Tamil Nadu will procure three lakh laptops from Lenovo – making it the single largest deal worldwide for the $21-billion personal technology company. Lenovo is hopeful of supplying the machines on time, despite the global shortage of hard disk drives due to last year's Thailand floods, according to a senior company official of Lenovo India.
The laptop project was one of the major poll promises of the ruling AIADMK Government. The state-run Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (Elcot) issued a global tender seeking rate contract for 9.12 lakh laptops to be supplied in the current financial year. In the first lot, Lenovo will supply three lakh units while other companies such as Acer and HCL too, have a share of the order.
In total, Tamil Nadu plans to provide 68 lakh laptops to students in the State in the next five years. This will cost nearly Rs 10,000 crore to the State Government.
“For us, it is an amazingly significant project. In India, Lenovo was at number three position in the quarter ended September. However, because of Tamil Nadu project, we will be number one for the December quarter alone. The difference between Lenovo and number one is 100,000 units. Last quarter, Lenovo sold 380,000 units in India,” Mr Rajiv Rao, Director – SMB, Lenovo India, toldBusiness Line.
“The Elcot deal is huge and sourcing so many laptops for the project is going to be difficult. We are trying our best to minimise the impact of the shortage. We are also affected by the shortage. The State Government has placed faith in us and it makes sense for Lenovo to do the best to give the units on time.
“We are trying our best to meet the deadline,” he said.
There is a severe shortage of hard disk drives and it is painful for all the manufacturers. The shortage was due to the Thailand floods, which damaged a number of manufacturing units, has disrupted the supply globally of drives, he said.
Mr Rao said that the entire supply of laptops to Tamil Nadu will not come on day one. As Lenovo keeps supplying the laptops, it needs to look at the hard disk drive situation. “As of now, we are secure and will be able to go through the project but we will have to wait and see.”
The free laptop scheme was launched on September 15 — the birth anniversary of the former Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai. Further, distribution of the laptops is likely to commence in a few days, according to a State Government official, who did not want to identified.