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asus: Asus in talks with Indian EMS players to start local laptop manufacturing

Taiwanese laptop maker Asus is in talks with local EMS players to begin local manufacturing…

Taiwanese laptop maker Asus is in talks with local EMS players to begin local manufacturing of its laptops in the country and it is aiming to capture 20{1ecc11bb1501b786f489293ac2ac25fb54683d686574816a94d14a51901cfb17} market share in the consumer laptop segment this year.

“Like other brands/ companies we will need to work with the EMS players to leverage the PLI scheme. We are working with our EMS to align with the PLI scheme with the government. The talks are already ongoing. We don’t have a precise timeline, but we want to make it happen as early as possible,” Arnold Su, Business Head, Consumer and Gaming PC, System Business Group, ASUS India told ET.

Asus is the number four consumer PC brand in India and grew close to 40{1ecc11bb1501b786f489293ac2ac25fb54683d686574816a94d14a51901cfb17} year-on-ear in the second quarter. Citing IDC figures, he said that the company’s market share in the entire consumer PC was around 9{1ecc11bb1501b786f489293ac2ac25fb54683d686574816a94d14a51901cfb17} in Q2 2021.

In the consumer laptop segment, Asus reached 10{1ecc11bb1501b786f489293ac2ac25fb54683d686574816a94d14a51901cfb17} market share in Q2 2021. Arnold said that for the third quarter, Asus is expected to report 30{1ecc11bb1501b786f489293ac2ac25fb54683d686574816a94d14a51901cfb17} year-on-year growth. “In terms of gaming, there is close to 60{1ecc11bb1501b786f489293ac2ac25fb54683d686574816a94d14a51901cfb17} year over year growth expected in Q3.”

“If we look at the overall market, India is the biggest consumer PC market in the entire Asia Pacific and a very important market for Asus as well. So, this year, we are aiming to capture 20{1ecc11bb1501b786f489293ac2ac25fb54683d686574816a94d14a51901cfb17} market share in the consumer laptop segment in India,” Arnold said.

India’s PC penetration ratio is still very low at around 10{1ecc11bb1501b786f489293ac2ac25fb54683d686574816a94d14a51901cfb17}, he said, adding that the pandemic has driven the growth for PCs and laptops. “So, there is a very big opportunity for all the PC makers to further invest in India to do business and meet the spike in demand.

The company is also betting big on the gaming PC market in India with its ROG range. “India’s PC gaming sales increased almost by 15 times. So this is surely the most important growth engine for all PC makers and ASUS is pretty strong in the gaming segment,” he said.

In the mainstream laptop segment, Asus is trying to drive growth for the thin and light laptop segment. “Thin and light drives almost 70-80{1ecc11bb1501b786f489293ac2ac25fb54683d686574816a94d14a51901cfb17} of the non-gaming segment already. It is the key growth engine for the non-gaming segment and ASUS,” he said.

The company has ZenBook, Vivobook Ultra and Vivobook Pro laptops in the thin and light laptop segment. “…this is the segment through which we want to capture more market share,” he said, adding that the company is also seeing growth for its 2-in-1 products due to various use cases like.

“Especially after COVID, due to the work from home and study from home scenario, the touchscreen and using a stylus to write on your laptop has become a very common user case scenario for the laptop users. Till 2019, 2-in-1 only occupied around 5{1ecc11bb1501b786f489293ac2ac25fb54683d686574816a94d14a51901cfb17} of the entire PC market, making it a very niche segment. But in the first half of 2021, the segment has already occupied close to 9{1ecc11bb1501b786f489293ac2ac25fb54683d686574816a94d14a51901cfb17} of the PC market. In the past two years, we grew by almost seven times in the 2-in-1 segment,” he added.

Asus’ laptop range is priced between Rs 20,000- Rs 2.9 lakh.

On competition, Arnold said that the entry of more players will make the market much bigger as the PC penetration level is already very low.

Arnold said that Asus is investing in offline retail expansion and is looking to add 20 to 30 exclusive stores every quarter along with another 20-35 shop-in-shops taking the overall count to 140 shop-in-ship stores “Every quarter we are adding around 300 premium kiosks with ASUS in tier III and tier IV cities. So you can see in a quarter we are investing close to 400 shops in terms of retail expansion in India,” he added.

Arnold said that the offline channel still contributes to around 60{1ecc11bb1501b786f489293ac2ac25fb54683d686574816a94d14a51901cfb17} of India’s consumer PC market. “We will continue to invest in our retail expansion. So, right now, we already have close to 150 exclusive stores in India. And by the end of this year, we aim to have around 200 stores in India,” he added.

Asus also has eight ROG (Republic of Gamers) stores in India. “The shop expansion is the key for us to continue to grow since it is still around 50 to 60{1ecc11bb1501b786f489293ac2ac25fb54683d686574816a94d14a51901cfb17} of India’s PC market.”