DIY PCs Rejuvenates Desktop Business In India

It is perceived that every new technology brings disruption in the market by shaking the ground of existing one. With the advent of mobile computing, there seems to be a perception of the desktop market dying a slow death. While this may be true to some extent, the desktops are not out of the industry yet. In fact, desktop business is going through a significant transition. The emergence of Personalized PCs or Do It Yourself (DIY) PCs has rejuvenated the conventional desktop business in a big way. In a scenario where both vendors and channel partners are coping up with the shrinking profit margins in desktops, DIY PCs have brought them new market prospects.

Market Potentials

Though the desktop PCs market is shrinking day by day, the DIY PC environment is witnessing a positive growth in India. While there is a very thin line between DIY PCs and Assembled PCs, DIY PCs give more personalized and customized user experience. The biggest advantage of DIY PC is that it provides consumers a wide scope of configuration, that can be easily upgraded over time, to ensure better performance for a longer period of time at lower costs. The SMB and the Gaming industry are majorly fueling the growth of DIY PCs in India. Therefore, users who want to have customized configuration in their systems are opting for personalized computing devices.

Acknowledging the future growth of this business segment, Rashi Peripherals, India’s one of the top IT distributors is giving a new stimulus to the DIY PC ecosystem. In a bid to promote DIY PCs, Rashi Peripherals rolled out its ambitious 4P initiative in 2015. Rashi’s “Proud to Promote Personalized PC” aims to activate and motivate partners to promote DIY PCs. Under the program, Rashi has identified about150 Retailers across 75 cities to highlight the advantages of a Personalized PC. Rashi is also running a massive marketing campaign to reach out to channel partners and involve them to nourish the DIY business in India. Vendors like vendors like Intel, Asus, Toshiba, Crucial, ECS, Logitech have also extended their support to the 4P program.

“Rashi is determined to swim against the tide and continue efforts to instill confidence in DIY partners. Profitability of the Partner and one stop shop solution encourage partners to go for DIY PC. Today when a partner comes to us asking to re-boot the activity, we as a company feel that our efforts were fruitful and have garnered results for our partners”, said Rajesh Goenka, VP Sales and Marketing, Rashi Peripherals.

Rashi peripherals has seen a descent growth in its DIY PC business in last three years and currently has a very high market share in this category. Goenka said that Rashi Peripherals would continue to focus on this segment.

Channel Play

DIY PC gives an improved profitability and end customer loyalty which is a key to the success of a partner. Therefore, channel partners have now started promoting personalized PCs over laptops as DIY PC offers them higher profitability and various value adds to retain customers.

Darshit, owner of Bhavi Technosoft who is promoting DIY PCs since he is associated with Rashi Peripherals 4P program has seen a major shift in his business in last one year. “We have improved a lot on a profit margin since we are positioning personalized PCs. We are earning a very good margin in DIY PCs as we are not just selling the box, but offering various services with the device”, he said.

Similarly, Pinank, owner of Kryptonite says that customization, configuration and performance are the three key pillars of the success of DIY PCs. “Those who demand all the three elements in their computing devices are increasingly opting for personalized PCs. We are seeing a good demand in this space and optimistic about the future growth”, he said.

With users demanding more personalized computing experience, the DIY PC business is set to grow despite of the downward trend in the desktop market. Therefore, it is an opportunity for channel partners to capitalize on the booming segment.

The Roadblocks

Though the future of DIY PCs is promising, there are certain roadblocks which might slower the growth of the business. With growth stagnating the DIY system, many system integrators have shifted to other product portfolios which has higher demand in the market. According to market estimates, there are only few DIY system integrators are left in the industry today. The biggest challenge is increase in the import duty in May 2015 due to which cost has gone up 6 to 7 percent.

There is no unified effort to promote this category even though Rashi Peripherals along with its vendor partners have taken several successful initiatives to accelerate this business. The infiltration of refurbished and end of life product has also created chaos in DIY Ecosystem. However, despite of these challenges the usage and utility of DIY PC is steadily improving since last one year.

The Path Ahead

DIY PC is real value to PC when it comes to Price vs Performance ratio.With the Government encouraging computerization and automation in the administration, the demand for PC will continue for next few years. The smartphone has several computing limitations which can only addressed by desktops. Similarly, while enterprises are accepting BYOD in a big way the adoption is still low in India due to several compliance issues. Hence, the hopes for desktops are still on and DIY PCs are infusing new energy in the desktop business.

The commercial specially the SMB segment continued to be strong and back bone of DIY Ecosystem. Also with the resurgence of a gaming PC, the future of DIY looks pretty optimistic. Therefore, it would be interesting to see how the channel drives the DIY business in a right direction.

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