Acer aims for 20% growth next year

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on January 09, 2018

Chandrahas Panigrahi, CMO, Acer India

Banks on replacement sales, gaming devices

Laptop and PC maker Acer India is looking at 20 per cent growth in revenues in 2018. Replacement sales and increasing demand for specialised devices like gaming laptops, hold the key to the company’s numbers.

According to Chandrahas Panigrahi, CMO and Consumer Business Head, Acer India, 18-20 million units (laptops) are expected to be up for replacement in 2018. These typically include devices bought between 2013 and 2015.

While people tend to hold on to laptops, PCs and notebooks — compared with smartphones which are changed more frequently — demand for new form factors such as ultra-thins, thin n’ light and detachables or two-in-one, and are expected to drive the replacement sale market.

According to research firm Gartner, business PC shipments are estimated to return to growth (of around 0.8 per cent) by the end of 2017, driven by faster Windows 10 replacement in many regions.

Panigrahi is also betting on the rise in laptop/PC gamers in the country. At present, there are some 3 million-odd “casual gamers” in the country who Acer would target with offerings .

“We are looking at 20 per cent growth in revenues in 2018 (Acer follows a calendar year for accounting purposes). While on the consumer side, replacement sales are expected to drive PC shipments, we do see PC gaming as an opportunity, with casual gamers becoming serious ones,” he told BusinessLine.

PC market outlook

India’s traditional PC market is on a rebound. For the third quarter this year (July-September), shipments stood at 3.03 million units, with 72.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) growth and 20.5 per cent growth over the same period last year, according to IDC’s latest Quarterly Personal Computing Devices Tracker.

Even after excluding large education projects of over 10,000 units, the market still grew 10.9 per cent year-on-year (YoY).

The consumer PC market was 1.51 million units in Q3 2017, which was 9.5 per cent higher compared with the same period last year and a growth of 85.4 per cent Q-o-Q. The commercial PC market registered 1.52 million units in Q3. Large education projects improved the commercial PC market share from 45.2 per cent a year ago to 50.2 per cent in Q3 2017.

Q4 numbers may take the sheen off with reduced consumer spending, but market sources expect the excitement around gaming PCs and price drops after GST, to remain important factors for the consumer segment.

Moreover, major deals in the commercial segment, backed by education projects across various States and spending from BFSI and IT/ITeS verticals, will aid the increasing contribution of the commercial segment.

Ramping up portfolio

Panigrahi hopes the company will have the first-mover advantage in the gaming segment with offerings priced ₹50,000 onwards. The company is also witnessing increasing demand from small and medium businesses, especially post the rollout of GST. Demand, sources say, has grown 20 per cent.

Accordingly, the PC-maker has tied-up with Tally to make its devices (sold to SMBs) GST-ready (by installing the software). A 20 per cent jump in demand has been witnessed from these businesses.

It has also gone for exchange offers and EMIs to draw customers.

Published on December 28, 2017

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