Four consecutive quarters of growth in the PC industry, resurgence in consumer demand and rapid emergence of the small business market have propelled computer maker Dell, overtaking Hewlett-Packard (HP), to the top in India's fastgrowing notebook computer market besides helping it consolidate its second place in the overall PC market. In the last calendar year, the company crossed $1 billion in revenues here—perhaps the fastest tech MNC to cross this mark— hired top managers to bolster weak businesses and embarked on a string of ad campaigns to win share in a competitive and fragmented market.
According to technology researcher IDC, the Indian market recorded a strong 25 per cent year-on-year expansion (in volume terms) in the final quarter of 2009 to 19.7 lakh units. And Dell capitalised on the robust consumer demand. In particular, it was the white-hot notebook market that drove its growth. IDC estimates that the notebook market grew over 50 per cent in the fourth quarter of the last calendar to 6.9 lakh units.
|Data for Q4, 2009. Source: IDC|
"We have done a lot of things in the last five or six quarters," says Sameer Garde, India Head for Dell. "We've launched around 15-17 new products, increased service centres from two to 14 and critically entered the (indirect) sales channel a few quarters ago." The last move has helped Dell reach over 300 towns, through 5,000 partners—a reach it didn't have until early 2008.
Consequently, Dell has for the first time upended HP in the notebook market, with a 26.3 per cent share in the segment, (compared to HP's 24.8 per cent). This was a sharp rise from its 22 per cent market share in the previous quarter (Q3), while HP tumbled significantly from its share of 27 per cent then. "Dell's ascent can be attributed to its consistent marketing efforts over the previous quarters," says Sumanta Mukherjee, Lead PC Analyst, IDC India.
"Availability of a wide product portfolio and branding helped Dell connect with ‘Gen X' buyers—students as well as young executives." Analysts say that a strong revival in Dell's key markets, especially large enterprises—backed by the release of Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010—helped Dell gain strong traction in the notebook market.