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The Warsaw Voice » Business » October 27, 2011
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The Samsung Experience
October 27, 2011   
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Interview with Kyung Sik Choi, president of Samsung Electronics Polska.

Samsung is a top company on the Polish market. Can you tell us how it’s leading the way and in terms of which products?
Samsung is an unquestionable leader in the TV, blu-ray and home theater category, holding the number-one position on the TV market since 2005 and for about three years on the blu-ray and home theater market. Since the launch of the Wave and Galaxy product lines, we have dynamically increased our shares in the smartphone market, currently holding the top position. We are also in first place in terms of monitors and A4 laser printing solutions sales. Among household appliances products, we are the leader in refrigerators and microwave ovens.

Can you tell us about the Samsung Research and development Center in Poland? How does it contribute to Samsung in Poland and to Samsung worldwide?
It is Samsung’s European Research and Development Center. Placing the Research and development Center in Poland proves that the Polish market is particularly important in Samsung’s global strategy. The center was established in 2000. It is undoubtedly one of the largest and fastest growing centers in Europe and across the world. After India we are the second largest R&D center outside Korea.

The Samsung Research and development Center employs nearly 800 engineers. Within two years we are planning to increase employment to 1,000. We primarily employ talented engineers and have three major divisions. Most of the engineers work on mobile technology development. Last year we began to install the Bada operating system on Samsung phones and started our own applications platform—Samsung Apps. This helps us provide attractive programs for Bada and many of the applications used were developed in our R&D center. Another important role of our R&D center is providing content and applications for our Smart TV products. The third part is set-top box (satellite, cable, IP broadcasting decoder ) R&D for European, Asian and American markets.

Technological and usability innovations are very important to us. We believe that investing in the R&D sector will help us play a key role on the new technologies market and create new trends on it.

Can you tell us about the Samsung factory in Wronki? What range of products does it produce?
Home appliances are one of the key segments in Samsung’s development in Europe. This is why we decided to buy the refrigerator and washing machine factory in Wronki in 2010 for $76 million. We will keep investing in the factory. Currently it employs about 1,600 workers. I am absolutely convinced that this is the most important and modern Samsung production center in Poland and Europe.

Its convenient location allows us to react more quickly to market and consumer needs, mainly by reducing the time of product delivery. The Wronki plant has one of the most modern production lines in the industry. The factory is capable of producing 3,000 refrigerators and 1,500 washing machines during one shift. We will plan to gradually increase production volume, which will allow us to secure a leading position in the household appliance segment in Europe. Currently over 60 percent of the output is intended for export markets. These include all European countries, as well as Russia, North Africa (including Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt), and the Middle East, in addition to Iran and Israel.

Why has Samsung decided to be so active in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR)? Is Samsung setting the pace in terms of CSR in Poland?
Our CSR activities in Poland reflect the global CSR 2.0 strategy, established on the basis of Samsung’s long-term experience in CSR projects in over 50 countries. Engagement in CSR projects help us show the values we espouse in a more visible way. We are engaged in the development of science and new technologies as the strategic and technology partner of the Copernicus Science in Warsaw. We also support culture and arts, for example by organizing the Samsung Art Master contest for young artists and sponsoring the Paszporty Polityki award in the visual arts category.

One of the main social responsibility areas Samsung is engaged in is sport. We have decided to promote sports because we feel sports values are similar to those we espouse, which are persistence in reaching our aims, a passion for what we do, fair play, and a healthy lifestyle. We support sports, for example by organizing the Samsung Athletic Cup—nationwide track-and-field competitions for children and teenagers. The Samsung Athletic Cup takes place every year in spring. We start with heats in 16 towns and then organize the finals in Warsaw.

Some of Samsung’s CSR activities are created particularly for the Polish market to contribute to local societies. As part of the worldwide Pink Ribbon project, which supports the fight against breast cancer, we organize local events such as the Samsung Irena Women’s Run—a charity run for women who want to live their lives in a healthy and active way. Funds raised during the event, doubled by Samsung, go to the nationwide Amazonki association. The run is organized every year in spring in Warsaw.

As a technological company, Samsung is engaged in projects that use innovative solutions. We have been supporting gamers for more than 10 years as the main sponsor of the World Cyber Games, whose Polish finals take place every year in Warsaw. The tournament has become the international platform for the exchange of gaming experiences. We strongly believe that Samsung has contributed to the development of the game market by investing in technologically advanced solutions for players. Being the leading producer of TVs, smartphones, and monitors and a company well positioned on the notebook market, Samsung offers a wide range of consumer electronics, mobile and IT products designed for players. This year, during the World Cyber Games, we unveiled the new 7 series gaming laptops.

Also worth mentioning is Samsung’s involvement in projects that show we care about the future of young people. We believe that encouraging innovation and creativity among young people by educating them and giving access to new technologies, Samsung supports a better future for them. We are carrying out this idea through the School Project as part of which educational workshops and TV programs for children are being organized with the use of Samsung products.
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