Technology users are using their mobile phones to look up PCs: Ritu Gupta, Director, Marketing, Consumer & Small Business, Dell India

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Dell’s latest research on PC user trends of emerging India in partnership with Greyhound Research has revealed useful insights about the preferences of youth. Youth from tier 2 and 3 cities are heavily focused on creating content on PCs. PCs are a clear priority for them.The youth is still turning to laptops as their go-to computing device. The study reiterates the importance of PCs in a market flooded with smartphones.In the midst of this environment is Dell, which is banking on its expanding retail network and versatile product portfolio to satisfy the demands of consumers with respect to the personal computing device. Rashi Bisaria spoke to Ritu Gupta, Director, Marketing, Consumer & Small Business, Dell India to gain more insights about consumer preferences and Dell’s role in it. Edited excerpts:

The world is fast moving towards m-commerce but in this environment, Dell is discovering that the youth is still focused on the PC. How do you make sense of this paradox?
India offers multiple opportunities and ours is a unique market when it comes to technology adoption. The idea is not to compare a smartphone with a PC. Both devices must be viewed in isolation when it comes to usage and the function they serve in the user’s life. The PC and smartphone are devices which have and will continue to co-exist, by virtue of the fact that a mobile phone primarily serves as a platform for content consumption, whereas the PC is a device meant for content creation and execution of intensive tasks. It continues to play a more important part in the technologically aware audiences across market tiers. To the aspirational youth of the country, the smartphone serves as a window to the world, and the PC unlocks doors to go out into this world and achieve their goals.

To understand the relevance of the PC in India’s emerging towns and cities; Dell carried out an independent study with Greyhound Research titled the ‘The PC User Trends of Emerging India ’across 40 Indian Tier 1 to Tier 4 cities with 6000 respondents, among 4 core user groups i.e. students, youth, young workforce and parents. Insights from the study validated our belief in the continuing importance of the PC in our customers’ lives. These insights also reinforce the ongoing execution of Dell’s sustained strategy across Tier 3 – Tier 5 markets, which aims at building awareness around PC usage among the next generation of PC users.

Do you think it’s a wise move by players like Flipkart and Myntra to turn App-Only? Do you think it’s just a fad?
We do not contest the fact that increasingly, new technology adopters are gaining their first access to computing through mobile devices. However, it is interesting to note that ‘20%’ of our website visits are routed through smartphones. This makes for an interesting observation – that technology users are utilizing their mobile phones to look up PCs.

A business model does not change overnight. More often than not, successful yet ambitious businesses invest in understanding their audiences and strive to evolve as the customer evolves. A lot of thought and strategy goes into taking such business decisions. As for the long term impact of such decisions, the customer’s response over a period of time is the best measure for evaluation.

What kind of steps is Dell taking to promote the PC penetration in the country?
India has 240 million households of which just 10 per cent (24 million) own PCs; presenting an exciting opportunity to address the need of 90 per cent of the households who are yet to buy PCs.A combination of a robust go-to market strategy, a rapidly growing retail network and a versatile product portfolio; complemented by sustained customer engagement, has been instrumental in making Dell the PC Brand of Choice for Indians. We are steadily moving forward with the intent to ensure that there is ‘a Dell for Every Indian.’

Versatile Product Portfolio
Feedback from customers is valued and goes back into the development of our products. This process is a reaffirmation of our motto – to give users the “Power to do more.” Users are able to consume or create content basis their preferences with a vast portfolio of devices to choose from, making available solutions which can cater to unique technology needs. The emphasis on delivering versatile form factors along with an intuitive technology experience caters to a multitude of functions sought by customers in their go-to devices. The Dell brand offers consumers the choice.

Robust Retail Network
While delivering innovative technology remains the core objective, we also strive to be available to our consumers on the platforms on which they are comfortable accessing technology – be it our exclusive stores, e-commerce websites or multi-brand retail outlets. In July 2015, we inaugurated our 500th Dell Exclusive Store (DES), with the goal to open 825 DES by the end of the year. Aimed at offering the customer a complete Dell experience, our Dell Exclusive Stores are equipped to surround the customer with a dynamic range of computing devices, as well as expertise and assistance in choosing the right devices for varying technology needs.

Sustained Consumer Engagement
Aside from customer feedback which further fuels innovation at Dell, we carry out consistent customer outreach through campaigns which drive the purpose of enhancing PC awareness across market tiers. We understand that every user looks for different features in their device of choice. We want to tell our customers that we understand their unique needs, and that there is a device for each one. To this end, we craft and execute sustained customer engagement through user-specific campaigns. Examples of such engagement include Dell’s active student contact program (which is now in its 5th year) which involves activities and information generation focused on school students. The flagship Dell Champs, 20-city student outreach program has been a successful part of this campaign, reaching out to parents and students in 400 schools across the country, annually. Reiterating our focus on delivering technology to youth of the country, the Back to College campaign for 2015 highlights how technology can help them learn new things, share their creations and ideas and to inspire their peers.

What are the advantages of using a PC as opposed to the mobile, for both content creation purpose and ecommerce purposes?
The PC is the hub of creation. While smaller form factors permit access to content, they can be severely limiting when it comes to execution of intensive tasks or visual impact due to its smaller screen size. Simply put, the PC is a one-stop device which can cater to both content consumption and creation needs.

For a country brimming with the spirit of an ambitious younger generation, the PC is the machine which can contribute to its growth, acting as an important tool for skill and knowledge development. The PC is not simply a tool, but is core to skill development, personality enhancement, co-creation and holistic learning.We are optimistic about a steady digital transformation which is occurring in the nation, and are of the firm belief that Dell will be at the forefront in spearheading the introduction of technology into Indian homes, helping customers understand the potential of technology to transform their lives.


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