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INTERVIEW: RK Han, Sangean Europe

by Stuart Wilson, Monday 14 January 2019

RK Han, general manager of Sanegan Europe
RK Han, general manager of Sanegan Europe

DISTREE Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) 2019 offers a unique channel development platform for consumer tech, consumer electronics and IT brands. Retailers and distributors from across the region will gather in Monaco next month from 19th to 22nd February for the 17th annual DISTREE EMEA. Exhibitors from around the world will hold pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings with senior channel executives at the event. Channel EMEA caught up with RK Han, general manager of Sangean Europe – a radio manufacturer and confirmed exhibitor at DISTREE EMEA - to learn more about the company’s regional ambitions.

Channel EMEA (CE): What do you want to achieve at DISTREE EMEA 2019?

RK Han (RKH): Attending this event, Sangean Europe wants to become more visible and raise the brand awareness with retail chains in several countries. Next to that, Sangean radios are not yet distributed in all European countries, so finding new distributors is another goal.

CE: What are your key goals for the event?

RKH: Getting in touch with key decision makers from retail chains and trying to organise special OEM and ODM projects. Sangean is a Taiwanese company with a 100%-owned factory, which develops and manufactures high-end radios. More and more retail chains are looking for products developed under their own white-label/ brand name. Sangean offers several unique combinations of features in products and of course the option to start

This event is for Sangean the perfect opportunity to introduce itself as an innovative and solution-oriented company. Working for 45 years in radio business, we have the experience to advice you on products, sales and special products.

CE: What products and solutions will you be showcasing at DISTREE EMEA 2019?

RKH: Sangean has many different solutions for radios. Sangean makes one of the best Utility radios in the world, we have a wide line up in hybrid radios and Sangean will present their latest models. For example, the Genuine Mini (WR-7) and Genuine Mini DAB (DDR-7) are very sophisticated small sized radios with Bluetooth and DAB+ (DDR-7).

CE: What do you want distributors to know about your portfolio?

RKH: We would like to showcase that Sangean can develop many kind of table top, handheld, utility, pocket, internet, DAB+ radios and many other kind of radios. They can be branded as a Sangean radio, but also we offer the possibility to develop for other brands the possibility to have exclusive models under other brand names with own design and certain specifications as OEM and ODM.

CE: Describe how your channel business has developed in the past 12 months?

RKH: In the last year we have seen that more and more chains are going direct to China, but also they combining their buying power; for example FNAC, with MediaMarkt Saturn. Furthermore there are some online players that have taken a slimmer line up instead of offering the whole range of every product. Also a lot of chains have been taken over by other chains. Last but not least, many smaller shops have gone bankrupt. Independents are doomed to disappear because of the huge competition.

CE: What trends have you seen and what have been the highlights for your business?

RKH: The ‘spidering’ online is killing a lot of business. So we have developed an ‘offline only strategy’ in which we choose our partners wisely and we want to give them the benefit and margin they need. With benefit we mean that people do not come only to the shop to let them be informed, but also force the people to buy on the spot and not go shopping online for the best prices. Because the shops have the better price, the consumer will finally decide to buy in the shop. Not only for the price, but also for the service. Service and online shops are not always each other’s best friends.

CE: Which geographic areas and channels represent the greatest opportunity for growth for your company in EMEA and globally?

RKH: Sangean wants to develop the European market and work on more brand awareness. We see great opportunities in Germany, Poland, the Nordics and of course the ODM and OEM projects all over the world.

CE: Why should distributors and retailers focus on your products?

RKH: Sangean is manufacturer of the products, from development to after sales, which makes us unique. Sound quality and reception are the most important for the products we sell. Also Sangean has 45 years of experience in developing and producing radios and know exactly what we are talking about. The development of DAB+ and also the way the youth is listening to music - more and more on demand by streaming through channels like Spotify, Qobuz and Youtube - are two major trends which must be followed.

CE: What makes your channel proposition better than competitors in the market?

RKH: Our quality is of the highest level and therefore we have almost no service issues. Our products have been tested a lot before they are released into the market. Furthermore Sangean has 100% owned and own-developed models, so no cheap copy possible. Sangean uses only the best parts to build its radios with best antenna, best speakers, best modules. Next to that, Sangean has many radios with a unique combination of different specifications combined.

CE: Do you offer a strong margin proposition to your partners?

RKH: Yes, we always discuss the strategy. We also ask our partners to invest in some way also some of their own margin, to make in the end a fantastic collaboration with great successes.

CE: What sort of support do you offer distributors in terms of marketing, promotions and channel development activities?

RKH: In terms of marketing we would like to discuss this with the customer. A marketing strategy works best in collaboration and country-specific. We are open to all ideas and give a lot of support regarding marketing.

CE: How quickly is your business growing in the EMEA region?

RKH: We are active in Europe for a long time, and we have some steady business. Of course there is always room to grow and we are open for new collaborations.

CE: What market trends have you identified that are impacting your business segment?

RKH: We think there will be less retailers, instead there will be some giants. We identify also some online developments: more decisions by algorithms. People are used to seeing what the algorithm shows you, not thinking further.

CE: Is your company channel friendly?

RKH: Yes, we have worked for many years with distributors, retailers and e-tailers. We decide things very carefully with our partners and will try to develop the best line up possible for them. We are building a stronger brand name in different countries. Furthermore we want to expand our possibilities to deal with chains in a more direct way.

We are small and flexible. We are a stock keeping Taiwanese brand. Stock for Europe is in the Netherlands. We have 80 engineers and over 600 people working in our family owned factory. Sangean has some models which are not able to be compared with any other model in the market.


To request a hosted buyer invite for DISTREE EMEA 2019 - CLICK HERE

Distributors, retailers and e-tailers confirmed to attend DISTREE EMEA 2019 will have the ability to pre-request one-on-one meetings with Sangean’s executive team at this year’s event.

For further information on exhibiting at DISTREE EMEA 2019 to meet channel partners from across the region - CLICK HERE

Exhibitors at DISTREE EMEA hold pre-scheduled meetings with a carefully selected audience of senior executives from the region’s top consumer tech and consumer electronics channel partners. Channel EMEA is an official Media Partner for DISTREE EMEA 2019.

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