New challenges and big international ambitions lead the company to a repositioning and corporate rebranding. In the second quarter 2013 top management announced the establishment of an international holding on the basis of General Satellite Corporation and creation of a new brand GS Group. Today GS Group is a multi-industry private international holding operating in the telecommunication and other innovative markets, developing its own technologies, proprietary manufactures and productive assets all over the world. Three main strategic directions for development of the company are: creation of constant growth of production base, investment in technological innovations, launch and support of international broadcasting projects worldwide on a turnkey basis.
The first international broadcasting project of the holding, Cambodian nationwide digital terrestrial TV platform One TV has lived through its first year which proved a success. In June the project was presented at the third largest international integrated telecommunications exhibition Broadcast Asia’2013 in Singapore. The presentation “One TV Cambodia. How to launch the first digital operator in record-breaking time?” impressed international expert community which considered One TV an interesting case performed in the market. Evaluating GS Group experience in Cambodia specialists named One TV “a model” which can streamline further digitization of Asia.
In the course of its first year in the market One TV has worked on its content proposal, expanding the offer from 50 to 80 channels. The operator started production of its own exclusive content: One TV Karaoke and One TV Sabay are among the most popular channels with Cambodians. One TV success is also visible in terms of customer care. An important step in customer policy was adjusting the pricing for the operator’s services to the needs and financial capacities of the viewers. The operator has made quality digital TV affordable for Cambodian population making various attractive offers for customers throughout the year. And now it has become possible for Cambodians to watch digital TV for only 1 dollar a month. One TV has become the first nationwide digital Cambodian operator; it already has a reach of close to 80% of Cambodian households, an unprecedented figure for the country. Its subscriber base was growing by 20-25% monthly.
This year was a breakthrough for the holding also in terms of high technology development. GS Group released digital set-top box GS U510 under General Satellite brand for the use in satellite TV networks worldwide. The model is the first mass product in consumer electronics produced on the basis of Russian microprocessor manufactured by GS Nanotech. GS U510 was designed and produced according to worldwide market demands in compliance with world standards. Thus GS Group strengthened its position as Russian leader in the field of digital innovations.
In 2013 GS Group continued diversification of its business. The holding started the construction of a new hi-tech deep processing wood factory Sudoma in Pskov region, alongside with opening a tree nursery for 2 million seedlings. The new facility is the first Russian enterprise in the forest industry which will be primarily aimed at exporting high conversion wood products instead of raw materials to Europe. Sudoma is the second phase of GS Group large-scale three stage investment project set for the period of 2012-2016.
Launch of mass production at GS Nanotech marked the end of creation of industrial park stage at Technopolis GS. Now the company has begun to develop social and innovative infrastructure of the cluster. GS Venture is one of its key elements. GS Group also launched the new venture arm to support high-motivated entrepreneurs and startup teams at all stages of project development. Over 40 applications are being revised by GS Venture at the moment. The total amount that the company plans to allocate for financing venture projects in 2013 and 2014 equals to 1.5 billion rubles.
Technopolis GS became one of the main points of attraction for the scientific community in Russia and worldwide. At Hannover Messe in Germany Technopolis GS represented the innovations market in Russia showcasing the potential of the cluster to international experts. At Open Innovations Forum in Moscow Technopolis GS was recognized as the most successful Russian private innovation cluster. Among the potential partners for innovative enterprises of the Technopolis are such famous European scientific institutions as Fraunhofer and Cambridge Nanomaterials Ltd.
The current year was officially declared the year for protection of environment in Russia. GS Group supported this initiative developing a program aimed at preserving environment and promoting sustainable and responsible business in the country. Among the ecological projects launched by GS Group are forest preservation and waste recycling activities at Technopolis GS, the holding’s innovation cluster in the Kaliningrad region. The environmental initiatives carried out by Technopolis GS this year were a success. First Carton Factory operating within the cluster collected over 6 tons of paper waste in just one day in two small towns of the Kaliningrad region. The paper material assembled by the factory was dispatched for processing.
GS Group has ambitious plans for the next coming year. They involve all businesses and competences of the holding. Concerning the main international vectors, GS Group is to launch the number of international broadcasting projects and is looking to take on many countries in Asia as well as other parts of the world. The holding company is searching and investing in the most ambitious and interesting start-ups and in development of innovative enterprises aimed at domestic and foreign markets.