HP Plans To Expand Distribution Network

New Delhi: | Updated: Jan 24 2003, 05:30am hrs
Hewlett-Packard India Ltd (HPI) has announced the launch of a high-end notebook Compaq Presario 2830, priced at Rs 1.7 lakh. Also, to consolidate its retail presence, the company plans to expand its distribution network from 450 retail outlets (which sell HPI products dominantly) to 1,000 outlets by the year-end.

Formula-I driver Narain Karthikeyan receiving a compaq presario notebook from Ravi Swaminathan, VP, HP India Ltd. in New Delhi
Claimed to be the fastest in the category, the notebook comes with specifications like Intel Pentium-4 processors, 2 Ghz 60 Gb HDD with a CDRW plus DVD combo. With the new launch, HPI has eight products each in the personal segment (addressed by brand Compaq Presario in the price range of Rs 70,000-Rs 1.7 lakh) and corporate segment (with brand Compaq Evo priced at Rs 77,000-Rs 1.7 lakh).

The Compaq brand has maintained its lead in the Indian notebook market currently at around 38,830 units a year for the eighth consecutive quarter (including two quarters following the global merger of Compaq and HPI). In a market marked by the presence of IBM, Dell, Toshiba, and Acer, the marketshare of HPIs Compaq notebooks have jumped from 31 per cent to around 35 per cent now.

Speaking to the Financial Express HPI product spokesperson Rajiv Grover: The notebook sales have been driven by factors like lower-price points notebooks used to sell upwards of Rs 1 lakh a couple off years ago and the adoption of AMD chips (it started adopting AMD-chips April-2002 and has now four notebook SKUs with AMD-chips).

Commenting on the association with motor racing star Narain Karthikeyan, HPI vice-president (Personal Systems Group) Ravi Swaminathan said: Globally Hewlett Packard brand has close association with Formula Motor Racing. At the moment, however, Mr Karthikeyan is not HPI brand ambassador.

Currently, Mr Karthikeyan endorses three brand JK Tyre, Kingfisher Premium, and Tata. Battery brand Amrons contract with Mr karthikeyan is pending renewal.

Says Mr Karthikeyan: My agency in London is in talks with HPI. I hope to make a comeback (after an accidental injury few months ago which affected his championship ratings) in the motoring season beginning March 2003.

Even as HPI pursues two-brand strategy for notebooks, in the desktop product segment, it will have one brand for desktops Compaq.