As head of overseas (South Asia) of Beijing based tech giant Lenovo, Ranjan Baruah has a hectic job. “It’s an emerging market and we are one of the best tech brands in the world. Keeping our reputation intact is a part of my duty and that job isn’t easy”, said Baruah, a person with an amicable presence and a friendly smile.
The next thing he told me while I had a conversation with him at the corner of cricketer’s Shakib Al Hasan’s new signature restaurant Shakib’s is “Onek Chap, Bujhtei Parchen (There are lots of pressure, you understand I think)”.
For a person originated from Bangalore, his Bengali was surprisingly good. When he was praised about that he replied,
“We consider Bangladesh as the next big potential market for us. If I don’t know the language, I can’t hit the right note with the people here”
We talked for long and he gave the answers of my questions with patience. His phone rang several times though in the mean time and he probably gave a major instruction about business to some member of his selling team.
When asked what brings him here in Shakib’s restaurant, he said Lenovo has signed Shakib Al Hasan as its brand ambassador in Bangladesh. “He is the best al-rounder in the world and like Lenovo devices, Shakib exudes style and performance. Besides, Shakib’s restaurant is using our tablet for displaying menu and is giving the customer the provision to order from the tablet’s screen”.
He said that the brand Lenovo brand is speaking the language of today’s ‘netigen’ consumer audience (18-34 year olds).
“Lenovo helps millennials translate their dreams into reality as well as enables businesses to achieve more. We are now investing more than ever in the Bangladesh market and our association with Shakib is a step in this direction”, he said adding that they have bog plan for Bangladeshi market.
According to Baruah, Lenovo appears poised for an ambitious global expansion drive after the computer kingpin signed, sealed and delivered its two biggest corporate acquisitions of Motorola and IBM in last two years.
“After the acquisition of IBM, especially its critically acclaimed ‘ThinkPad’ laptop series, Lenovo is the world’s largest PC maker and certainly the most reliable one. We are very confident about our product and planning on expanding the market”, he said.
On the global front, data speaks for its success. Lenovo reported revenue of US$11.3 billion for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2015 – up 21% year-over-year.
Baruah said it delivered an expectation-beating quarterly net income of US$100 million, with a better balance of revenue where 64% was generated from PCs, 25% from Mobile and 9% from the Enterprise segment, compared with the previous year where the PC segment made up a total 83% of total revenue.
<h5“South-East Asia (especially in India), Malaysia and Singapore experienced the largest year-on-year growth across the three business segments”, he said adding that Lenovo is focusing on strengthening its presence in Bangladesh through a well-defined retail and partner strategy, backed by a stunning portfolio of innovative Consumer tech devices.
He said that Bangladesh is a mix of mature markets with an appetite for premium and cutting-edge technology, as well as fast-growing emerging markets with entry-level technology penetration, giving us the opportunity to grow market share quickly.
“It’s a great market for us. While our Q1 CY 2015 market share in Bangladesh at 9% depicts steady growth, the upcoming Q2 CY2015 market share as per IDC, is expected to be much stronger than the previous quarters”, he said.
Lenovo will continue to increase investments in Bangladesh in its bid to become a leader in all segments. Key areas of investment include: geographical and channel expansion; relationship building with business partners; retail presence growth; company infrastructure and resources improvements; after-sales enhancements; and more innovative products to suit Bangladeshi customers, he added.
“As of now our main focus is selling Lenovo laptops and tablets in the Bangladeshi market. We have different types of laptops with different price ranges. So I think we will be able to serve from young students to corporate customers”, he said.
About Lenovo tablets, he said that those are cheap are and of great value to the money. “Our tabs are running on android-the most popular operating system-so the customers can avail all the apps they want”, he said.
Lenovo’s big plan in Bangladesh however is to sell smartphones. “We are one of the fastest growing smartphone makers in the world and our smartphones have already become the most sought after smartphones in countries like Malaysia and Philippines. We will introduce the smartphone in Bangladesh soon”, he said.