the Caribbean right now we have a lot of initiatives,” said Kabeche, whose area of focus is the Miami export market and the Caribbean.
Kabeche was among the many Samsung executives who were in New York last week for the launch of the new Galaxy S4 at Radio City Music Hall. His contingent included Julio HC Hong, President of Samsung Electronics Latin America and Young Dae Sin, managing director, Samsung Electronics Latin America. Speaking to the T&T Guardian after the launch, Kabeche revealed that one of the initiatives Samsung is currently engaged in regionally is the Smart School project.
“This allows us to bring our tablet with smart content to schools in partnership with the government. Right now we are doing it in Antigua and we are looking at Curacao and Trinidad and talking to the Ministries of Education in those islands,” he explained.
Smart School is a programme that allows teachers to upload work to Samsung tablets and monitor their students’ progress. Kabeche said Samsung has tested the programme and found that children who use it develop a higher learning curve than children who do not. Kabeche said in an effort to get consumers more familiar with their products, 41 Samsung Experience stores will be opened this year. The stores will feature all of Samsung products, including tablets and computers.
“We really want to get more in touch with people so we can sell the right set of products in each island. We have a partnership with operators in the islands so we can put our phones there and try to get more smart phones in the hands of people,” he said, stating that Samsung products are increasing in the Caribbean on its own merit. He said inT&T, in particular, Samsung has a much larger share of the market than Blackberry.
“Trinidad is one of our important markets and Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. In terms of the Caribbean, up and coming islands are the Bahamas, the Guyanas, Suriname. We support our operators and they have presence in all the islands so we have support in the islands in service, in product.” He said in addition to the flagship SIII and S4 series, Samsung has a range of phones suited to all income levels.
Kabeche also revealed that there would be a significant marketing campaign throughout the Caribbean to promote the new S4. In an effort to interact with the Caribbean better, Samsung will open a new regional office, based in T&T. The office, which is carded to open next month, will occupy the space that Microsoft formerly occupied at the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce building in Westmoorings.
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