Acer is a hardware + software + services company dedicated to the research, design, marketing, sale, and support of innovative products that enhance people’s lives. Acer’s product offerings include PCs, displays, projectors, servers, tablets, smartphones, and wearables. The company is also developing cloud solutions to bring together the Internet of Things (IoT).
During his tenure, Chandrahas Panigrahi, CMO and Consumer Business Head, Acer India, led the expansion of ACER into a full service entertainment brand, monitoring market Intelligence and formulating and implementing important policies. Under his leadership, ACER has built strong associations with its channel partners and customers to increase its brand presence across the length and breadth of the country. Mr. Panigrahi comes with 15 years of rich industry experience with leading companies in the technology domain spanning components and personal computing, having worked in different profiles ranging from consumer business, retail management, product management, marketing and distribution. Chandrahas is poised to leverage the existing successful platform and redefine marketing with his thoughtful analysis and insightful perspective. Excerpts of the interview:
What are the biggest trends you witness in 2017 and what areas of technology do you plan in times to come?
Electronics and technology are always evolving; sometimes it can be tough to keep up with the latest trends. If you look at the PC segment, we see great acceptance of 2 in 1 or convertible laptops, which gives the power to consume and create content with equal convenience. Content consumers are moving to content creators and they need devices to keep up with the change. We have also see emergence of hardcore PC gaming market, more people are joining the professional gaming community in India. In the coming months, we will be exploring areas like VR and IoT where we are expecting growth especially in the entertainment industry for VR. Acer has a strong product line in the both VR and consumer IoT space and Indian market is poised to grow in this space with improved digital infrastructure and consumer acceptance.
Where do you see Acer’s product line heading next?
These days, customers are looking for solutions that allow flexibility. Convertible notebooks and detachable are the most suitable device to assure functionality and mobility at the same time. Both form factors have been well received in the market and have gained momentum in the past couple of years. We have observed that convertible notebooks have filled in the gap between notebook PC and a tablet. At Acer, we are thinking closely on how new PC form factors like hybrids and convertibles and new growth drivers like PC gaming is pushing the adoption more. Our VR and MR line-up of products will compliment these products and create real value to consumers
Recently, you’ve launched the 3rd exclusive store in Chennai. What are philosophies behind this exclusive store? Are you going to add more exclusive store in the near future?
Working in line with our growth strategy, we are expanding our retail presence through Acer flagship stores. The idea behind launching these stores is to provide consumers with an immersive experience of Acer’s vast range of products and services under one roof. Acer exclusive stores provide a unique retail experience to our customers and enable them to browse, touch, feel and experience Acer’s latest product portfolio crafted to appeal to the needs of all segments. We want people to walk away with a powerful and memorable buying experience. Acer is aggressively expanding across India and you will see more of such stores in all key markets.
Does your solutions for enterprise and IoT balance the losses incurred in the consumer segment?
Acer is the fastest growing PC brand in the consumer space. Our latest range of Swift, Spin and Switch series laptops are well received in the market and there is a great demand for our gaming range. Consumer segment is very strong for us along with commercial side of business. Each vertical contributes to the company. Acer provides a vast range of enterprise solutions right from laptops to supercomputers. Complimenting this is our projector and monitor businesses. We believe IoT will play a significant role in the near future with internet infrastructure becoming better day by day and a push to digital India and Acer is well poised to serve the market needs in IoT segment.
What advise will you give to the partners in the wake of GST phase?
As Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been implemented, enterprises across sectors are still anxious about the adoption of the biggest tax reform of the country. At initial stage, there may possibilities to face some challenges in transition; however, if we look at long run GST will benefit our economy. Traders and business owners will need digitization and we look forward to help our partners in this phase. We have introduced a range of desktops, laptops and AIOs, which are GST ready. We see this as a huge opportunity to assist small businesses and trades in adopting this change and growing with economy by utilizing technology at its best.
What are your future plans to further grow the channel market in 2017?
Acer is constantly having clear lines of communication with the partners in order to grow the business together. We meet our partners regularly and develop transparent relations with clear policies and rules that would help us and help them grow. We are conducting programs for partners to educate them about the newly launched products and new developments in the market and the company. Acer took the lead in ensuring GST compliance and smooth transition during this period. Channel partners play a significant role when it comes to providing the brand experience to our customers and educating about our products. We take great care to ensure our relation with our partners is as strong as possible.