We are fine tuning our approach on the go to help the partner community

Ashish Sikka, Director - Channel and SMB, Lenovo India

What is your channel strategy amid COVID 19?

Lenovo puts channel partners at the heart of its business. We are 100% dedicated to listening, taking action and improving to build a true win-win partnership. With most of Lenovo’s shipments taking place through our channel partners, we are driven to equip our partners in the fight to stay relevant, as well as future proof their business.

The current situation is dynamic and evolving, and we are fine tuning our approach on the go to help the partner community. However, we are confident in everything we are doing as a company to ramp up production and serve our customers during this time.

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“We at Lenovo think that the challenges in the IT market keep evolving and disruptions like COVID further amplify them.”

Ashish Sikka,
Director – Channel and SMB,
Lenovo India


Some of the measures that we have put in place for our channel partners, enabling them to align in the right direction are as follows:

  • We understand the pain points of our channel partners. Channel partners in India cited that their biggest challenges are delivering value to customers to earn better margin and taking care of their working capital requirements, especially in the midst of the disruption due to COVID 19. We at Lenovo, understand their challenges and provide extensive and customized programs, from incentives to rebates to co-marketing to help channel partners sell more and reap greater rewards, gain expertise, and receive support.
  • Despite their challenges in the face of an evolving business landscape, we want their experience with us to remain easy, seamless, and transparent and so we have launched the AP Lenovo Partner Program to streamline all engagement and operations with our channel partners into one single platform. This portal provides useful sales and management tools, as well as training and marketing content, allowing our channel partners to experience how Lenovo adds value to the partnership with just a single log-in.
  • We are recognized as the leader in the PC business in India and as per the latest IDC report (CY Q419) that was published in February 2020, Lenovo has achieved an unprecedented market share of 33.7% (FY YTD share as per IDC: FY1920 Q3). Thereby, giving our channel partners the market confidence to sell the Lenovo brand.

What are your major challenges in the market?

We at Lenovo think that the challenges in the IT market keep evolving and disruptions like COVID further amplify them. We look at these as opportunities for us to work closely with our partners, use Lenovo’s global strengths and find solutions to.

Like the margin and credit choke which they face, another challenge which has come up due to the current lockdown is the disruption or delay in supply of orders. However, with our strong global supply chain footprint, we believe that we are geared up for resolving the issue for our customers.

What are your major trends in the market?

Digital transformation, digital workspaces, and security were the key highlights we saw in 2019 and we expect the momentum to go on in 2020. The changing business scenarios and end user needs pushes CIOs to add few requirements like work from home. Lenovo has customer centricity as one of its core tenets and hence proactively works on developing solutions to address the new trends.

This year, with the COVID 19 lockdown, we see that there is an increase in demand for solutions which enable flexible working. What customers are looking for are reliable devices which are sleek and stylish at the same time. Our new SMB device, ThinkBook, which was launched in the later part of 2019 fits this bill perfectly. ThinkBook is a device which is a business grade device with features like fingerprint power button, ThinkShutter, hot keys for video calls etc. and sleek & stylish with its mineral grey finish.

Whether you have enough stock of products to meet demands in the market?

We are leveraging the full strength of our 30+ factories around the world to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus situation and we believe that we are geared up to meet with demand in the market.

Currently, with the rise in the need for remote and flexible working environments from businesses around the world we have seen an increase in demand for laptops and supporting accessories. We are offering customised product bundles to address this customer requirement.

How are you dealing with replacement and warranty as there is less movement in the market?

To better support customers, Lenovo is offering a free global warranty extension for up to 75 days through May 31, 2020, for all Lenovo/Motorola smartphones and Lenovo Consumer PCs, tablets, smart home devices, consumer augmented/virtual reality devices, monitors and accessories with warranties that are coming to an end between March 15 through April 30, 2020.

We also have our latest initiative, where we will be offering 24*7 technical support to all laptop and desktop customers, for brands other than Lenovo. The technical support will be available until May 3, 2020. The toll-free number will be open 24 hours and can be reached at 1800 419 5253. The technical support will provide assistance for:

  • Basic operating system-related troubleshooting
  • Identifying problems with hardware or software
  • Installation of 3rd party devices like printers, scanners
  • Support on licensed software’s like office, antivirus etc. for installation and removal
  • Slow system related issues

Which vertical markets are a high priority from a consumption point of view? 

Under the current circumstance our focus is on solutions which enable remote and flexible working as work from home is the resolution businesses and industries have taken across the globe. Because of which we also see opportunity for our smart work bundles which is a set of devices and accessories which seamlessly go together to enable customers to cue in to the smart remote working scenario.

What is your product strategy?

Lenovo is well-positioned to meet the demands of the new-age workforce & enable ‘smarter workplaces’ by striking the perfect balance between cutting edge technology and the aesthetics of the unit.

At Lenovo, our vision is to provide smarter technology for all. We have a suite of products, under the iconic ‘Think’ brand, to cater to the requirements of the new-age workforce viz., Think Smart Hub for conferencing facilities, Nano form-factor desktops (the world’s smallest desktop), AI-enabled laptops, commercial IoT desktops, and the most recently launched, ThinkBook.

The modern workplace population consisting of the GenZ and Millenials prefers a high performing laptop or PC which is also aesthetically pleasing. SMBs have started investing in more consumer-centric products to satisfy employees who incline towards sleek style over traditional designs. In doing so, these businesses end up making trade-offs in security features, support services, warranties, and protection, plus other configurations.

Lenovo’s ThinkBook range addresses this need as it aims to provide a unique balance of the needs and demands of the new workforce with a device that enables modern and online collaboration, without compromising on business-grade security and services.

What is your growth forecast for this year?

As per the latest Gartner report, although the Global personal computer (PC) shipments declined 12.3% in January-March, Lenovo maintained its top position. According to the latest IDC report (CY Q419) that was published in February 2020, Lenovo has not only emerged as the market leader but is also the only brand in the top 4 brands to have grown YoY.

Overall, the SMB business performance has seen a rise with the increase in partners, growth in market share and wide geographical coverage. With customer centricity in our core, we have ensured this steep rise in market share.

Lenovo India strives to keep upgrading our products to keep up with the ever-changing environment. Our target is to keep up with tenacity and maintain our position in the market in 2020 as well.

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