We are now targetting premium consumer categories like gaming: HP Inc India MD Rajiv Srivastava

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Published: February 27, 2017 3:16:54 AM

Gaming in India has seen rapid expansion and adoption in the recent times, says Rajiv Srivastava, managing director, HP Inc India.

Rajiv Srivastava, MD, HP Inc India, Rajiv Srivastava, gaming-specialised devices, Gaming in India, OMEN gaming portfolio, IDC data, Gaming technology, HP strategy, gamers in India, PC gamingGaming in India has seen rapid expansion and adoption in the recent times, says Rajiv Srivastava, managing director, HP Inc India.

Gaming in India has seen rapid expansion and adoption in the recent times, says Rajiv Srivastava, managing director, HP Inc India. Not just serious gamers, but also a large and growing community of casual gaming enthusiasts have been driving the demand for gaming-specialised devices.

HP Inc was created in November 2015 as one of two successors of the old Hewlett-Packard, the other being Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Last week, HP introduced its OMEN gaming portfolio in the country; it is powered with sharp designs, virtual reality-tuned notebooks and desktops with powerful graphics. “Being the leaders in the PC category, we are now leveraging our market and product leadership and targeting premium consumer categories like gaming,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interaction. Excerpts:

What is the strategy behind launching a gaming portfolio?
It has been over a year since the split from HPE. The separation has made us amazingly focused. It has not only helped us strengthen our business strategy but also ensure the product strategy is up to date and we are up to the mark as far as innovation and new product development is concerned. Our value proposition as an individual entity is stronger, more robust and much more secure for the customers. This has enabled us to position ourselves as the best PC and print company. We have a leading position in every single product we provide in the world and especially in India, as is attested by the latest IDC data.

Having said that, there are some attractive consumer segments like premium and convertibles (2-in-1s), where we are growing at a rapid rate and we are focused on competing in other consumer segments that have a potential to grow. One such segment is gaming. The potential market for gaming has emerged over time and its growing popularity can be attributed to the new digital generation. Hence, as part of our strategy to reinvent personal systems, we are introducing a unified gaming portfolio based on OMEN by HP to meet the needs of gamers.

Internationally, the OMEN by HP gaming portfolio was launched in the middle of last year. Why did it take so long to bring it to India?
As per industry estimates, the Indian digital gaming market is likely to grow at a CAGR of 13.8% from R26.5 billion in 2015 to R50.7 billion in 2020. Moreover, we have learnt extensively about the expectations and demands of the Indian gaming enthusiast and we feel this is the right time to introduce a gaming portfolio. Our devices have been engineered to deliver a great experience while also allowing gamers the flexibility to choose the level of performance and design that fits their needs. We will continue to bring more innovative and technologically advanced products that will amaze our customers each time in India.

How does it fit in with the overall HP strategy?
Being the leaders in the PC category, we are now leveraging our market and product leadership and targeting premium consumer categories like gaming. After making the world’s best personal computing systems, we now want to expand vigorously in newer categories such as gaming and leverage our strengths to expand into new growth markets and capture natural adjacencies. Our leadership in the PC category is supported by a strong retail and after sales support network which will provide an end-to-end experience to our customers, existing and potential.

How does HP gaming devices cater to the diverse needs of gamers, be it amateurs or professionals?
Gamers can be categorised into three basic groups: enthusiasts, performance-centric and mainstream. We are addressing a segment that desires great specifications to play games and so we invested in brilliant graphics, power and performance for notebooks appealing to the performance gamer. These are gamers who wish to play without necessarily breaking a bank. OMEN by HP is for gamers who need their PC to deliver a great experience while also allowing them the flexibility to choose the level of performance and design that fits their needs.

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What products will be part of the gaming portfolio and what will be the pricing range?
The OMEN by HP portfolio includes a 15.6-inch display and 17.3-inch display laptops priced at R79,990 and R1,39,990, respectively. We plan to make the OMEN Desktop available at all retailers on March 15 at a starting price of R1,39,990. The OMEN by HP accessories include a keyboard worth R9,999, a headset for R7,499, a mouse for R5,499 and a mouse pad for R2,199.

Latest reports indicate that mobile gaming is more popular than PC gaming. How do you plan to tackle that market need?
We understand the needs of a gamer and the OMEN by HP portfolio aims to address them at all levels. The new OMEN platform offers the features gamers rely on—power for battling on the go, graphics for smooth gameplay, great storage and advanced thermal cooling to tackle the latest games. The portfolio comes packed with high quality accessories in partnership with SteelSeries.

At the same time, we are not competing with the mobile gaming market. We have a completely different audience—gamers who look for the best machines delivering outstanding performance, great controls and brilliant graphics.

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