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Lenovo set for India market

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DQW Bureau
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At the beginning of this calendar year, I had made a few predictions for

2005. The first prediction was "IBM in its new avatar as Lenovo, will

demolish all competitors in PC business in India". Now that six months of

the year are already over, I am more than certain that this was a fairly

accurate prediction.

Yes, the initial momentum is a little slow but that was to be expected, as

the new entity led by Neeraj Sharma had to get its act together. Now that things

are in place, Lenovo will be the one to watch out for in the PC market as it not

only has the requisite brand value but also the low cost base of China to back

it up.

Incidentally, IBM had a PC manufacturing facility in Pondicherry, which has

also been transferred to Lenovo. So, it would be interesting to see whether

Lenovo keeps this facility going or junks it. I would put my money on the later

happening. One indication to this effect came recently from a senior Lenovo

executive who said the viability of the plant is assessed every year.

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Plant or no plant, Lenovo is sure to give all its competitors a run for their

money. Already, its sales and channel team is in place, has more than a thousand

business partners, and has opened five new Thinkpad service centers in

Chandigarh, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi and Lucknow. In addition, drop off and pick up

centers have been established at a number of places including Baroda, Bhopal,

Coimbatore, Guwahati, Mysore, Nagpur, Surat, Pondicherry, Vizag etc.

Overall, India, represents the biggest business opportunity for Lenovo as the

PC market here is growing at a much faster rate than any other country in the

world including China, where Lenovo already commands two-thirds of the market

covering all segments. In addition, it has been the number-one PC vendor in

China for eight consecutive years and the best-selling PC vendor in Asia-Pacific

(excluding Japan).

So, Lenovo will continue to focus on innovation and quality and on growing

the existing ThinkPad, ThinkCentre and ThinkVision line of products besides

assessing new offerings and market segments for the future in India.

Interestingly, Lenovo India will follow IBM Personal Computing Division and

Lenovo's current product roadmap for the next 18 months. The product portfolio

will include notebooks, desktops, LCD monitors and mobile devices. And its

strategy will be high-quality products, world-class service and constant

innovation at very competitive prices.

As far as channel strategy is concerned, Lenovo will continue to remain both

direct and through the channel network with a clear focus on being channel

centric. IBM Business Partners will now be Lenovo Business Partners. In

addition, Lenovo will also continue the blue-chip programs that the business

partners are familiar with and have had success with in the past.

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