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Samsung expands service network to touch rural consumers

Economic Times:  October, 2016

New Delhi: Samsung India has expanded its service network across the country, reaching out to over 6,000 talukas across 29 states and seven union territories.

The service network expansion includes introducing 535 service vans equipped with engineers, key components, DG sets and key equipment for providing quick response and on-spot resolution, over 250 service points and over 250 resident engineers, Samsung said in a statement Thursday.

The Korean major plans to add more service vans, open new service centres, appoint brand engineers, India’s smartphone market leader and among the top consumer electronics players said.

“It is imperative for corporations to support this trend by establishing quality service network for addressing consumers’ needs regarding after-sales service of products in rural areas,” said

Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar at an event attended by Minister of State for tourism and culture Mahesh Sharma and HC Hong, president of Samsung Southwest Asi.

Samsung’s rural India pitch comes on the heels of its Note 7 debacle, where the company was forced to first recall and then kill its flagship smartphone following reports of the device overheating, catching fire and in some cases even exploding.

Samsung is struggling to blunt the fallout of its Note 7 troubles, even as it soaks an estimated $2.3 billion hit, in what is being labelled as the costliest product safety failures in tech history not to mention a huge blow to its reputation.

While the Note 7 was withdrawn before it was available in India, a slew of measures are expected to ramp up its image globally, including India.

The initiative to expand its service to rural India seems also aimed at expanding the domestic rural consumer base of Samsung in India by assuring premium after-sales service.

“With the new service initiative, our customers in rural India will enjoy the same level of speedy and high quality services as urban customers”, said Hong. “Our aim is to bridge the urban-rural service gap.”