While there is a general sense that PCs are being replaced by smartphones, the actual data coming out from India does not agree with this. As per IDC report for the third quarter of 2017, the Indian PC market witnessed growth of 10.9 percent compared to the same quarter last year, with HP continuing to lead the market with a range of products across productivity and business segments, while catering to the growing demand for gaming and premium models. All this helped the company grow its business 30.2 percent year-over-year. In addition to the Indian market, HP has retained the top spot on the global front as well, and in most major markets except the US. Anurag Arora, head of consumer personal systems, HP India, says that it is consumer feedback and the adoption of industry trends that helped the company continue its success story.
"It has been our endeavour to drive richer emotional connections with customers and create amazing experiences with our innovative products," Arora tells Gadgets 360. HP presently has over 500 HP World stores across India, and the company is expanding its offline presence in multi-brand outlets and LFRs, in addition to strengthening its online reach.
Arora asserts that apart from innovation, it is GST (Goods and Services Tax) that is set to accelerate PC adoption in India. IDC agrees, saying that "partner-focused, consultative training to address SMBs with new GST-ready solutions which was coupled with invoicing software by KPMG" helped HP grow in the Indian market. "We are seeing an increasing adoption amongst traders and MSMEs over the next few quarters as they become increasingly familiar with the tax process," says Arora.
Last month, HP expanded its gaming notebook lineup with the launch of the upgraded Omen series, including the Omen 15 and Omen 17 models. Arora says that smartphones are acting as a catalyst for the gaming revolution, though consumers are also shifting towards PC gaming to get an advanced experience.
"The upsurge on Internet-enabled mobile phones has given a tremendous boost to Indian gaming industry as smartphones are acting as a catalyst for the gaming revolution. More and more consumers are moving to PC gaming for a better and more immersive experience, thereby driving the market share in the PC gaming segment," he says. HP has already captured 25 percent of the total PC gaming market and wants to garner 30 percent share over time.
According to KPMG, the overall gaming market in India is expected to grow steadily at a CAGR of 18.1 percent to reach Rs. 71 billion by 2021. "This growth is primarily driven by Gen Z and the millennials, who are synonymous with gaming," Arora notes.
As AR and virtual reality (VR) are set to take the gaming to new levels in the coming future, HP has adopted these new technologies to deliver an enhanced immersive experience. The Omen 15 and Omen 17 notebooks already brought a sneak peek to the new future by offering compatibility with VR headsets. Arora revealed that HP is also planning to introduce its VR accessories specifically for the Omen lineup to natively deliver the enhanced gaming experience to Indian gamers.
In addition to venturing into the nascent space of VR, HP is working closely with ESL Gaming Network to open new avenues for gamers in India. "We will continue to evaluate market conditions and potential opportunities for any product launch, and basis the consumer feedback coupled with right technology, we will keep introducing existing gaming products to maximise user experience," says Arora.
When asked about its plans for next year, Arora stated that there are plans for some "phenomenal devices" across the existing catalogue. "The year 2018 is going to be very exciting time for us as we are planning to introduce some phenomenal devices across categories," he said.