Lenovo Bets on India for Growth

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“As the Number 1 PC maker in Education in India and globally, we are committed to enhancing learning via our platform of PC solutions designed for students,” says Rahul Agarwal – Executive Director, Commercial Business, Lenovo India

Tell us about Lenovo’s plans for Indian market. What is the next milestone for Lenovo as far as the Indian operations are concerned?

Reports by IDC (Asia Pacific PC shipment tracker, Q2, 2012) suggest that Lenovo still leads the overall PC market in India with a market share of 17.1 percent. We will continue to work towards further growing and sustaining the momentum in the Indian market through our highly successful – Protect and Attack strategy. As a part of this strategy, we aim to protect our key business, which is Enterprise, and simultaneously attack market opportunities to drive hyper growth in the Consumer and SMB business. We aim to extend the lead of the Enterprise Business into government and education businesses, especially with projects such as Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT), and will bid for similar projects in near future. We also achieved another significant milestone in India this year, with the successful opening of 1000 Lenovo Exclusive Stores (LES). We are bringing in some of the best designed PCs, investing high on building a powerful brand and supplementing it with a robust retail experience.

There is rapid rate of obsolesce in the personal computer industry. What are you doing to ensure that your devices are always up to date?

Given the fact that there is rapid rate of obsolesce in the personal computer market, Lenovo continues to invest in developing innovative products that will help drive the convergence of these technologies and services across all four screens – smartphones, tablets, PCs and smart TV – delivering a great user experience that allows for the enjoyment of content across all platforms. Accordingly, we will modify our offerings in the personal computer segment with ultra portables and tablets to remain relevant to customers. For instance, we recently launched the Lenovo U310 and U410 ultra portable notebooks in India and have received great feedback from customers. We also made our foray in the tablet segment and launched two tablets, the Lenovo A1 and K1 tablets for the consumer segment last year. We will also be launching new products based on the latest- 3rd generation – Ivy Bridge chip sets from Intel shortly. Lenovo’s latest Ultrabooks, Tiny form factor desktops and tablet devices illustrate ThinkPad’s innova tions in 20 years of leading the PC technology industry, because we understand that customers value product quality and reliability above everything else. Innovation is the key to success and constant evolution in the design of products is what really makes Lenovo stand out in the market as its leading PC vendor.

Tell us about your best selling laptops in the Indian market.

All our notebooks are doing well in the market, though trends indicate that notebooks in the price range of INR 35-40,000 are sold in larger numbers in India. We also saw excellent demand and feedback on our recently launched consumer Ultrabook range and plan to extend the product portfolio to our enterprise customers in the near future. Our Thinkbrand range of products continue to evoke tremendous respect and demand among enterprise customers.

These days many vendors are launching cheaper handheld tablets that are mainly meant for students. Is Lenovo planning to enter the Indian educational space through its devices?

The education industry worldwide as well as in India, is rapidly evolving to become more student-centric and this is an opportune time for solution providers to leverage this opportunity. As the Number 1 PC maker in Education in India and globally, we are committed to enhancing learning via our platform of PC solutions designed for students. At the end of the day, customers (students and their families alike) will want a device that is able to handle their computing needs with ease. We anticipate the demand to only grow bigger as more and more schools are expected to adopt technology solutions including mobile computing products in the next 5 years. We have already introduced a range of computing devices for the education sector in the form of our tablets (Lenovo A1 and K1) as well as other notebooks like the Lenovo Classmate+ PCs and Think Centre Tiny Desktops (M72e and M92p). The new range of products will aid students with easy access to class materials and other resources that expand the classroom virtually beyond the school walls for a more dynamic learning experience.

What kind of policies should the government come up with to further increase the size and scope of the Indian computing market?

A McKinsey report predicts that over the next 2 decades, India’s middle class will grow from 5 percent of the population to 40 percent. With the 2nd largest population in the world, the growth opportunity for Lenovo is tremendous since the market penetration for PCs in India is around 7 percent only. It is definitely heartening to see education and information technology at the top of the agendas in political manifestos. We expect that demand from the government, ITeS, BFSI and educational sector will continue to drive PC adoption in India. The Indian PC industry needs a firm impetus not only on the infrastructure and manufacturing front, but also in areas like tax and legal systems. We welcome the initiative by the Indian government to encourage firms to set up electronics manufacturing units in the country by setting aside Rs 30,000 crore worth of incentives and subsidies. Start-ups and established manufacturers alike will benefit from the government’s decision to set up electronic manufacturing clusters and tax sops will go a long way in improving the size of the Indian computing market.

What is the future of personal computing? What kind of personal computing devices will we have, let’s say, 10 years from today?

We believe in a PC+ era where PCs will sit at the heart of an ecosystem that includes tablets, smart phones, ultra portables, other smart connected devices, as well as all major operating systems, chipsets, apps and cloud-delivered services. With the new trend of consumerisation of IT, we see that many consumers now opt for mobile computing devices like Ultrabooks and Tablets compared to traditional desktop PCs. However, we believe that the traditional PC will not be replaced.

People still want a real keyboard and larger screen. We believe that cutting edge designs on innovative products like the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga hybrid PCs will be the preferred computing devices in the near future and such devices will set the standard for their convertible form factor that combines the best of the tablet and the Ultrabook PC.

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