Acer India, which owns 10 per cent of India’s PC market, expects single-digit growth in revenue this year driven by aggressive expansion of exclusive retail stores across the country including smaller cities.
The company, however, says mobile business may turn out to be risky game for it, since majority of the players in India are looking more at delivering smartphones at a cheaper price than focusing on quality.
“Today, the mobile phone has become a commodity from a price-point basis rather than experience basis. There are very few products which are based on experience. When you are into that kind of a space, it is a decision that you need to take whether to produce a quality product and bleed, or just copy the others and make a product for particular price-point," said Kohli.
The Union government’s push for stepping up domestic manufacturing has attracted many small players to open shops in the country during the last two years.
A report released last month jointly by IIM Bangalore and Counterpoint suggests mobile phone is the single largest electronic item in the basket of electronics goods imported into the country. In the last 18 months, 40 new mobile phone assembly units and 12 new component or accessory manufacturing units have started in the country as the government incentivised them with tax benefits to produce goods locally.
For Acer, Kohli points out, customer experience plays an important role. “You make a stupid mistake somewhere where the experience goes for a toss, you are likely to be into a big issue. Any of the larger brands would have a lot at stake.”
As computer penetration in the country continues to be low, PC makers like Acer are focusing on bringing out easy-to-use products that are also light-weight. The industry has also seen PC manufacturers trying to capitalise on the poor user experience on tablets and making convertible devices that can be used as tablet and PC.
Acer entered Indian market with its PCs in 1999
The company first started mobile business nearly 6 years ago
After a pilot project, it renewed focus on mobile business in 2015
4. Acer feels so many small players in the country and price sensitivity diverted its focus from mobile business