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PC sales on recovery path: MAIT

Our Bureau

`Reduced prices, coupled with increased selling efforts, have been instrumental in bringing the recovery,' said MAIT. Also, new technology and features drove the replacement demand of the machines.

NEW DELHI, Oct. 21

PERSONAL computer sale in the country is limping back to the path of recovery. In the first quarter of 2002-03, PC sales stood at 5.08 lakh units and the industry is poised to clock a growth of 15 per cent for the year to cross 19 lakh units, according to a study by Manufacturers Association for Information Technology (MAIT).

Since MAIT is conducting the quarterly survey of the industry for the first time, year-on-year growth of PC sales was not available. However, the April-June sales constituted as much as 63 per cent of PC sales in first half of 2001-02.

The study, conducted by market research firm IMRB for MAIT, used data from six major vendors and 367 resellers/vendors across 13 cities in the country. Apart from PCs, it covered notebooks, servers, printers and UPS.

"Typically the July-August-September quarter is usually characterised by higher sales than April-May-June, thus the sales of IT products in the first half of 2002-03 is expected to be comfortably exceed that in the first half of 2001-02, showing definite signs of market recovery," MAIT said in a statement here.

According to the study, notebook sales in the first quarter of this fiscal stood at 13,677 and servers at 12,694, which were 65 per cent and 47 per cent of their sales in the first half of 2001-02.

The server sales stood at 12,694 units and dot-matrix printers at 99,833 units. In other segments, inkject printers grossed 1.04 lakh units and laser jet printers 17,269 units.

In the PC market, signs of recovery became visible thanks to purchases by banks, educational institutes, government and IT industry as well as the home segment.

"Reduced prices, coupled with increased selling efforts, have been instrumental in bringing the recovery," MAIT said, adding that new technology and features drove the replacement demand of the machines.

The trend of increasing sales in smaller towns and cities continued in the first quarter.

"In the case of most products, sales to the smaller towns has increased and consequently the share of top four metros and next four metros have dropped," MAIT said.

After conducting a poll of channel partners through the study, MAIT said the Government should focus attention on a policy framework conducive to IT consumption. The current domestic taxes such as sales tax and excise duty make IT products significantly expensive for a price-sensitive market like India, the association said.

The Government should also expedite the implementation of e-governance and programmes of computer education.

On their part, the hardware players need to produce PCs at lower costs as the market still perceives the product to be slightly above reach for immediate purchase decisions, MAIT said.

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