While several industries reel under the COVID-19 lockdown impact in India, PC and laptop majors like HP and Lenovo have seen a massive surge in bulk buying from corporates and enterprises to keep their workforce stay home, safe and connected.
Chromebooks and business laptops started disappearing from the shelves even before the 21-day lockdown was announced from March 24 midnight, as millions of Indians across the spectrum began working from home as corona-positive cases began emerging from various offices from early March.
A Lenovo spokesperson quoted in media that there has been an uptick in demand for laptops and other accessories in the social distancing times.
“Inevitably, given the rise in the need for remote and flexible working from businesses around the world, we have seen an increase in demand for laptops and supporting accessories,” said the spokesperson.
Industry insiders informed that HP Inc has also seen a huge demand and its work-from-home products have been sold out in the country.
“Chromebooks have seen the most demand as the data is stored on the Cloud and is safe for the companies from the cybersecurity point of view. HP Chromebooks/business laptops were bought in bulk across industries, majorly by the IT giants,” the industry sources mentioned.
Even during the lockdown, PC and print majors have been given special permission by the government to supply supporting accessories like cartridges, toners and hard disks etc, to hospitals (to record and maintain COVID-19 data), banks and other essential services to keep their operations going on seamlessly.
According to Thomas George, President, CyberMedia Research (CMR), there has been a significant increase in the sale and renting of laptop PCs due to the work-from-home situation.
“This trend is witnessed across the sectors. However, large organisations are placing fresh orders as they provision and enable an entire process or team to work remotely. For example, an IT services major was rolling out 4,000-5,000 laptops daily to the employees in order to work from home,” George stated.
On the back of its strength in managing complex supply chains, Lenovo India is aiming to double its PC shipment volume in the financial year 2020-21 and log 15 per cent year-over-year revenue growth during that period despite the challenges brought about by the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to Rahul Agarwal, CEO and MD, Lenovo India.
“Lenovo is leveraging its geographical balance, operational excellence and strength in managing complex supply chains across a global manufacturing footprint, and solid strategy execution in order to weather the challenges,” Agarwal told IANS late last month.
The PC, print and laptop majors are now facing the supply issue as demand is still coming from all quarters, and hope to address this as soon as the lockdown is cleared.
“There will be supply and demand gap occurring due to the restrictions around component import under current circumstance and it will push the prices further up,’ said George.
India’s traditional PC market saw a six-year high with 11 million shipments of desktops, notebooks and workstations in 2019 — an impressive 18.1 per cent year-over-year (YoY) growth, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).
“In absence of any fresh mega-deal, lingering concerns around component shortage, and supply uncertainties due to recent novel coronavirus outbreak, it would be difficult for vendors to maintain this level of growth in 2020,” said Jaipal Singh, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India.