Lenovo is taking on the African market, with huge emerging market growth fuelling interest in the company’s PC+ strategy.
Graham Braum, CEO of Lenovo Africa, points out that the company has spent the last few months targeted selected African markets. He believes Lenovo has gained an understanding of user needs in these markets and has tailored product and go-to-market offerings that address these needs.
“For us, Africa is a wonderful opportunity. For instance, in companies that have embraced the Internet – and Kenya has 70% Internet penetration – there is affordable broadband and connectivity is widely available.”
He says that users generally begin their Internet experience with social networking, followed by e-mail and then entertainment.
With Lenovo driving its PC+ strategy – looking beyond the PC – Braum says Africa is the ideal market as many first time buyers will probably skip the PC and enter the market with tablets or smartphones.
Paul Collins, SMB lead at Lenovo Africa, adds that Lenovo’s go-to-market strategy in Africa is 100% via the channel.
“For us to address all the markets out there, we really do need to touch manage and control as may partners as possible,” he says.
Currently, Lenovo has about 900 partners in Africa, but it expects this to grow to about 3 000 in the coming months.
Lenovo has traditionally been known as a business PC vendor, but a new focus on the consumer market coincides with the push into Africa.
“We are not where we want to be as a consumer brand on the global market,” says Collins. “We want to be more active on the consumer front: we want to lead in the convertible market; we want to establish the table PC as a new form factor; and we want to establish Lenovo in the mainstream.
“From that perspective, a lot of our products are built around three key factors: simplified, responsive and comfortable.”
Lenovo currently offers notebooks for the consumer market and will introduce a tablet line-up within the next few months, followed within about a year with a smartphone offering.