Once PC assembling ruled the market but as new mobility solutions flooded the market it hit the desktop market badly, and so did the PC assembling market. But lately there has been a revival of the Do-it-yourself PC market though in different form factors.
Corsair compares the PC DIY with LEGO set; always fun to assemble. Once commanding close to 50% of the PC market share, the advent of laptops and especially Tablets nibbled away its dominant position in the market, so much so that it was almost written off. But in the recent times it has risen again like a Phoenix from ashes.
According to the industry the DIY market was never written off, it only slowed down as laptops, tablets and later smartphones flooded the market. While it may not see the same glory days but its future is being charted out in glowing words.
While the PC assembling market as we knew may be dead but there are a segment of customers who refuse to let it die and vendors too are not far behind in marshalling the cause of DIY PC market. Corsair recently got into the PC market with DIY gaming machine Bulldog, Zotac has its ZBox and ECS has LIVA. DIY focused Gigabyte has opened new service centers in India to support DIY PC users. As part of its strategy Intel wants to reinvigorate the desktop market with new form factors like the Next Unit of Computing and portable All in Ones.
With more people finding it easier for DIY and the products being available more easily, the DIY market will see a much better traction soon. – Vishal Parekh, Marketing Director, Kingston Technology – India.
The Rise of DIY
With its low PC penetration India still has untapped potential in the desktop market; and as per the industry DIY is helping in reviving this market with different form factor PCs.
Today PCs are not confined to a specific form factor, and has evolved to mini PC, compute stick or USB which boasts of giving the same functionality as the standard PC and more.
Gamers use high and ultra-high end configurations which need the biggest and meanest of form factors. Then there are SFF which are an ideal fit for Home and have designed to be a part of home décor says ADATA. Intel is coming out with Compute Stick or ‘PC on-a-stick’ which is expected to be the next big thing.
Corsair is launching the all new Bulldog in November 2015. Gigabyte, ASUS, Alienware, HP and a few others are already operational in the market.
Though these new form factor PCs come at an initial cost but the benefits are much higher says the industry, be it in terms of energy efficiency, smaller footprint, lighter, faster work, less/no noise etc.
“Energy efficiency with performance is the key to shift on the small size form factor, new CPU/GPU technology makes them 10 times energy efficient in past few years,” adds Deepak Gupta, Country Manager, Zotac India.
“DIY India market is in the nascent stage and this could be termed as the initial turbulence. We see this as an opportunity and working towards making our product range available across price points. With more people finding it easier for DIY and the products being available more easily, the DIY market will see a much better traction soon,” says Vishal Parekh, Marketing Director, Kingston Technology India.
Today’s DIY PCs are much more powerful than the earlier ones and fulfils the needs of a niche segment of customers like gamers, enthusiasts or the entertainment industry. In addition, with the right components and quality manufacturer, the life of a DIY PC is considered longer than a laptop.
“DIY market is not just about building PC,” says Vinay Shetty, Country Head, ASUS Technology Pvt Ltd., says, “this is the misconception that is adopted. DIY market is about giving the right Solution to the Customer as per the budget and need.”
Gaming and enthusiast community are one of the strong driving forces for resurgence of the PC DIY market says Shetty, “With big brands like Microsoft and AMD backing Virtual Reality (VR) gaming, developers have once again shifted focus to the PC as a primary gaming platform.”
Gamers and Entertainment industry users are two of the biggest consumers segment for the DIY segment followed by Corporate and SME/SMB users.
Gupta replies, “Energy efficiency will be a key in the future, and SOHO segment will get updates to their PCs hence I am sure that upgrade will be a sizable DIY market and of course enthusiast & gamers will be next.”
Assembling a PC may intimidate a non-tech person but it is not a rocket science what one needs is basic knowledge about the system’s functioning and a sound knowledge about the build and budgets. M A Mannan, Country Manager, Corsair India, says, “One part of the target segment is the system integrators and IT professionals. The other major and most interesting part of this segment is people like you and me. Everyone has the ability to assemble a PC.”
After lying low for sometime DIY has again started picking up in the market and has started affecting the Indian PC market too. Rapidly changing technology, design of the product, quality and variety of the products, easier approach, quicker support & personal touch are considered the drivers of DIY market. DIY PC allows lot of customisation.
Parekh adds, “The very fact that there is freedom in choosing the best package for each component, is itself an important driver for DIY. Another important factor is the increase in the awareness of available compatible components and knowledge about their potential.”
“Though the base is still quite large, the demand for DIY is not yet reached a level wherein more resources need to divested. It will take a couple of quarters for this segment to get in to full throttle,” says Richard Tan, MD & Director, ADATA Technology India Pvt Ltd.
ECS sees the role of partner, VARs & SI growing in the country hence bigger opportunities.
“While it is easier to sell a laptop where customer retention is very difficult, however in a DIY PC a channel partner can retain his customer by way of his value addition. Also the opportunity to make some money is higher than selling conventional desktop and laptops. Thus DIY PC gives an improved profitability and end customer loyalty which is a key to the success of a partner,” replies Rajesh Goenka, VP (Sales and Marketing), Rashi Peripherals.
Mannan says, “Channel partners always have the leverage of getting some more margins by offering DIY products. They understand very well by selling a tablet or laptop they end up getting a fixed margin but with PC components there is more space to play around.”
As the market matures Gupta says lot of small player/non-brand will diminish automatically and will have either branded small PC or performance PC.
Parekh adds that DIY encourages extreme customization and the customers are free to mix-n-match standard compatible components to suit their requirements and even budgets. The same angle works at the end user level, SME/SMB level and even at the corporate level. “This is a good opportunity for us, especially when we have such high quality standards and have products available at all price points.”
Rashi claims to sell roughly five lakh units (5,00,000) in each quarter. “The number is stagnant however the ASP is now gradually climbing up,” informs Goenka.
While the demand is there in both metros and non-metros, India Country Manager of Elitegroup Computer Systems Rajshekhar Bhatt says the % growth is much better in non-metro & smaller town/cities. Gupta says while C & D class are shifting to their first or second PC, metro’s shifting to enthusiast of performance PC.
Goenka adds, “All categories of city customer in the SMB and home segment demand the DIY PC however the B and C class cities have comparatively higher demand.”
While it is easier to sell a laptop but where customer retention is very difficult, however in a DIY PC a channel partner can retain his customer by way of his value addition. – Rajesh Goenka, VP (Sales and Marketing), Rashi Peripherals.
What it brings for SMEs?
With their limited resources does or can the DIY concept give SMEs better alternatives? SMEs can get customized PCs suiting their requirements which can save money and also give them ample opportunity for scaling up in future.
Bhatt says, “The kind of customization, personalize support at no extra cost will be two key points which SME will find as extra value addition from DIY market players.”
Goenka says the DIY PC acceptance is highest in SME and gaming segment, and SME is the largest category of DIY PC currently. One very interesting feedback they have got from SME is that DIY PC is more secure than notebooks and hence they are preferring desktops.
Mannan feels that with the pro-economy government bringing in many improvements in trade and commerce, SMEs have a great future and this is the right time to invest in technology. “It is a smart investment for SMEs as DIY PCs are very cost effective.”
With their product range, and value proposition offered ECS hopes to become the top choice for SME customers. As for Adata its major offer for SMEs are SSDs and DRAM which contributes to a major chunk of their business.
DIY PC market is still at a nascent stage and it will be sometime before we come to know its full acceptability in the market. It’s anticipated that once consumers exhaust the tablets and smartphones will start moving towards PC which is an encouraging sign for the industry. The low PC and internet penetration as seen as opportunity for the growth of PC market and the increasing in gaming and enthusiast community PC seems to have a bright and stable future ahead. While the overall prices are coming down for most system form factors only time will tell if the new form factors can help shoot the sales of DIY PC higher.