BOOST­ING PC PEN­E­TRA­TION

Nearly 90 per­cent of In­di­ans have no ac­cess to a PC, and yet sales con­tinue to de­cline while lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers strug­gle. What's wrong? How do we set things right?

CRN - - FRONT PAGE - RAM­DAS S

While the PC mar­ket is de­clin­ing glob­ally, and sev­eral ma­ture economies are see­ing a de­cline in their IT mar­kets, In­dia is still to re­al­ize the true po­ten­tial of IT. Since less than 10 per­cent of its pop­u­la­tion has ac­cess to a PC, In­dia ranks the low­est among even coun­tries with sim­i­lar so­cio-eco­nomic char­ac­ter­is­tics—lower than even coun­tries such as Sri Lanka and Viet­nam. The other BRIC coun­tries too are much ahead of In­dia with Brazil at 45 per­cent, Rus­sia at 57 per­cent and China at 35 per­cent.

An es­ti­mated 80 per­cent of In­dian IT chan­nels are di­rectly de­pen­dent on the for­tunes of the PC mar­ket. “Many re­tail­ers and re­sellers have been hit hard over the past few quar­ters be­cause of the slow­down in the PC mar­ket. While we have been rec­om­mend­ing that they switch to sell­ing tablets and smart­phones, many have not been able to make the tran­si­tion suc­cess­fully,” says Suresh Pansari, MD, Rashi Pe­riph­er­als.

Ac­cord­ing to es­ti­mates by the All Ker­ala IT Deal­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (AKITDA), the chan­nels pro­vide em­ploy­ment to nearly 4,00,000 people, many be­long­ing to the lower eco­nomic strata of so­ci­ety. “A grow­ing IT in­dus­try and a healthy PC mar­ket are es­sen­tial for the sur­vival of many in the part­ner ecosys­tem. Un­for­tu­nately, we are so frag­mented that our col­lec­tive voice does not reach the de­ci­sion-mak­ers,” says Toshy Mathew, Vice Pres­i­dent, AKITDA.

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