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Business News/ Markets / Commodities/  India PC market to double in 5 years if economy target met: HP's Dasgupta
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India PC market to double in 5 years if economy target met: HP's Dasgupta

PC shipments fell 6.6% year-on-year to 13.9 million units in 2023, including all laptop and desktop sales to consumers and enterprises, due to a post-pandemic lull since PCs are not refreshed as frequently as smartphones.

HP India's MD says there is an uptick in consumer demand already, and demand should particularly pick up pace post-elections. (Bloomberg)Premium
HP India's MD says there is an uptick in consumer demand already, and demand should particularly pick up pace post-elections. (Bloomberg)

NEW DELHI : New Delhi: India’s personal computers (PC) market of desktops and laptops, which experienced a lull last year due to a post-pandemic sales decline, could double in the next five years if the country's economic targets are met, said Ipsita Dasgupta, senior vice-president and managing director of HP India.

Speaking about a dip in demand for PCs and the way forward for the upcoming year, Dasgupta said, “The consumer market has been a bit up-and-down. But nobody discards their PCs, so the comeback on demand doesn't concern me. We are starting to see an uptick in consumer demand already, and demand should particularly pick up pace post-elections. The last two quarters of this financial year should be good for us, and we’ll double the total addressable market (TAM) size in the next five years if our economic targets are on track."

Dasgupta joined HP India in 2023, a year when PC shipments fell 6.6% year-on-year to 13.9 million units, including all laptop and desktop sales to consumers and enterprises, due to a post-pandemic lull since PCs are not refreshed as frequently as smartphones. HP retained the top PC brand in India, with a 31.5% market share, as per data published on 20 February by market researcher IDC.

To continue growing, Dasgupta underlined the education sector as a key area that could fuel PC adoption across the country. “We’ve not done a great job as a tech and education sector, as well as a country, to think through the real value proposition at hand. The government and associated parties all agree that this needs to be figured out. But, we haven't really thought it through. Right now, we’re thinking about generating work, but if we talk about numbers—in terms of the economy, SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) and other industries growing, many of them are rethinking the way we do everything. The PC could be pivotal to all of this," she said.

The lack of PCs in schools is also a key area that is currently flat in India’s education sector, Dasgupta said. “Even today, students at top Indian schools spend hardly two hours a week with a PC in school. In the US, students have been spending all their studying hours with computers for decades now. With this, we’re creating a disadvantage for our students across all socio-economic strata. We have some of the highest quantitative capabilities in the world, but we’re not accessing technology that would make us more productive," she added.

To do this, HP is in talks with government-backed skilling initiatives at state government levels, and is initiating pilots to increase PC adoption in schools. This could lead to considerable growth impetus for the brand, said Tarun Pathak, research director at market researcher Counterpoint India.

“The education sector and governments are a key market for HP to grow in India. They have a strong brand placement by virtue of their localization efforts, as well as being an established US brand working in India for years. This should help their overall business—at present, HP remains the top brand in the commercial segment as well," Pathak said.

HP’s commercial device shipments in India, as per IDC data, grew 33.6% y-o-y, thus becoming the fastest-growing single segment for HP’s India business.

Going forward, Dasgupta said that the company could achieve its business aims if India remains on track with its economic targets. “Projections expect India to be a $6.7 trillion economy by 2031. Even if we miss this mark, we’ll still be close to a $6 trillion economy. Devices that generate work will have to expand organically, and there will be multiple PCs in a single household in affluent societies. To enable this, we’re looking to tap unmet demand through accessibility and affordability—which includes financing schemes, too. We’ll make announcements on this soon," she said.

HP India has also been approved for the central government’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, Dasgupta said, adding that while the company already manufactures a “significant portion of commercial PCs through a contract manufacturing partner in Chennai," it has further plans to scale up local manufacturing in the coming quarters.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shouvik Das
Shouvik Das is a science, space and technology reporter for Mint and TechCircle. In his previous stints, he worked at publications such as CNN-News18 and Outlook Business. He has also reported on consumer technology and the automobile sector.
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Published: 03 Apr 2024, 07:06 PM IST
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