According to a MAIT industry performance review conducted by IMRB for financial year 2001-2002, small towns in India have emerged as one of the fastest growing markets for personal computers. While PC purchases in the top four metros declined by 26 per cent, PC purchases in smaller towns increased by 106 per cent.
MAIT calls it a notable finding, that 30 per cent of total PC sales was accounted for, by Class B and Class C cities. Last year, PC sales in these areas had accounted for only 13 per cent of overall PC sales. Even notebook sales grew by 200 per cent in small towns whereas the sales declined by 28 per cent in the top four cities.
In the business segment too, although the top four metros still accounted for the maximum PC sales, their share declined from 67 per cent in 2000-2001 to 60 per cent. The proportion of sales to smaller towns increased from 18 per cent in 2000-2001 to 29 per cent in 2001-2002.
It was not just PCs; sales to smaller towns accounted for 41 per cent of total sales of inkjet printers, with sales itself growing 91 per cent. Sales of UPSs to smaller towns witnessed a growth of 23 per cent although total UPS sales in 2001-2002 showed a drop of 6 per cent.
While overall sales of desktop PCs showed a decline of 11 per cent, reflecting a severe recessionary trend, MAIT still holds that while the slowdown is of immense concern to the industry, increased sales in smaller towns and cities brings a ray of hope. There is an increased need to support this market and grow it further.
MAIT feels this can only happen through more applications, tools and content in local languages, for which a MAIT consortium on innovation and language technology is attempting to establish computing standards in local languages.
Assembled PCs and smaller and lesser known regional brands and unbranded systems still account for 46 per cent of PC sales in 2001-2002, the proportion having been 53 per cent in the previous year.