Sri Lanka identified as key HP market

Wednesday, 24 November 2010 22:30 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka is among the top three countries in the South Asian region for the Hewlett-Packard (HP) market, with an expanding product line and market share.

By Cheranka Mendis

Sri Lanka’s IT market, which is estimated to be worth US$ 305 million in 2010, has been growing steadily over the past 10 years and is now recognised as a market with much growth potential. HP which has its operations all over the Asia Pacific has identified Sri Lanka alongside Pakistan and Bangladesh as markets that could deliver more market value within the next few years.

General Manager for Imaging and Printing for HP Sales for Asian Emerging Countries Irving Oh speaking to Daily FT stated the country was an integral part in the development of their business in this part of Asia.

The company which has had its presence in the country since 1999 officially moved to Sri Lanka early this year establishing an office in Colombo. Oh asserted that as at now almost 80-90 per cent of all products being sold worldwide are also available in Sri Lanka.

“We look at Sri Lanka as a part of us. The country is poised for growth, along with it so will our business. In Sri Lanka we find that our customer base is ever expanding and once they try out HP products, they hardly move elsewhere,” Oh said.

The company is highly optimistic of the future, added Business Manager for Imaging and Printing LES GTMU and Commercial Sales Neo Kai Tee. However, for the company to increase its investment in Sri Lanka, the growth must be more visible.

HP introduced the world’s first ePrint enabled and web connected printers to the local market on Tuesday with three of its brand new models. The printers give customers and businesses instant and seamless connectivity to popular web content breaking all barriers for printing.

Claiming that HP’s movement in the South Asian region is a fast one, Oh stated that almost 60 million printers are sold in South East Asia every year, giving HP a 50 per cent market share in the region.

Since the world is now moving towards an ‘e’ associated world, innovation such as those launched on Tuesday would further pave way for the company’s growth. The printers launched included the world’s first format All-In-One device with web connectivity, the HP office jet 7500A, the wireless HP Officejet 6500 and HP Photosmart D 210A.

On laserjet printers, HP is said to be the strongest leader in the region. “Market share in the Asian Emerging countries for laserjets for HP is 80 per cent,” Kai Tee stated in his address. Asia Small and Medium Businesses (SMB) is one of the key focuses for HP, he added. “It is assessed that 65 per ccnt used hosted software to some extent while 70 per cent considers it and 80 per cent loves it,” Kai Tee said.

Speaking of the critical changes in the market, Director of Imaging and Printing- Consumer and IWS South East Asia for HP Asia Pacific P.V. Viswanath stated that Asia Pacific economies are projected to reach GDP growth greater than five per cent by 2015.

“India will stabilise itself and achieve GDP growth of 8-8.2 per cent while China could reach 10 per cent. The economy will sustain growth levels,” Viswanath.

With growth at hand the market trends impacting business customers today is changing with content explosion and digitalisation at the forefront. The content available is said to increase 10 times by 2012 – the digital content explosion will drive the market trends in a notable way in the future.

According to an HP analysis printable content will explode by three times by 2012 from the present status with more activities taking the road to a ‘e-world’ from airline ticketing to digital photos to increasing social media networks.

“The content is also now shifting from analogue to digital but with this the printing capacity will also change. At present 56 trillion papers are printed today but within the near future 200 billion pages will tip to digital annually,” he stated.

Yet another shifting market trend is the mobility and web with people now becoming extremely mobile. It was said that there were one billion workers employed in the mobile business last year with more people opting for data phones, etc. This would drive forth need for mobile digital devices and the expectation is that another 1.2 billion will engage in the mobile industry as workers by 2013.

“It is reported that 85 per cent of smart phones users want to print but is limited by application- this restricts their mobility in one way or another. Incremental pages from mobile devices will be 12 billion 2012. This has urged HP to innovate to provide for the current needs. Thus the new set of printers has been launched.”

The ePrinters launched emphasises that if a customer can email, he can now print. The printer has an email address and if the user emails the document that needs to be printed  to the particular email address of the printer, the user or the customer can then take it from anywhere in the world. “There is no limitation to printing now.”

Pix by Daminda Harsha Perera