1 Nov 2002
The Sky's The Limit(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 06,2002)
Vol 6, 2002
LCD Technology Crystallizes Success
The Sky's The Limit
Skyworth Multimedia Int'l Ltd
SKYWORTH Multimedia Int'l Ltd (SMM), established in 2001, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Skyworth Holdings Ltd. SMM's mission statement is to provide a platform for more aggressive international expansion and, specifically, drive the overseas television and audiovisual business as well as audiovisual sales on the Chinese mainland. In just under two years, SMM has achieved just that.
"Previously, Skyworth enjoyed an average annual export growth rate of 10-20%," says SMM director Finsen Yu. "But in 2001, as a separate company tailor-made for overseas markets, we were able to grow the audiovisual business 500% and our colour television sales by 30%." He says that SMM achieved a turnover of US$120m in 2001-2002.
He adds that SMM now accounts for 20% of the group's business and has its own operations, including purchasing and production. "This enables us to more easily satisfy the demands of our overseas customers through dedicated service and attention, as well as competitive pricing," he says.
Much of SMM's success has come from Asia. "Our main markets are Asia Pacific, which accounts for 35%, Eastern European countries such as Poland and Russia, Mexico and the Middle East," Yu observes.
He believes greatest potential remains in Asia, where the company has just started OEM operations. "This side of the business needs time to develop and grow but so far this year we gained several big customers from Japan and Korea," Yu adds.
Another new market is the US, which SMM will enter at the end of this year, while Yu believes South and Central America also hold further promise. "We have an associate factory in Mexico which handles our assembly and this saves import duty," he explains.
Customers in all these diverse markets can enjoy the full range of SMM products, which includes 14-38-inch colour television sets, DVD players and TV/DVD combos. The company recently developed plasma and LCD versions, already available on the mainland, which are set for introduction to other markets such as Europe and the US by the end of this year.
While the Skyworth Group has concentrated on ODM/OEM business for international markets during the past decade, in about three years it hopes to promote its own brand overseas. The company hopes to repeat its strong brand success on the mainland. "We would like our export turnover to increase to 3-4 million TV sets and then we will have the financial power to promote our own brand internationally," Yu says.
Ultimately, Yu believes SMM's success is an excellent example of matching Hong Kong and Chinese culture, experience and expertise through sales and marketing in Hong Kong and strong backup R&D and production on the mainland.
"Business is getting tougher as mainland companies increasingly try to export and foreign companies move to source directly from the mainland," Yu admits. "But Skyworth is already a major brand on the mainland and, with our established and growing sales and distribution network overseas, we have strong growth potential."
The Skyworth success story started in 1990, when founder/chairman Stephen Wong moved from the mainland to Hong Kong to establish a trading company exporting television sets. He started production on the mainland one year later. Within a decade, Skyworth had become a household name.
Thanks to the efforts of a workforce of 10,000 and a 300-strong engineering and R&D team, the group today produces a range of television sets, DVD players, network set-top boxes, digital receivers and Internet applications at a 150,00-square-metre plant at Baoan and a smaller production line at Shenzhen on the mainland.
By 2001, Skyworth Holdings Ltd had already become the mainland's number one television set exporter and one of Hong Kong's leading consumer electronics, network and communications products companies.
WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER
Skyworth Multimedia Int'l Ltd
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