Cashing on digital economy, HP India shifts focus from metro to small towns

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Updated: May 29, 2017 5:14 AM

The US-based technology giant, which now prefers to call itself the world’s largest start-up, sees a tremendous growth opportunity in Tier III cities thanks to data connectivity penetration.

Hewlett-Packard, HP, HP India, Digital India, technology giant, tech company, Ketan Patel, SMBs, Spectre, Elite 360, Elite folio, Elite X2The American tech giant has a Tier III city strategy to cash in on Digital India.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) is shifting its focus from metro cities to small towns, hoping to capitalise on the Digital India wave. The US-based technology giant, which now prefers to call itself the world’s largest start-up, sees a tremendous growth opportunity in Tier III cities thanks to data connectivity penetration. Ketan Patel, senior director—Personal Systems Business, HP India, said that the company is focused on the Digital India movement. “We are focused on creating vertical-specific solutions. We are known for devices, but we will create user workflow-based solutions for specific needs such as command and control centre for smart cities or kiosks for citizen services.”

HP is a well-perceived brand in India, said Patel, attributing the company’s success to multiple “proof points”. “The number one proof point is we recently won the brand trust award (2016) voted by consumers. That gives us confidence that customers have the right trust in us. Number two is our performance in the market, and our share position across various segments—home, small medium businesses (SMBs), enterprise, government, public sector.”

Patel insists that HP has changed the game when it comes to new products, and that comes from innovation in three major pillars—design, security, and collaboration. “In today’s’ environment, you can’t have PCs which do not have cool designs, and we have made a tremendous improvement on that front. The second pillar is making sure that even with whatever looks and feel we are offering, we are making sure security is very strong both for enterprise as well as personal environment,” he adds.

“And finally, collaboration because a lot of our work happens through conference calls via Skype calls, video conferencing etc. We have a product called EliteBook Folio, which can open 180 degrees and act as a speakerphone during a con call. The audio quality by Bang & Olufsen makes sure that the entire room can hear and mic quality is great as well,” he added.

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Patel said HP is focussed on this transformation happening across the workforce. “The workplaces are changing—the new offices are very open, and also work styles are more mobile. We read this entire customer behaviour changes and put that into our innovation platform in our products,” he said. Further, HP focuses on two large segments—home customer and commercial customer. “In the home customer, we are clearly focused around consumer experiences as well as new form factors. We are making sure we change retail experience at the ground level thanks to innovations like convertibles, two-in-ones, touch devices etc,” Patel said. On the commercial side, he said, HP was doubling efforts on its ‘office of the future’ concept.

Accepting that laptops are becoming thinner and lighter and that is the way ahead, Patel said the trend was started by HP with its Spectre x360 laptop, which is claimed to provide up to 14 hours of battery life. Further, he agrees the trend will catch up thanks to workplace transformation. “Response to products like Spectre, Elite 360, Elite folio, Elite X2 is a testimony that this is the way to go. You need to make thinner and lighter machines, but without compromising on processing power or battery,” he said. “Our focus is on innovation with the customer in mind and profit will be an outcome of that.”

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