Despite the disruptions owing to the COVID-19 pandemic on global supply chain, Taiwanese electronics major ASUS expects a surge in demand for laptops in India once the lockdown is lifted, even as the company prepares for a couple of launches in June this year, a top company executive has said.
Due to the nation-wide lockdown that started on March 25, IT hardware production distribution had largely remained shut in India, impacting sales revenue in April. However, much of these activities are set to reopen starting Monday as several restrictions are set to be lifted.
"We do have a slew of launches scheduled in the later half of the year. Quite immediately we are looking forward to a couple of launches from the gaming segment starting June 2020," Arnold Su, Business Head, Consumer & Gaming PC, System Business Group, ASUS India, told IANS in an email interview.
To meet the expected surge in demand for laptops as companies implement "work from home" for their employees education goes online, ASUS India is working on boosting its plans with its current partners like Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm and other e-commerce platforms, while the company also plans to revive its retail expansion strategy in "due course".
"We have been bullish in the offline space prior to the lockdown and we intend to continue with the same gusto at a more appropriate time. We have more than 100 ASUS exclusive stores (AES) and our aim is to have 200 AES by 2020 financial year," he said.
"We believe that once the lockdown is lifted/relaxed, there will be an increase in online shopping. But at the same time we also foresee the growth of the offline route once things return to normalcy," Su said.
India is one of the core markets in the Asia Pacific region for ASUS which contributes significantly to the global growth of the organisation.
"The laptop market in India is among the top 10 largest markets in the world. ASUS PC segment is 15 years old in India and currently we have a 13-15 per cent market share which is testimony to our rapid growth in this geography," Su said.
Citing an internal study, ASUS India said it has grown in its consumer PC segment by 44 per cent in Q1 2020 vs Q4 2019, whereas the PC market overall witnessed a decline by 22 per cent in the same period.
ASUS India believes that its aggressive retail expansion in India prior to the lockdown helped it maintain this growth in Q1.
"Collaborating with large format stores like Reliance, Vijay Sales among others has been successful and we aim to continue with these partnerships," Su said.
"We do foresee a considerable impact on the overall laptop business in India by 30-40 per cent in Q2 2020 as compared to Q2 2019," he said.
ASUS said that in light of the pandemic, it had undertaken measured approaches to safeguard employees and mitigate financial and operational exposure with various resilience plans for business continuity.
"In spite of the severity of the pandemic, we are continuing with our annual appraisals and ensuring employee benefits are safeguarded," Su said.
"We are committed to ensuring that there is no disruption in our ability to serve customers, societies and our employees," he added.