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‘PCs, not smartphones, to make India a knowledge powerhouse’

New Delhi, Jan 31: There are close to a billion mobile phone connections in India today, yet this so-called digital revolution has not ebled children to receive state-of-the-art education, youth to get skilled and find new-age jobs, or the country to create more intellectual property. Countries globally have realised that creativity, education and employability require devices with greater intelligence than mobiles — and those machines still happen to be persol computers (PCs) and laptops, a top executive from global printing and persol computer major HP Inc. said in a free-wheeling interview here. “At the moment, the penetration of PCs is just eight per cent in India. Other countries are well ahead and are becoming ‘knowledge capitals’ by taking PCs and laptops to the last man in the queue. If we want India to become a knowledge powerhouse, we have to migrate towards larger devices and they are PCs and laptops,” said Rajiv Srivastava, Maging Director, HP India.
There is, of course, a sense of awareness about this in government circles. However, much has to be done at a time when global PC shipments have been declining consistently for more than eight quarters, although gaining in India, albeit slowly. According to the latest figures from the Intertiol Data Corporation (IDC), the overall PC shipment for the third quarter of 2016 stood at 2.51 million units in India — a quarter-on-quarter growth of 17.3 per cent over the second quarter of 2016. The overall consumer PC market recorded 1.37 million units, a quarter-on-quarter growth of 31 per cent over the second quarter of 2016.
HP Inc has maintained the top spot in the Indian PC market with an overall market share of 28.8 per cent. “You will not become a knowledge powerhouse wielding a smartphone. You will become a knowledge powerhouse through consumption of far more intelligent data, churning and working on that data and innovating through knowledge devices,” Srivastava emphasised. The PC industry overall has either been stagnt or moving up and down margilly for quite some time.
“Firstly, we maged to grow because of our strong focus on products which are relevant for India. We launched several devices in tune with the government requirements,” Srivastava said. The second strategy that helps HP Inc is its go-to-market approach. Not just the top 10 cities, the company is equally focussed on gaining a foothold in smaller towns, both through partners and opening more retail stores.
“We have our own franchise called HP World. We have got 450 of these and plan to reach 1,000 by the end of this year. In the multi-brand outlets, we may go from 2,000 to 3,000 by the end of year and then 5,000 outlets in the course of next two-three years,” Srivastava said.  (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita