Acer, one of the world’s top ICT companies with a presence in more than 160 countries, offers a wide range of products and solutions including laptop and desktop PCs, tablets, smartphones, monitors, projectors and cloud solutions for home users, business. Acer is focused on enabling a world where hardware, software and services blend together creating ecosystems and new possibilities for consumers and businesses alike.
In a dialogue with NCN, Mr. Sanjeev Mehtani, Country Manager – Sales, Acer India, reveals Acer’s integrated approach and future plans.
How did the pandemic affect the businesses?
With laptops becoming essential devices during pandemic, our consumer laptop business saw 3X growth fueled by work-from-home and learn-at-home. The demand for tablets too saw a renewed spike. The challenges of the in the last 16 months have changed the way we worked. While the pandemic did cause disruptions in many sectors, it also proved that technology has the power to help companies redefine their strategies. Digital transformation became an essential concept to ensure the survival and continuity of the businesses. Today, it is not about the size of the company, but how agile it is to change when needed.
How did you manage the channel during pandemic?
Channel partners, who work with passion and drive, are the crucial behind Acer’s success. We will continue to expand our channel and build new teams. As a channel-friendly company, we at Acer are bringing up new programs to educate our partners in the areas of understanding and accommodating the changing consumer behaviours during the ongoing pandemic. We have introduced an innovative Omni-Channel experience for our partners. Through this, our retail partners can sell the entire range of Acer products to their customers without holding stock while still enjoying the benefits and margins using the Acer e-store which serves in over 20000 pin-codes. We help them offer unique and safe shopping experiences for their customers. To aid them with relevant leads, we are generating enquiries for our partners via social media to fulfill the requirements of Work From Home, Learn From Home, and Gaming From Home segments. We are also offering customized bundles to consumers. For example, for those who are working from home, we clubbed our new range of Acer True Wireless Earbuds in order to provide our consumers with complete solutions, which consumers can order online from the comfort of their homes.
How the pandemic contributed towards the sale of desktops and laptops?
In the consumer PC space, the high-end desktops and laptops have witnessed considerable growth as more consumers are looking for high-performance devices, driven by Work From Home, Learn From Home, and Gaming From Home. Besides helping our partners to enhance their businesses, we are also educating them and their teams.
During the pandemic, what were your strategies to deal with distribution?
To face the challenges posed by the pandemic, we invested more in digital transformation to enable our partners to tackle uncertainties better and gain a long-term competitive advantage. We also introduced healthcare products like Acer Pure 2-in-1 air purifier cum circulator and lifestyle products like True Wireless Earbuds to supplement the sales of the partners. Soon, we will bring out a range of ozonated water purifiers to help partners to provide a wider range of products. At Acer, our goal is to focus on supporting and expanding the channel and build new teams. As a channel-friendly brand, we always try to bring special partner programs for our channel partners to help them get a deeper understanding of technologies, product design, etc. Our agenda for 2021 is to ensure that our channel partners continue to grow and help our brand to grow. Our business strategies and models are set to further improve our operational alignment with our partners. In line with the present changing consumer behavior and shopping experiences, we introduced the Omni-Channel to provide a seamless path to purchase and serve better across channels. Acer Omni Channel experience is specially designed to cater to the needs of our Acer Exclusive retail partners in the current scenario. In addition, we are equally focused on offering our products via Acer e-Store, which serves over 20,000 pin-codes across the nation. These special initiatives are aimed at ensuring ease of purchase, keep partners and customers safe, and promote business continuity.
What were your other initiatives to foster a strong distribution ecosystem?
At Acer, we are doing our best to merge both the physical and digital worlds and to help our consumers engage better with our brand. In line with this, we recently launched our largest Flagship Acer Mall experience store in Koramangala, Bengaluru. We are looking to further ramp up the count of our exclusive stores to 200 across the country by the year-end with more product experience zones, highly trained staff, and multiple ownership schemes like No Cost EMI, long-term warranty, and accidental damage protection along with other exciting offers. We are also planning to introduce an expanded product-line including lifestyle products in our retail stores. As of today, Acer also enjoys presence in over 2500 multi-brand stores pan India.
Last but not the least, please share a few recent accomplishments?
Since laptops became an essential tech commodity due to the pandemic, our consumer laptop business saw nearly 2X growth fuelled by work-from-home and learn-at-home models. Moreover, the demand for tablets also saw a renewed spike in the education and content consumption. As a channel-friendly company, we at Acer are bringing new programs to educate our partners on how to understand and accommodate the changing consumer behaviors during the ongoing pandemic.
In addition, we are offering the latest devices such as 11th gen gaming products and an array of lifestyle products such as our Air Purifiers and True Wireless earbuds to help partners to push up their revenues.