12 December 2019

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Indian SMB Segment has High Growth Potential: Alex Li, VP, Lenovo India

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From the Editor's Desk

The Indian SMB segment is poised,and is in the threshold of reaching to the next level of growth, both economically and technologically. The SMB fraternity is fast adapting to the ever increasing demand for cost effective and competitive technological solutions to leverage the over all business growth scenario.

Mr. Alex Li- Vice President, HSB (SMB & Home), Lenovo India, in an online interaction with Krishnalumar.C.K, Editor,Small Enterprise India, shares his vision and the  Lenovo's initiatives towards Indian SMB market.


1. Please provide a brief introduction about Lenovo’s SMB initiatives in India.

Alex Li: Lenovo forayed into the SMB segment in June 2008 with Lenovo ThinkPad SL laptops for the SMB customer, making this our first ThinkPad offering for SMBs. At Lenovo India, we view any company with 100-499 employees as an SME. Lenovo has taken special care in understanding the requirements of the SMB users - manageability, stability, rich configurations and security were some of the key factors we considered and accordingly designed these products.

Lenovo recently extended the ThinkPad brand promise to SMBs by introducing two products - the “ThinkPad Edge and “ThinkPad X100e” ultraportable series. Lenovo is focused on providing SMBs a total solution of hardware, software and services to fit their needs.

The ThinkPad Edge laptops feature a new and exciting ThinkPad design, illuminated keyboards on select models, choices of Intel and AMD processors for fast performance, up to 8 hours of battery life, an optimized VoIP experience, Active Protection System (“air bag” like system) to protect the hard drive and Rescue and Recovery software to restore system files and settings and optional 3G connectivity. ThinkPad x100e on the other hand, is a pioneering product in the industry as it offers ultra portability and the ThinkPad brand promise at an entry-level price point.

Lenovo recently strengthened its focus on the Indian SMB segment with the launch of a new range of reliable and robust notebooks - ThinkPad Edge (in 14” & 15” display), Lenovo B460 and Lenovo V460. Lenovo B460 is a splendid business series laptop with excellent features aimed at providing high-performance. Lenovo V460 is a high-feature, high-design super-slim machine. It is an enviable piece of technology, providing everything that an SMB customer can ask for.

2. What is your take on the Small and Medium Enterprises' scenario?  Why Lenovo emphasises on the SMB market in India?

Alex Li:The SME sector is the pillar of the present day economy; it contributes significantly to the overall growth of a nation and offers enormous opportunities. The SME sector is also an essential employment-generating sector in any country.

The SMEs have emerged as a customer segment representing significant and a hugely untapped growth opportunity for IT OEMs. Industry body Nasscom reiterated this in its Perspectives 2020 report, stating that the total market for the IT industry is expected to grow 7.7% over the next decade, of which 80% growth is expected from the SMB customers.

While Lenovo addresses various market segments with our wide array of products, SMB is undoubtedly a high growth segment for us. We now have in place a dynamic business strategy to pursue the significant growth opportunity in the Indian SMB segment for PCs. According to IDC estimates, the SMB PC spending in India was estimated to be Rs. 5,275 crore in 2009 and is expected to touch Rs. 5,515 crore in 2010. As per IDC, PC spends accounted for 30.74 per cent of the total spends on IT by SMBs in India in 2009, with the SMB IT spending estimated to be Rs. 17,160 crore.

India is an important emerging market for Lenovo’s worldwide business. We recognise the significance of the SMB segment and understand the pulse of the Indian SMB customer. Indian SMB segment has immense potential and Lenovo is geared up to tap this segment with innovation based products.

With our renewed focus on the Indian SME segment, Lenovo has witnessed positive growth over the last few months.

3. Wat specific strategies does Lenovo have to cater to the needs of Indian SMB market?

Alex Li: Lenovo is particularly bullish on the Indian SMB sector this year. In the beginning of this year, we announced our renewed strategy for the SMB segment, by revamping our channel plan. India for us is very important emerging markets which has many parallels to that of China. There is great accord between both markets in terms of products’ preferences, diversified sales channels and business environments; this has made it ideal for Lenovo to implement its success formula from China on the Indian turf. We will be expanding our three verticals: Value-added resellers (VARs), retail and system integrators (SIs).

We currently acquire 45 percent of business from VARs and another 45 percent from SIs. The remaining 10 percent of our business comes from the retail segment. Lenovo recently introduced new schemes to our business partners - 174 dealers from different disciplines participated in our twin schemes called ‘Wings to Fly’ and ‘Turbojet’. ‘Wings To Fly’ was announced in February and ‘Turbojet’ in March, where dealers won themselves an all expenses paid trip to Dubai and South Africa respectively.  

We are looking at driving market expansion into non-metro, tier-2 and tier-3 cities, expand our product portfolio, especially in the lower end of the price band and offer customers improved levels of service by increasing the number of our service centres in the country.

4. How quick is the Indian SMB fraternity to adopt new technologies and solutions?

Alex Li: According to IDC, the PC market is expected to quicken the pace of growth in 2010. The analyst group predicts that emerging regions, which now account for half of the total market, will lead the way with double-digit growth for 2010 while mature markets are also expected to make steady gains. The Indian SMB segment is has shown good resolve and acceptability towards adopting new technologies and solutions.

One heartening fact for us is that we have witnessed significant growth in our PC business in the SMB space – this reinforces the quality of our products and Lenovo’s brand value.

5. How competitive are the Lenovo SMB solutions for the Indian SMBs?

Alex Li: Customers are demanding today and have various choices in terms of size, features and price for their business PCs. Lenovo offers products that give them more affordable options that still meet their performance requirements, making them ideal products for certain users. Our laptops are designed keeping in mind the requirement of SMB customers – these products are a result of a great deal of research, observing market trends and talking to our customers. Mobility is also a major factor in the PC industry today.

Lenovo will meet the growing demand for IT products by introducing PCs with cutting edge technology across price levels, in the SMB segment.

6. As part of Lenovo's social responsibility initiative, any special eco friendly campaigns are being designed in the Indian scenario?
Alex Li: Lenovo demonstrates corporate social responsibility wherever it conducts business, including environmental sustainability at the global and local levels. It is committed to finding new opportunities to make its technology greener in terms of materials selection, packaging and shipping, energy efficiency, and product end-of-life disposal and recycling.

Lenovo offers several products that use energy-efficient processors and are produced with reusable or recyclable materials.

ThinkCentre® desktops are high on performance and energy savings. They come with ENERGY STAR™ 5.0 and EPEAT™ Gold certifications.

ThinkStation™ workstations are very powerful and capable of handling high-end graphics. But surprisingly, these machines use less power and hardly make a sound while running. To top it off, they use 50% recycled plastics.

Lenovo’s entire range of ThinkVision® monitors is ENERGY STAR™ 5.0, EPEAT™ Gold and GREENGUARD® certified and delivers excellent front of screen performance. Lenovo also offers the World’s only TCO Edge certified monitor, the L2251x3. To achieve TCO Edge certification, Lenovo utilised plastic resins with 65% post-consumer recycled content.


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