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Lenovo: It is a matter of time before we become no.1 in the PC market

Aritra Sarkhel | May 31, 2013
Rahul Agarwal, Executive Director, Commercial Business Segment, Lenovo India talks about the company's India strategy in 2013.

Agarwal: I think it's difficult to interpret these things. We wouldn't decide on behalf of the customer as to what OS they wanted to use but rather offered them a choice. That is good business sense because we knew that adoption of windows 8 could be a little slow because of this touch association, so we decided to adopt windows 7 and continue to sell it.

CW: Lenovo tied up with EMC last year to boost their server and storage business? What business implications did it have for the channel?

Agarwal: It's still an evolving process. Some parts of the relationship have been initiated and for some parts, research and development is going on to develop the particular portfolio. Globally, we have already started selling Iomega products and it's totally sold through our channel partners. We have roped in new partners to sell these products and we have started to push the Iomega brand in India in a big way.

Also at the same time, our legacy partners will get a new product to sell which is going to be an expansion of their footprint. These partners will be able to give us new customers from newer markets areas in India.

CW: Has Microsoft antagonized its OEM partners such as Lenovo with its decision to build its own hardware?

Agarwal: There is no place for anger or antagonism in business. But the interesting part lies in the whole paramount of change that the whole industry has gone through. The success of behemoths like Apple has forced folks like Google and Microsoft to go into hardware apart from software. Whether they will succeed or not is yet to be seen. But as of now we are not planning in that direction and our declared agenda is not to get into services and software.

Also, Microsoft's Surface sales has not affected us and more so because there is a lot of ambiguity on the release of Surface in India. But having said that, it's difficult to predict how successfully they will be able to handle software and hardware together.

CW: But having said that don't you think your Chromebook designed for the education market is a direct fallout from Microsoft windows 8. Would steps like these among vendors like yours help take advantage of Microsoft's weakness as a software giant?

Agarwal: To be honest, it is. But we do not look at Microsoft as a competitor but as a partner.

CW: Do you think Lenovo deciding to drop the Iomega brand name on joint EMC products would augur well for the partners as the name was associated with the consumer level products?

Agarwal: That's not true. We are presently selling Iomega under the brand name itself. We are not removing the brand name. It is a good brand for storage and for small businesses and consumers; we would want to leverage that. In the short term, it would not kill the Iomega brand.


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