(MENAFN - Arab News) LG Electronics, which continues to expand its footprint across Saudi Arabia with a host of academies for women and sought-after premium brand products, and also incorporates green technology in its premium products, is set to launch a new Optimus Series & Triple Sim mobile phones, according to James Park, regional MEA chief executive officer of LG Electronics based in Dubai.
"LG does not rest on its laurels through business expansion and profits, it is also focusing on CSR activities with the philosophy of giving back to the communities it serves," says James Park in an exclusive interview with Arab News during his recent visit to Saudi Arabia.
James Park is responsible for the strategic development and execution of LG's business and regional expansion strategies including marketing, branding and go-to-market strategy deployment as well as operational efficiency planning across all of the South Korean giant's organizations in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and emerging markets), and Oceania (Australia and New Zealand).
He is also tasked to spearhead the company's sales and distribution growth, marketing, and operations in Singapore.
A change management specialist, Park has been involved in the restructuring of various LG businesses globally, securing profitable growth and increased market share as Marketing Team Leader of Europe, China, and CIS markets.
How is the market for LG products in the Middle East in general and in the GCC in particular?
As you know the market for LG products in the Middle East has been excellent. Despite the political unrest in some parts of the region, we expect the market to grow in the future by 20 percent. As far as the GCC is concerned, the potential is high due to the stability of the economy and sustained infrastructure development, high oil prices, and mega projects announced by the government and private sectors.
Which are LG's fast selling products in the GCC?
There is growing demand among consumers for LG's premium models. This is because today's consumers, especially those in the middle- and high-income brackets, desire a more trendy, comfortable lifestyle. So, for them - whether citizens or expatriates - air-conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines have become a necessity but they look for some such premium products as a matter of luxury. Likewise, Saudi Arabia's young population who account for more than 30 percent, desire trendsetting IT and GSM products with associated Smart technology gadgets.
How do you compare the demand for LG products with other competing brands worldwide?
The demand of LG products is increasing rapidly due to technology advancement and the application of pioneering technology related to design, features and specifications globally. We will be number one global leader very soon in all LG product categories.
What is the market status of LG in terms of washing machines, TV and refrigerators?
In washing machine and refrigerator product categories, LG is number one in the GCC, the Middle East and other world markets, whereas in TV with our new technology of FBR and 3D we are sure to achieve number one position in the near future. At present in most product categories, LG is almost No. 1.
What is LG's strategy about green technology?
LG has the leadership in the launch of green technology in health care products. We have taken the initiative to comply with green technology most actively, and we are the main sponsors for the last two years of the green technology conference that is held in Dubai with the support of Dubai government.
Is LG planning any independent factory in the Kingdom?
As you maybe aware LG already has a joint venture factory for AC manufacturing in Riyadh with our partners Ibrahim Shaker Company and at this stage we don't want to commit for any future investment plan for any independent factory.
Tell us something about LG's after sales service?
LG recently appointed Tronix as its authorized service partner in the category of IT products across Saudi Arabia for after sales service. LG has well established service partners across the Kingdom with Shaker and Naghi companies for air-conditioners, consumer electronics and home appliances. In addition, last week we launched our Care & Delight Service Bus for the first time in the Kingdom to serve our customers in the remote and rural areas of the vast Kingdom. As per our business strategy, we just ended our annual free service campaign for air-conditioners with our partner Shaker. I would like to announce on behalf of LG that Naghi has been appointed as the authorized service provider for GSM products in the Kingdom.
Mobile phone makers have used the 'small is beautiful concept' for boosting sales. Does LG believe in this?
The concept of small is beautiful was familiar in the last 5 years where LG was a pioneer in launching its mobiles phone series of Chocolate successfully, but now the market trend has shifted to the new Android technology with a new concept. The Smart phone era has started with new designs and concepts where connectivity is the basic feature, among others. In LG we are interested in unique designs along with special features to meet the expectations of all consumers. We are going to launch Optimus Series & Triple Sim Mobiles.
What will be your advice to your consumers during your Saudi visit? Are you making any major announcements?
This is my first visit to Saudi Arabia since I came to this region as regional CEO of Middle East & Africa in January. The core purpose of my visit is to meet with all our business partners and LG Colleagues, and make a deep study of the Saudi business environment. I would like to assure all our consumers that LG Electronics always plays a pioneering role in introducing new product technologies in this part of the world.
What is the LG's policy as regards corporate social responsibility?
Our CSR policy is tailor-made to reach all categories of the Saudi community since our philosophy in LG Electronics is to take care and give back to the communities we are serving. Our CSR strategy focuses on women, relief, education and engagement of the Saudi youth, especially college and university students. As part of this strategy, LG Saudi Arabia has taken many initiatives in this market such as LG IT Academy for women, LG Cooking Academy for women and LG AC Academy, as well as emergency responses such as mobilization of donations to the flood victims of Jeddah last year under the LG Relief Campaign, regular Ramadan iftar parties for orphan kids, and what you are witnessing today is part of our CSR campaign consecutively for two years; all LG staff and partners are actively participating in the blood donation drive, which is part of our national drive safety campaign in the Kingdom.
Park was referring to the blood donation drive organized by LG Electronics and its Saudi partners for the second consecutive year, at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center in Jeddah last week.