PC-maker Lenovo is betting on tablet PCs to drive up sales among small and medium businesses (SMBs)

The company will soon launch a range of Windows 8-powered tablets for the SMB segment, and will also launch customised apps for them, Mr Rajiv Rao, Director-SMB Business, Lenovo India said. The company will tie-up with service providers and vendors to develop these apps, besides launching its own app-store targeting SMBs, Mr Rao said.

According to him, tablets in the SMB segment are yet to take off, and 2013 could be an inflection point for the segment, driven partly by the launch of Windows 8. “A lot of activity is also happening in the Android and Apple space with specified use for SMBs,” he added. Lenovo also has plans to launch ultrabooks for SMBs, Mr Rao said.

The company had hived off its SMB business as a separate unit two years back and is now focusing on increasing sales from the division. Lenovo has, for instance, launched an ‘Edge’ range of products under its ‘Think PC’ series that are customised for SMBs.

Lenovo’s SMB division has grown from 2.6 per cent market share two years ago to 6.7 per cent last year, Mr. Rao said. The company has sold about 40,000 PCs and laptops in the last two quarters and gets about 10 per cent of its revenues from SMBs.

The company is now working towards driving this up to 27 per cent, which is the share from SMBs in the overall personal computing market in India.

“From an SMB perspective, we have not been very visible in the past. This year, we expect to be far more visible in the end-customer space and among channel partners,” Mr Rao said.

The company recently opened a ‘Think’ retail store in Pune selling products customised for SMBs, and is planning to launch more such stores in strong SMB areas like Coimbatore and Surat, Mr Rao said.

The company will also increase its partners, redistributors’ base and value-added resellers’ base. “We are also investing heavily in advertising and promotions and in training internal members and partners,” Mr Rao said.