Laptops Lead Indian PC Gains

Automation is unlocking high-technology business potential in India.

An accelerated automation drive in Indian companies augurs well for the personal computer (PC) and chip markets in India. Indian computer sales jumped 20 percent in 2007, led by laptops, as more and more companies accelerated automation, according to the survey by the market-research firm IDC India. The growth will continue in the coming years led by government’s automation drive and consumer spending, as falling prices prompt more consumers to log in, IDC India said.

“We expect a compound annual growth rate of 20 percent in personal computers (PC) for the next five years,” IDC India Manager of PC Research Piyush Pushkal said in a press statement. The sales will be driven by increased spending on information technology (IT) by large enterprises, besides greater usage of the technology in education, he said, adding that the government's drive toward automation will further boost PC sales in the country. The consumer PC category is transitioning from desktop-centric to notebook-centric growth, with notebook PC shipments accounting for 27 percent of the total PC share, he said.

Businesses from large banks to small groceries are upgrading computer systems to cut costs and stay competitive, while the government is contributing to PC sales by stepping up automation of its departments, he added.

Let’s splurge

An economy that has expanded at an average annual rate of 8.6 percent in the past four years has put more money in the pockets of urban Indian consumers, who are splurging on consumer durables including mobile phones and computers. Telecommunications, along with consumer electronics, personal computers, office automation, energy devices and medical equipment are expected to drive increased consumption of chips in the country, according to Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh.

As the mobile user base is poised to double over the next five years to touch about 450 million subscribers, about 80 per cent of the demand for mobile handsets will be met from domestic manufacturing, he said. He pointed out that PC penetration touched an all-time record of 7.2 million units in calendar year 2007, as revealed by the Manufacturers Association of Information Technology (MAIT).

With convergence of technologies and increasing broadband connectivity, the need for Internet access for a plethora of services and information will boost sales of PCs to 10 million per annum over the next couple of years. Indian manufacturers will play a significant role, he added.

"There is a lot of expansion happening in the information technology sector; banks are opening new branches and organized retail is coming up," Pushkal said. "That's because of the overall economic growth."

About the author

Uday Lal Pai, udaylalpai@gmail.com, is a freelance journalist based in India.

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