Lenovo eyes youth, first-time buyers

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on September 29, 2015

Bhaskar Choudhuri (left), Director (Marketing), Lenovo India, with DineshNair, Sub-Regional GM (West and South India), in Bengaluru GRN SOMASHEKAR

Extends the ‘Start up with Lenovo’ campaign to 5 States to boost PC sales

Small town boy Dawood Zafar came to Bengaluru when he was 19, identified an opportunity, and started a company called with five Lenovo laptops.

“I needed a minimum of ₹300 a day to survive in Bengaluru and decided the only way to make money at that age was to start a company that would solve a major problem for people, whose cars break down due to battery failures. Within 2 hours of contacting us online or by telephone, we would deliver and install a battery for them,” Zafar, now 23, told BusinessLine.

He opted for Lenovo laptops as the price points were much lower than competing brands. “I had a very limited budget. However, I am happy to say that Lenovo has delivered on the promise,” said Zafar, whose company offers services in Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune.

Lenovo is targeting the youth, such as Zafar, in Tier 3 and 4 towns pan-India, who are first time buyers of computers, along with school and college goers, small businesses and other young professionals, to grow its market share in PCs.

Marketing campaign

After a successful pilot phase of the ‘Start up with Lenovo’ campaign in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Gujarat launched last November; the PC major has now brought the campaign to Karnataka and is aggressively marketing its PCs in towns that are home to a sub-10 lakh population.

“PCs have become a growth category for us in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Gujarat after we launched the ‘Start up with Lenovo’ campaign; and we have seen our market share increase by 5 per cent from November to the present,” said Bhaskar Choudhuri, Director (Marketing), Lenovo India. “Karnataka has a large youth population; therefore we see immense potential for growing this category in Karnataka, where computer penetration is just 13 per cent, lower than Kerala (16 per cent) and Chandigarh (33 per cent),” he said. Plans are on to ramp up the Lenovo store count from 46 at present to 90 stores in Karnataka by March 2016.

A long term initiative, ‘Start up with Lenovo’ has also been launched in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

“First time buyers contribute to 60 per cent of overall PC sales and SEC C (mid socio-economic) population constituting blue collar workers and under graduates contribute to 30 per cent. We are targeting both these demographics, which will help grow Lenovo PC sales,” said Dinesh Nair, Sub-Regional General Manager (West & South India), Lenovo India. The company is addressing major barriers to PC penetration, such as affordability, poor financing options, inadequate communications/advocacy from PC vendors, and lack of customer-centric product design. A marketing campaign, including print media and on-ground college activities, has been launched in Karnataka, which will be subsequently rolled out to other States.

Telecom tie-ups

Lenovo has tied up with Tata Docomo for Internet access by providing free dongles, and tied up with Bajaj Fin Serv to offer customers an option to take home a laptop with down payment of ₹3,000 for an entry level PC costing ₹22,790, with nine monthly EMIs of ₹2,199 plus a processing fee of ₹749.

Lenovo is currently the number three PC vendor in India, with 18.9 per cent market share. It expects to become the top PC vendor for the quarter ending September 30, 2015 largely because it has won over 50 per cent of the order from ELCOT (Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu Ltd).

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Published on September 29, 2015
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