'As long as ASUS continues to introduce new products into the market, we still have a chance to grow our business in India.'
ASUS bets on gaming, premium products to increase market share in India
India's PC market, which includes desktops, notebooks, and workstations, dipped 30.1% YoY to 2.99 million shipments in Q1 of calendar year 2023
As the demand in the Indian personal computer market dwindles and shipments take a tumble, Taiwanese PC maker ASUS is betting on its gaming and premium segment products.
The firm is also looking to expand its offline retail and manufacturing capabilities in India.
India's PC market, which includes desktops, notebooks, and workstations, dipped 30.1 per cent year on year to 2.99 million shipments in the first quarter of calendar year 2023, according to data from the International Data Corporation.
Asus holds the fifth spot in the Indian PC segment, with a market share of 6.8 per cent during Q1 this year.
The Taipei-headquartered firm is not a contender in the commercial PC segment, with just a 1.2 per cent market share in 2022. However, ASUS is the second biggest player in the consumer segment after HP.
"We are still quite optimistic (despite declining shipments)," Arnold Su, VP - Consumer and Gaming PC, System Business Group, ASUS India, told Business Standard.
"As long as ASUS continues to introduce new products into the market, we still have a chance to grow our business in India," he said.
The company is betting big on its gaming and premium segment offerings to drive growth.
"Our gaming segment is the key value driver for us in the Indian market," Su said.
"Within the gaming segment, the key index is multi-tasking. Consumers want devices that they can use for their daily work, and not just gaming," he added.
In line with this, the company recently announced the ROG Ally, India's first Windows enabled handheld PC console.
According to Su, India's gaming device market increased to 880,000 total units in 2022. About 50 per cent of these, around 440,00 units, were in the premium segment.
This comes at a time when PC market leader HP, which has maintained its top spot in the market since 2016, is also witnessing increasing demand from its gaming and creator economy offerings.
Amid this increasing demand for gaming devices, ASUS says that there has also been a migration of customers towards more premium devices.
The company does not view India as an entry-level market, emphasises Su. Indian consumers, he says, are ready to pay more for better products, with the company's sub-Rs 35,000 (entry-level) segment being its least sought after.
The company's primary market for Indian consumers is the Rs 55,000-Rs 80,000 (mainstream) segment, which accounts for around 30 per cent of the overall sales share.
The PC maker has ramped up investments in its offline channels as well. Currently, the company has 230 exclusive ASUS stores as well as around 4,000-6,000 dealer shops across 400 districts in India.
"We plan to expand our retail footprint to cover all the 750 districts across the country," Su said, adding, "There are still 350 remaining districts. We want to make sure that, for every district, there is at least one retail store which can display ASUS laptops."
ASUS, like many others, is also looking to expand its manufacturing capabilities in India. The company has already started manufacturing consumer notebooks in the country since July this year.
"It will take some time to move the entire supply chain to India, but we have already started.
"Currently, manufacturing in India is still in its initial stages, but we will see this ratio continue to increase over the next two to three years," Su revealed.
The firm is also in talks with the government to boost its manufacturing output in line with the Centre's IT Hardware PLI Scheme 2.0, which has a budgetary outlay of Rs 17,000 crore.
ASUS still sees a massive growth opportunity in the Indian market.
"The PC penetration rate among Indian households is around 12 per cent, which means that 88 per cent of Indian households still don't have a PC," Su said.
"As long as the macroeconomic conditions of India continue to improve, we will see the PC penetration rate increase as well," he adds.
Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com