-
Breaking News
You are here: Home » INTERVIEW » REL sees PC business potential in educational sector

REL sees PC business potential in educational sector

REL sees PC business potential in educational sector

REL sees PC business potential in educational sector

Intro: Strategising its channel structure to be more channel friendly and contributing about 45-50% of Lenovo’s India revenues, Lenovo’s enterprise business known as REL is the largest business vertical for the company. In an exclusive chat with Rahul Agarwal, Executive Director, Commercial Business Segment, Lenovo India, Bhawna Satsangi finds out the strategies REL has developed while dealing with the slowdown in PC market.

What is the present focus of REL in enterprise business?

Lenovo’s Enterprise business is called REL, which is short for relationship, as the name suggests Lenovo believes in building relationships with our customers. Currently, the REL business contributes to about 45-50% in Lenovo India’s revenues. The present focus of REL in enterprise business is:

  • Protect and Attack: Lenovo plans to sustain its REL business with our ‘Protect and Attack’ strategy  which means, Lenovo protect our strengths such as our robust market share in the VLE and LE segment and attack new opportunities, so invest in new business areas like Govt. and Education.
  • Government and Education Deals: There is tremendous scope for growth in the education sector. Lenovo is focussed on participating in key government projects related to e-governance and govt-sponsored education projects.
  • Tablets: Lenovo believes that while tablets will not replace PCs completely, they enhance the total computing experience by enabling greater collaboration and productivity in the enterprise. Lenovo aims at selling 450,000 tablets (consumer + enterprise) in India in the next one year.
  • Channel Programmes: Lenovo relies on its strong relationship with the channel community to extend our reach and believe that partners are a natural extension to our business. Hence, Lenovo offers attractive incentive schemes tailored to tie in with the business objectives of partners and revamped our channel programs so that partners can earn more benefits on achieving targets.

 In a recent study by IDC, the PC market in India has slumped by 8.3% in Q3 2013. How has REL positioned in this scenario and what was your revenue earned for Q3?

 Lenovo agrees that PC market in India has slumped by 8.3% in Q3 2013, but the PC era won’t be dead. There is an increase in demand for tablets due to mobility and Lenovo is well equipped to leverage its industry leading innovation capability to transform the PC for the PC+ era.  You see this in our new family of convertibles that was launched last year.  These products combine the best features of tablets with the full power of a notebook that does the best job of leveraging the touch capability of Windows 8. Lenovo has consistently been the leader in the Enterprise PC business in India (without counting ELCOT deals) for the last 6 consecutive quarters, according to IDC data.

What were the strategies you have developed when the share of other companies has been declining in this slowdown in PC market?

 Lenovo has a very strong product range in the enterprise segment which is second to none. Lenovo constantly strengthens their offering through innovation by introducing new form factors, and adding advanced and award winning product features. Our leadership in Innovation was recognized by a record 50 awards at CES. Our robust portfolio of innovative products (e.g. Yoga tablets, Convertibles, etc.) is differentiating the Company and ensuring the next stage of profitable growth.

Innovation and reliability truly set us apart from our competitors. Our ultimate goal is to use innovation to differentiate Lenovo and become not only a leading PC+ brand, but also one of the most respected technology companies in the world.

With new technologies like BYOD or CYOD are being considered by the enterprises, what future do you foresee for REL?

 

Most changes revolve around enabling employees with mobility and flexibility-based initiatives within the organization. Due to consumerization of IT, Lenovo sees a push and pull based approach to initiatives like BYOD as companies realize that it enhances employee satisfaction and productivity in the enterprise. It is inevitable and Lenovo needs to support the trend by offering increasing number of mobile computing devices for our enterprise customers.

Lenovo is leveraging our industry leading innovation capability to transform the PC for the PC+ era.  You see this in our new family of convertibles that was launched last year.  These products combine the best features of tablets with the full power of a notebook that does the best job of leveraging the touch capability of Windows 8.  This will be a significant area of growth.

Also, Lenovo is seeing amplified interest from our commercial customers, in new form factors like ultraportables and hybrids. In keeping with this, Lenovo recently launched the ThinkPad Yoga, an ultrabook which flips 360 degrees to also serve as a tablet, ThinkPad Helix, an ultrabook with a detachable screen, ThinkPad X1 Carbon, which is a premium business segment ultrabook, and the ThinkCentre TINY, which is the world’s smallest desktop PC, aimed at saving commercial real estate.

What is your channel strategy?

 Lenovo’s channel structure for the enterprise business is driven by the need to develop a core channel partner ecosystem in India – as observed in Lenovo China. Today, 85% of our India business has a channel influence and Lenovo is focused on creating a strong network with nationwide reach, backed by a mutually beneficial professional relationship. Lenovo work with leading national distributors who work with other vendors on behalf of Lenovo India. Until late 2012, we didn’t sell our ThinkPad range of products at Lenovo Exclusive stores but our plan is to increase its availability going forward. We have started investing in increasing the accessibility of the Think products and we have already opened five Think Brand stores in the country for SMBs.

Earlier this year, Lenovo restructured their commercial business into five key verticals as the requirements for the same were unique in many ways. The five verticals were global (Multinationals), very large enterprise (VLE) {for more than 1000 employees}, large enterprise (LE) {for more than 500 employees till 1000}, government and education and we widened our product portfolio to enhance our go to market strategy.

Lenovo now has dedicated managers and realigned partners for each vertical and the results have been favourable. We have done exceptionally well and retained our market leadership in the VLE and LE segments. To help our partners to maximize their growth opportunities, we have set up targets for them depending on the vertical and profile.

 How will you help your partners in growing their business? What are the partner programs you are doing? How are they beneficial to the partners?

 There is tremendous scope for growth in both the education and government sectors. Recent tenders by the Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh governments for supplying laptops to students will undoubtedly increase the requirements for PCs in the country. When Lenovo wins major contracts, we ensure that our partners get the opportunity to tap additional revenues by delivering services and solutions. Even in an order such as ELCOT—where we are billing directly because of credit-line issues and margins, our partners are directly involved in installation, delivery, post-sales support and telephonic support.

Aimed at rewarding channel partners for new business acquisitions as well as incentivizing partners to go the extra mile, Lenovo has announced a unique rewards programme - “Black Knights” – for its channel partners in India. It is our endeavour at Lenovo to create opportunities for our partners, and align our goals with theirs, so that we can jointly accelerate sales and maximize growth. Black Knights has already seen a very encouraging response from our partners, and we are confident that this will help us expand our enterprise reach even further.

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

About Kalpana Singhal

Kalpana Singhal is Co-Founder & Editor in Chief at Techplus Media. She is an Innovative & challenger Entrepreneur who started her journey from corporate communication in early 2001 with I.T. Industry followed by Lead - Editorial at BeautyIndia.in in 2008 . You can follow her on twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>