New HP India MD Ipsita Dasgupta sees 'no end' in India devices demand

Laptop and personal computer maker HP India will roll out its domestic expansion plans over the next 9-12 months to cater to the demand for the devices in the country which has “no end”, HP India managing director Ipsita Dasgupta said, adding that the company was in talks with several Indian and multi-national companies but most of these plans are works in progress as of now.

“If you look at our business in India, we are the second biggest employee base in the world after the US. We look exactly like the US in the sense that we have every functional capability that we have globally, sitting in India. Growing some of those is something that excites HP,” Dasgupta said in her first interview after taking over as HP India MD.

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She was appointed the India head of the laptop and personal computer maker in October last year. The demand for laptops and PCs, she said, will remain strong as of now in countries like India where device penetration is less than 20% overall. These markets will demand devices that cater to all segments, and a majority of this will be driven by the education sector. However, companies will have to position themselves correctly at the various price points to tap into this demand, the Harvard graduate told ET on the sidelines of the HP Amplify Partner Conference 2024 held in Las Vegas.

In November 2023, the traditional Indian PC market, which has desktops, notebooks, and workstations, shipped 4.5 million units. Of this, the desktop category grew nearly 19% on year. Most of this growth was seen in the consumer segment, while the commercial segment growth remained flat, as per data from IDC.

Despite the headwinds, the total addressable market for laptops, personal computers and other professional devices could double over the next five years, especially due to the arrival of artificial intelligence-enabled devices. The initial cost premium for such devices notwithstanding, the demand for AI-enabled PCs is likely to remain steady even in price-sensitive markets like India, she said.

“Everybody’s trying to figure out what AI is. Though there is a level of scepticism, everybody is trying to figure out what exactly will this (technology) mean for them. It is very clear to people that increasing productivity will mean very clear, productive gains. AI-PCs will help in that,” Dasgupta said.

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The company has also pinned its hopes on the refurbished PC markets to augment its leadership position in the country. Launched in October, the HP Partner-certified refurbishment program gives users the option to purchase refurbished devices for a fraction of the original cost of the device. For example, premium new laptops which cost Rs 1 lakh or more in the market, can be obtained for Rs 27,700 in the refurbished segment as per company data. These refurbished laptops are available for as low as Rs 15,000 as well.