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Retail & SME to be the major growth propellers for Acer

India is a key growth market for Acer. The company is also one of the fastest growing PC vendors in the country and has emerged as the No. 1 PC Gaming brand in the country. Chandrahas Panigrahi, CMO and Consumer Business Head - Acer India during a conversation with VARINDIA shares excerpts from its Indian growth story -  
                                                     
Year 2017 was a remarkable year for Acer as it concentrated on the retail expansion front. The company today has around 100 exclusive Acer stores across India. It has also expanded its presence in the North-eastern part of the country, by unveiling stores in Agartala, Shillong and Guwahati. 


“Acer firmly believes that retail plays a very important role in customer connect, brand experience,” says Chandrahas Panigrahi, CMO and Consumer Business Head - Acer India. “It is important that our customers get a first-hand feel and understanding of the products they are buying. We have invested heavily on training our store sales personnel, demo programs and store experience. 2018 will be another year of rapid growth in retail channel.”


Acer has a strong presence in the consumer, education, government, BFSI and large corporates segment. It has made a significant impact in enterprise segment with breakthroughs in large companies where it has positioned some of its latest products and new form factors like 2 in 1 laptops. 


“We have also seen good success in the server and workstation product line,” supports Chandrahas.“Some of the largest research institutions run on Acer Supercomputers. With Govt. moving to a market place like model and encouraging adoption of technology at all levels we expect 2018 to be an even better year.”


SME is another very important market for Acer. Its product portfolio perfectly fits the SME segment and Acer feels thatitis a strong growth driver for them. Acer’s extensive range of products from business laptops to projectors, workstations and servers cater to all the IT hardware needs of an SME.


“In 2017 we have seen excellent success in this market and we expect a strong 2018 in SME,” says Chandrahas.
He further continues, “Acer has emerged as the No.1 PC gaming brand in India according to a leading market research agency. We are a leading brand with 25.4% market share in the gaming laptops and 41.9% marketing share in gaming monitors.We are betting big by focusing on bringing powerful and unique gaming innovations that offers exceptional performance within a wide range of budget. Besides this, display segment is also a key segment for Acer, in which we are focusing on this by introducing products under various categories like projectors, monitors, high end gaming monitors.”


Acer gained the top spot in the gaming market with its critically acclaimed and widely popular Predator and Nitro gaming series. To boost up the spirit of PC gaming, Acer has organized Asia's largest DOTA2 gaming tournament - The Asia Pacific Predator League to encourage the budding e-sports players in India.
The PC major has also encouraged and evaluated innovation in every form from the beginning. Taking a cue from its global successes, Acer has been working towards expanding its foothold in every sector including, cloud, IoT, gaming, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality along with notebooks, convertibles, 2in1s, desktops, AIOs, and monitors. “Innovation has been our key focus and it we believe it will help us succeed further,” claims Chandrahas. 


Channel strategy…
Acer has put in place a robust channel strategy to accelerate growth. It is strengthening its partnership as well as its customer outreach program with intensive engagement programmes. It has forged strong partnerships with all the large and small format retail stores, with an aim to increase Acer’s brand presence in tier II and III locations. It has a robust distribution network comprising of Acer Malls and Acer Points, and is planning to expand it even further. 


To keep pace with the dramatic changes in the IT landscape, Acer has been investing significantly in training, in-store merchandising with apt showcase/display of new high end models, sales enablement, schemes and easy finance options.


Looking forward… 
Acer is already the leader in PC gaming segment and growing at a rapid pace in the display segment. It is also one of the leaders in thin and light notebooks and convertibles. 


“We will be looking to retain our leadership position and grow segments which we feel has potential. Our retail expansion will continue to gain momentum. The launch of India’s first Mixed Reality Headset, has raised the bars of expectations from our audience with its impressive user experience packaged in sleek, futuristic materials. The year 2018 will be undeniably an action packed year with the advent of innovations in both hardware and software space,” sums up Chandrahas.