AMI-PARTNERS STUDY ON INDIA SMB SPENDING
Kolkata 8/24/2005 11:05 AM GMT (TransWorldNews)
India SMBs Use Notebooks as Tools for Increasing Flexibility, Mobility and Profits
Kolkata, India — August 24, 2005 — Usage of notebooks and handhelds is booming among India’s small and medium businesses (SMBs). The era of mobile computing has dawned globally, and in keeping with worldwide trends, India SMBs have surged ahead in their adoption of notebooks. Over the past year, small and mid-sized businesses in India have spent close to US$150 million on portable computing to reap the benefits of mobility. This amount, according to AMI forecasts, will come close to doubling in 2005. The above findings were released today by New York-based AMI-Partners, a leading consulting firm that specializes in IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services market intelligence — with a strong focus on global small and medium business enterprises. AMI-Partners conducts the industry’s most comprehensive annual tracking surveys of SMBs in more than 20 countries, including North America (U.S. and Canada); Europe (U.K., France, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and Russia); Asia-Pacific (Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand); and Latin America (Mexico and Brazil). AMI recently conducted an extensive survey of small and medium businesses in India across tier one and two cities.
More branch offices and mobile employees — key drivers of mobility
“With increased economic growth and higher revenues, portable-owning India SMBs have expanded substantially, leading to a rise in their number of office locations," claimed Swati Sasmal, Research Manager at AMI-Partners’ Kolkata office. “Portable-owning MBs have a greater number of branches — 5.1 — compared to 3.5 for their desktop-owning counterparts,” she continued. AMI’s research shows that approximately 22% of these mid-sized businesses are planning to open additional branches — five percentage points higher than for desktop MBs. Similarly, portable SBs have more offices (1.4) as compared to SBs in general (1.2).
Further, the number of “on-the-move” employees has risen — due to connectivity requirements and a need to maintain constant contact with business partners (customers and suppliers). Consequently, penetration of mobile employees is also higher within the portable-owning MB segment (89%), than among desktop MBs (79%). In the SB market, close to two in five portable-owning SBs have “frequent-traveler” employees while only a little over a quarter of desktop SBs have a similar employee segment. A higher number of branch office locations as well as greater proportions of mobile employees are driving the demand for notebooks among India SMBs.
Portable-owning SMBs — more affluent than overall SMBs, and eager to adopt advanced technologies
Portable-using MBs show greater recent PC purchasing behavior, with 56% of them having purchased computers in the last 12 months; this contrasts with just 38% of desktop MBs. Similarly 43% of portable-owning SBs purchased PCs last year — around 13 percentage points higher than desktop-owning SBs. Portable MBs also display higher intentions for planned PC purchases; 47% of them are expected to acquire computers next year as compared to just 29% of desktop-only users. Portable-using MBs are much higher spenders on both PC hardware and service and support — 1.4 times and 1.3 times that of an average medium business, respectively. These trends are expected to continue; portable MBs are projected to spend approximately 2.4 times that of desktop MBs on upcoming PC purchases.
Portable-owning MBs are far ahead of their desktop-owning counterparts in usage of advanced operating systems such as Win XP Professional. A greater proportion (10%) of portable MBs also use Linux compared to 6% for average MBs. Usage of older versions of Windows is higher among desktop MBs (58%). Almost two thirds of portable MBs are willing to upgrade their PC to a new operating system as compared to a lesser proportion (52%) of overall India MBs. These findings show that in general, portable-owning medium businesses lead other SMBs in technology adoption.
Growth-enhancing factors for the India notebook market
Several principal factors affecting the rapid growth of the India portable market are as follows:
Entry-level notebook prices hitting rock bottom: Most vendors have brought down prices of entry-level notebooks sharply in an attempt to woo the huge SMB segment. They have been able to cut prices mainly through adoption of such cost-reduction measures as introduction of the Celeron processor and bundled Linux. The future points to a similar trend of gradually decreasing prices — so much so that notebooks could even give higher-end desktops a run for their money.
Higher-end notebooks have been endowed with newer and faster technology: Multinational vendors such as HP, Lenovo, Samsung, et al, now strategically include multiple features such as wireless connectivity, TFT screen, DVD combo drive, data protection and security features in their latest notebooks.
Innovative schemes by vendors: Apart from lower price bands, vendors are beefing up their marketing activities with innovative advertising and promotional campaigns. Another strategy adopted by vendors is the strengthening of their distribution network in “B-” and “C-” class cities in India, mainly to explore the untapped SMB potential in these areas.
Introduction of revolutionary Intel Centrino processor for notebooks: Intel’s new processor provides lower battery consumption and easy Internet access via hassle-free Wi-Fi-enabled notebooks.
Mobility needs: The increased importance of mobility and the emphasis on being available 24/7 to customers is a direct result of globalization and an indicator of the competitive market in which India SMBs operate. Mobility offers several advantages such as reducing operating costs, improving productivity, and boosting customer-response time. Increased emphasis on these benefits has had a direct impact on the sales of laptops.
About AMI-Partners AMI-Partners specializes in IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services strategy, venture capital and actionable market intelligence — focusing on global small and medium business (SMB) enterprises. The AMI-Partners mission is to empower its clients for success with the highest quality data, business planning and “go-to-market” solutions. AMI was founded in 1996 under the name of Access Media International (USA), Inc. by Andy Bose, a former group vice president at IDC. Since its inception, the firm has built a world-class management team, each with ten to fifteen years’ experience in IT, telecom, online communications and multimedia.
AMI-Partners has helped shape the go-to-market SMB strategies of more than 150 leading IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services companies over the last eight years. The firm is well known for its IT and Internet adoption-based segmentation of the SMB markets; its annual retainership services based on global SMB tracking surveys; and its proprietary database of several thousand SMBs in the U.S., Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. The firm invests significantly in collecting survey-based information from several thousand SMBs annually, and is considered the premier source for global SMB trends and analysis.
For more information about AMI-Partners or our global SMB surveys, please e-mail Ask AMI, visit www.ami-partners.com, or call 212-944-5100.