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Lenovo India targets 15% revenue growth in FY 2020-21




On the back of its strength in managing complex supply chains, Lenovo India is aiming to double its PC shipment volume in the financial year 2020-21 and log 15 per cent year-over-year revenue growth during that period despite the challenges brought about by the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a top company executive said on Monday.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), although Lenovo emerged as the leader in the India traditional PC market in the calendar year 2019, HP Inc. regained the top position in the fourth quarter of last year as its shipments grew 8.6 per cent from the same time a year ago. While HP Inc.’s 4Q 2019 market share rose to 31.2 per cent, Lenovo came second with 22.5 per cent share in the traditional India PC market.

“FY 2019-20 was one of the best years for Lenovo India. Our PC volume is likely to double this year (FY 2020-21). We will mostly be the #1 PC company in India in FY 2019-20, with a likely share of approximately 32 per cent (i.e., +10.5 points year-over-year),” Rahul Agarwal, CEO and MD, Lenovo India, told IANS in an interview.

“We plan to grow our revenues by 15 per cent YoY (in FY 2020-21) and continue our share gain trajectory with 3-4 points share gain,” he said.

Agarwal said that it was still too early to assess the impact of the novel coronavirus on Lenovo’s sales and supplies in India.

“We are focusing on things we can control and influence. Our business priority continues to be ensuring the health and welfare of the Lenovo workforce, continuity of manufacturing and rebuilding capacity, and assisting those working to contain the outbreak.

“Lenovo is leveraging its geographical balance, operational excellence and strength in managing complex supply chains across a global manufacturing footprint, and solid strategy execution in order to weather the challenges,” he noted.

In the India tablet market, Lenovo retained its dominance for the 10th consecutive quarter, grabbing 37 per cent market share in 2019, said a report from CyberMedia Research (CMR).

“On the Android tablets front, we will continue on the path of undisputed leadership and plan to hit 50 per cent+ share in the next year (our likely exit share in Android tablets for FY 2019-20 is 47.5 per cent),” said the Lenovo India CEO and MD.

Propelled by the government-driven education projects and upgrade purchases for Windows 10, the India traditional PC market inclusive of desktops, notebooks, and workstations ended 2019 with 18.1 per cent year-over-year (YoY) growth, shipping 11 million units during the year, according to data from the IDC.

In one of the largest deals in the history of PC industry, Lenovo India supplied 1.56 million laptops to the Tamil Nadu government for distribution to students.

The India tablet market, however, declined 18 per cent in 2019 compared to a year ago, according to the CMR report.

“Lenovo India is equally dedicated to both the market segments – consumer as well as commercial,” Agarwal said, adding that as a leader in PC and smart devices industry, the company is attempting to better equip its customers in their end-to-end technology needs.

“We help organisations provide the right tools to maximise employee productivity, collaboration and satisfaction. We have continuously innovated with our product range to meet the demands of various customer groups – be it the world’s smallest desktop “Think Nano”, with reduced power consumption or the all-new ThinkBook for the new age workforce, to name a few,” the Lenovo executive added.

Agarwal said that Lenovo is winning in new form factors like “ultraslim” and “gaming” with its new range of Yoga and Legion series respectively.

“Lenovo is also the fastest growing brand in offline gaming in the country and we expect to continue that momentum. We focus on listening to the gaming community and shaping our Lenovo Legion portfolio and engagement based on their feedback. This is a strong evidence of our commitment to growing the gaming ecosystem,” he added.

To increase its market share in India in financial year 2020-21, Lenovo is focusing on “further strengthening” its technical solution capability and partnership with commercial customers in education, finance and government sectors.

Lenovo India is also aiming to grow its service centre network by 10 times in FY 2020-21, Agarwal said.


Service given by corporate offices to their branches taxable





In what may pose challenge to companies having wider spread of employees and branches all across the country, an authority for advance ruling (AAR) had said that managerial and leadership services by a corporate office to its group companies and other construction sites registered in different states is considered as supply of service and would be taxable under GST.

This would mean companies having separate GST registration for its head offices and branches would need to pay GST on the services that a head offices gives to its branches and receive payment for it.

The order on the issue came from Maharashtra AAR or MAAR on application filed by Pune-based B.G. Shirke Construction Technology Private Limited.

The company supplied managerial and leadership services to its branch office and group companies, and received fixed monthly charges from each of them. It asked MAAR whether it is liable to pay tax on such service which gave its order on affirmative going by a similar order given Karnataka AAR on a separate application. This application is now pending before the Karnataka High Court.

Though AAR orders are valid only for the applicants, tax officials use it for other matters as well. These timings also form the basis for amendment to rules of taxation

According to the tax experts, the present ruling with respect to head offices and their branch operations would create a lot of confusion over the issue of valuation of services rendered and valuation taxes.

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India needs 4-5 more SBI sized banks: FM




 India needs a lot more banks and a lot more large sized ones to meet the growing needs of the country needs in the path of making a smart recovery post pandemic disruptions, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Sunday.

Speaking at 74th Annual General Meeting of Indian Banks’ Association at Mumbai, Sitharaman said there was an urgent need to scale up banking to meet the growing needs of the industry and also to ensure that all economic centres of the country are covered with at least one physical or digital banking presence.

“We need to scale up banking. The need is for at least four-five more SBI sized banks,” she said, while reminding that the amalgamation exercise among public sector banks have helped in moving ahead with creation of large banks.

Having done two rounds of bank consolidation earlier, the Central government in 2019 decided to merge six disparate and weak PSBs into four in one stroke.

Accordingly, Punjab National Bank (PNB) took over Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India; Allahabad Bank became part of Indian Bank; Canara Bank subsumed Syndicate Bank; and Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank merged with Union Bank of India. Earlier, State Bank of India (SBI) with five of its associate banks while Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank were merged with Bank of Baroda.

Sitharaman lauded the efforts of the PSBs to see through that the amalgamation of banks during the pandemic period was completed without any inconvenience to customers.

She said that that in the post pandemic world, hanks would need to change their mindset and the way they conduct their businesses.

Digitisation, the Finance Minister said has changed a lot of how businesses are done and banks will now need to think futuristically and keep pace with evolving technology.

Sitharaman also asked the IBA to conduct a digitised mapping of each district of the country with regard to presence of bank branch operation and their location. This, she said, would help to plug areas of gaps with no banking presence effectively.

“Not necessary to have physical banking presence everywhere. The country’s optic fibre network has covered two-third of about 7.5 lakh panchayats. This could be used to deliver banking services in unconnected areas as well,” the Finance Minister said.

She also asked banks to develop models and better understanding of businesses focused on exports as country has set a $2 trillion export target by 2030.

With regard funding for the infra sector, she said that a government sector development financial institution (DFI) is coming up soon.

Sitharaman said that Indian economy is at a critical stage of a reset and banks would form the backbone for it by providing best of the financial services.

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Diesel price rise again, petrol stable amid volatility in global oil markets





Auto fuel prices in the country have maintained stability amid volatility in global oil prices, but the oil marketing companies on Sunday increased the pump price of diesel marginally while maintaining stability in petrol prices.

Accordingly, diesel prices increased by 25 paise per litre in the national capital to Rs 89.07 per litre on Sunday while petrol price remained unchanged for the 21th consecutive day, according to Indian Oil Corporation, country’s largest fuel retailer.

Diesel price was raised on Friday as well by 20 paise per litre which oil marketing company sources said was based on the global price movement of the fuel.

OMCs have preferred to maintain their watch prices on global oil situation before making any revision in prices.

The wait and watch plan of OMCs has come to the relief of consumers as no revision has come during a period when crude prices were on the rise over a shortfall in the US production and inventories and a pick up in demand. This would have necessitated about Rs 1 increase in price of petrol and diesel.

In Mumbai, the petrol price was stable at Rs 107.26 per litre while diesel rate increased to about Rs 96.68 a litre.

Across the country as well petrol price remained static on Sunday while diesel price increased marginally.

Fuel prices have been hovering at record levels on account of 41 increases in its retail rates since April this year. It fell on a few occasions but largely remained stable.

On Sunday, global benchmark Brent crude rose over $78 a barrel. Oil rates are up 2 per cent for the week and this is the fifth weekly gain. Since September 5, when both petrol and diesel prices were revised, the price of petrol and diesel in the international market is higher by around $6-7 per barrel as compared to average prices during August.

Under the pricing formula adopted by oil companies, rates of petrol and diesel are to be reviewed and revised by them on a daily basis. The new prices become effective from morning at 6 a.m.

The daily review and revision of prices is based on the average price of benchmark fuel in the international market in the preceding 15-days, and foreign exchange rates.

But, the fluctuations in global oil prices have prevented OMCs to follow this formula in totality and revisions are now being made with longer gaps. This has also prevented companies from increasing fuel prices whenever there is a mismatch between globally arrived and pump price of fuel.

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