Acer India CMO Chandrahas Panigrahi Interview: Taiwanese firm Acer bets on India has grown over the years. In 2018, the company has launched some of its marquee products including popular gaming laptops and it has started working closely with the government and research institutions like IIT and IISc in the area of supercomputers for complex research requirement, one such supercomputer is Param Ishan which it developed for IIT-G. This has helped Acer in spreading its foothold across the IT sector.
Senior executive says that in the past few quarters, the company has witnessed tremendous growth in different verticals. In fact, it has been rated No.1 gaming brand and top 3 in PC monitor segment. Now, the company is looking to leverage new innovation happening in the area of IoT, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence.
In an exclusive interview with TechObserver.in’s Shalini Shukla, Chandrahas Panigrahi, CMO & Consumer Business Head, Acer India said, “Our performance is proof of the gradual upward progression we have been witnessing across segments. Gaming continues to contribute more to the consumer business of Acer India compared with the last year. That contribution is slated to more than double to 10% this year.”
How has been the year 2018 for Acer in India?
The year 2018 has been an astonishing year for Acer as we came up with some marquee launches including gaming laptop, all-in-one’s, convertibles, gaming chair among others. At IFA, we unveiled path-breaking products like the Predator Thronos. Swift 5, the world’s lightest 15 –inch notebook, OJO 500, the first Windows Mixed Reality headset and first Virtual Reality headset to feature a detachable design and a refreshed series of Aspire notebooks and Nitro monitors.
We also recently organized one of the biggest gaming events in the country, Predator Gaming League, where we saw the largest PUBG PC LAN tournament and DOTA2 finale. Likewise, we also worked closely with the government and research institutions like IIT, IISc to deploy supercomputers for complex research requirement, one such supercomputer is Param Ishan which we developed for IIT-G. This helped us spread our foothold across the IT sector – right from innovative laptops to supercomputers.
What have been the major achievements of Acer in the last few quarters?
In the last few quarters, Acer has seen some tremendous growth in all verticals. In the last 3 quarters Acer has been the No. 1 gaming brand, and in the recent quarter, Acer is in the top 3 in PC monitor segment. This is proof of the gradual upward progression we have been witnessing across segments. Gaming continues to contribute more to the consumer business of Acer India compared with the last year. That contribution is slated to more than double to 10% this year. The IT landscape has been constantly evolving and changing; many new trends are expected to emerge and some of them like IoT, Virtual Reality, and Artificial Intelligence will definitely go a long way in improving the lives of users around the world.
What are your plans and expectations from 2019?
The year 2019 will be another exciting year. Across product lines, you can expect a lot of innovations. Our gaming products and thin and light laptops have captured the markets by storm and we will continue to launch products which are unique to the market and at the forefront of technology. Acer is also becoming a strong player in Virtual Reality, IoT, Smart City solutions and Cloud which will lead the new growth segments for Acer.
What are the few trends that you see may impact your industry in 2019?
Internet of Things: As we approach the new year, IoT capabilities are starting to shift from digitally empowering physical assets to automating and expanding how people experience the connected world. By participating audible, visual, environmental, and contextual inputs, the technology could potentially help companies further multiply the probable for innovating unimaginable business models and processes.
It is early days for the application of IoT strategy but it is clear that opportunities will exist for those with the technical knowledge to connect platforms as well as those with the data analytics skills to utilise the rich stream of information generated by IoT applications.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR): Gaming and AR/VR gadgets have grown in adoption in the past year. 2018 has been an immense year for Augmented Reality (AR) technology. We anticipate that this trend will grow with modern user interfaces such as 3D projections and movement detection. Moving forward into 2019, AR technology will continue to proliferate the enterprise software development landscape
Machine Learning: This has taken a massive stride in the past few years, and the pace with which it’s moving forward is phenomenal. Throughout 2018, we can expect to see machine learning updates emerge across the board, entering almost any type of consumer application you can think of, from offering better-recommended products based on prior purchase history to gradually improving the user experience of an analytics app.
Automation: Right now the talk of the town is automation. Automation is gradually taking a lead and along with hardcore robotics, software bots are also easing the jobs for human beings. When automation is combined with machine learning, everything can improve even faster, so 2019 has the potential to be a truly landmark year.
Artificial Intelligence: 2019 will be a year of development for the AI assistant, it will be in more places than our home and office too. Many companies are launching AI assistants. We believe that the year 2019 will see emerging technologies like artificial intelligence penetrating several new areas, impacting jobs like talent acquisition, banking, finance, accounting.