While PC continues to be critical for work and learn, there is an increased interest on the gaming, creation and entertainment segments.
Changes such as remote work, learning and entertainment (OTT and gaming) have put the spotlight on PC and print products and solutions. “This is visible in the transition from ‘One PC per family’ to ‘One PC per person’,” says Ketan Patel, managing director, HP India Market. “This is the beginning of a shift in consumer trend that will continue for years to come,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interview. Excerpts:
Give us an update on HP’s performance in recent months and business outlook for India operations for FY 21-22.
Our differentiated portfolio, efficient operational execution and disciplined pricing placed us on a robust note as we began FY21. These factors and our market leadership equips us with resilience to navigate the prevalent environment.
Consistent product innovation, a revamped PC and print product portfolio makes us optimistic about the future. We have also expanded our retail presence with 580 HP World stores that includes addition of more than 50 stores in recent quarters. HP has been successful in creating seamless cohesion between the offline and online channel ecosystem and that is helping us serve our partners and customers better.
While PC continues to be critical for work and learn, there is an increased interest on the gaming, creation and entertainment segments. We expect sustained demand for PC from all segments through the year ahead. On the print side, online learning ramped up demand for home print solutions. However, we expect office print solution to see a huge uptick as offices reopen.
What is the current India-specific trend in the PC market?
Changes such as remote work, learning and entertainment (OTT and gaming) have put the spotlight on PC and print products and solutions. This is visible in the transition from ‘One PC per family’ to ‘One PC per person’. This is the beginning of a shift in consumer trend that will continue for years.
Similarly, the shift to hybrid work has made enterprise security, device management as well as end-terminal capabilities crucial. Our portfolio of business laptops and printers are hybrid-work ready with safety features incorporated at a hardware level to prevent sanctity and security of critical information. Besides enterprises, rampant digitisation by SMBs is driving PC growth in India. HP’s recent SMB study shows more than 75% of SMBs rank digital transformation as key to recovery from the pandemic.
Digital reskilling of workforces will also be a core need in the changed environment of the future. HP is working on various skilling initiatives across India and we are willing to partner the government and private enterprises on new skill development initiatives.
What is the latest development in future of gaming, hybrid learning and future of work?
Technology has sustained the work, learn and play needs of human life over the past 18 months. While online gaming has become mainstream, PC gaming in particular, has witnessed strong growth recently. As per the latest ‘HP India Gaming Landscape Report 2021′, 88% respondents believe that PC offers a better gaming experience than smartphones. 37% mobile gamers indicated they would migrate to PC for a much better experience. Breaking stereotypes, most gamers now consider gaming a viable career option.
The future of learning will be a hybrid between physical classrooms and online learning. PCs and printers are critical to effective hybrid learning. Curriculum delivery and learning management systems will be crucial in a distributed classroom. Besides essential IT hardware, HP provides worksheets to lakhs of young students free of cost under its Print Learn initiative. Recently, we introduced AI powered solutions that help educational institutions transition to a digital learning environment.
Now, most companies are expected to follow a hybrid work model. The home will be the new workplace and offices will become a place to collaborate. Companies are upgrading their IT infrastructure to enable remote working capabilities. With the shift to remote working, outcome based solutions is now an imperative.
As the pandemic situation improves, the onus is on enterprises to handhold the SMBs. How is HP doing on that front?
Although the pandemic had an adverse impact on SMBs and MSMEs, the future looks optimistic. We believe the learning from the pandemic will drive resilience across SMBs to become more digitally focused. HP will always support the SMB and MSME communities through focused products, customized solutions and services. As a workaround accessible capital, we initiated the Device as a Service (DaaS) offering in the business-ready laptop range.