The Ultra-Slim laptop business is already booming for Lenovo, and we plan to reach more than 500% year-over-year growth in 2018. And while the growth plan is ambitious, it’s worth noting that Lenovo is currently dominating the market for Ultra-Slim laptops in India, where only premium price band devices are being sold. To find out what’s driving this success, we spoke with two executives on the forefront of the growth plan: Diptesh Chandra Ghosh, India’s Director of Consumer Products, and Suyash Singh, India’s Consumer Product Portfolio Manager.
How is Lenovo investing in the Thin & Light form factor across businesses?
T&L will be our major focus in India and most of our investment will be circled around the same. The entire retail front will be decked with Ultra-Slim products and customers will be able to experience the products in full glory. Also, a large sum of marketing investment (Digital/TV) will be focused on T&L.
What do you believe drove the 56% growth year-over-year in the T&L market in FY1718?
The PC market is sluggish but sub-form factors are growing phenomenally. Thin & Light is 5% of the PC market, but it is the fastest growing form factor. The Thin & Light market has grown by 56% IN FY17-18 (GFK), with 202% year-over-year growth for Lenovo in the segment in FY1718 (GFK).
The growth seen is due to changing consumer trends, which is the need for sleeker laptops that are high performing and affordable. The new products are designed to meet the expectations of today’s Smartphone power-users who look for mobility, premium performance and great battery life. Looking at this trend, Lenovo is investing in Ultra-Slim form factor across businesses.
Why might consumer preferences in India be trending toward Ultra-Slim laptops?
Smartphones have changed the way we consume technology; the industry has constantly evolved in sync with changing consumer needs and usage patterns. With smarter and advanced technology consumption through smartphone usage, our expectations from devices have changed. We believe that PCs too need to emerge into thinner and lighter versions to keep in pace with a lifestyle that is constantly on-the-go.
How does Lenovo plan to reach the 500% growth target set for this year in the Ultra-Slim category?
Our Ultra-Slim portfolio reinforces the brand’s commitment to innovation, customer centricity and bringing products to market that are not only differentiated but also the need of the hour. The range is not only affordable but also sits very close to the conventional laptops which will drive growth in the category. We also have plans to further expand the product line-up in this segment which will help us attain 500% year-over-year growth in the category.
Do you think global consumer preferences are trending in the same direction?
Thin & Light is the new mega trend in consumer behavior globally. The need for thinner & lighter devices is not restricted to India. With a smartphone in every pocket and a tablet in almost every backpack, laptops seem bulky by comparison. On-the-go lifestyle is one of the major factors that has contributed to the growing need for portable laptops that are not only thinner but also lighter.
Who is the target customer for the Ultra-Slim category?
The target customer for the Ultra-Slim portfolio are the uber-connected. Be it millennials or young working professionals, our portfolio caters to the ever-changing needs of the consumers of today. The price range for the portfolio has also kept budget-conscious users in mind.
Are there any anticipated Ultra-Slim releases for FY1819?
Yes, we are planning for some cool releases this fall.