Lenovo set to take yet more market share in Africa
February 24, 2011: The latest IDC report shows that, in the last quarter of 2010, global PC and notebook manufacturer, Lenovo, grew its market share in South Africa to 11.3%, taking number 1 spot, at 17.9%, in the consumer segment. The company has plans to aggressively grow that market share still further in 2011.
“2010 was an exceptional year for us, because we not only exceeded our own growth projections, we also grew significantly faster than the market,” says Lenovo South Africa country manager, Henry Ferreira. “And we did that across all our market sectors: corporate, small and medium business, and consumer.
“This indicates both that our business plan was relevant and effective and that our sales and distribution eco-system functioned precisely as planned, delivering even growth across all the areas that matter to us.
“Specifically, our success in South Africa can be attributed to the fact that we tackled the market with a solid, tightly focused strategy. Of course, our product is innovative while also being robust and reliable. So, it’s not hard to sell.
“In addition, last year, we had some exciting new lines to launch, which has kept our brand building campaign fresh and interesting.
“In support of the quality of our product, however, we chose to keep our strategy clean and simple – and go back to basics. That meant making sure we had the right strategy, the right channel structure, the right partners equipped with training and support from us, and the right after sales service.
“Clearly, this enabled us to perform optimally as well as being competitive on price. We believe, though, that price is very rarely the issue. What customers are interested in is the overall package – and we ensured that our package was among the most desirable out there.”
Lenovo South Africa’s plans for 2011 are focused on continuous improvement.
“Even in the good years and with the best of plans, there are things that you could have done better or didn’t anticipate in the first place,” Ferreira says. “This year, for instance, the turmoil in Egypt has come out of left field – and will have a knock-on effect in the rest of Africa, as in other markets.
“Our aim, therefore, is to fine tune our strategy as per those outcomes we want and can influence directly ourselves but also to be flexible and robust enough to make left or right turns when external circumstances of which we are not in control require it.”
Specifically, Lenovo will be looking to operate as leanly as possible, given analyst predictions, such as those of IDC, that overall growth rates in 2012 will be less than 2%.
To meet Lenovo South Africa’s objective of doing substantially better than it did in 2010, therefore, Ferreira believes that the company’s products and services have to be even more competitive, its routes to market even slicker, and its marketing even more appropriate.
“And, to be in a position to manage external contingencies so as to limit their impact on the business, we will have multiple strategies for multiple markets.” Lenovo South Africa is responsible for Lenovo business in the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, which is forecast to grow significantly during 2011. The middle or SMB market, particularly, is expected to respond positively to rapidly escalating consumer spend.
“It makes sense, obviously, to put extra effort in where the business is,” Ferreira says. “One can’t crowbar the market into your strategy. So, it’s a matter of aiming for the results we’d like out of the journey through 2011, but being prepared to make as many course corrections along the way as are needed to achieve that.
“I believe we have the products, people, and structure to be able to achieve that.”
Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is dedicated to building exceptionally engineered personal computers. Lenovo’s business model is built on innovation, operational efficiency and customer satisfaction as well as a focus on investment in emerging markets. Formed by Lenovo Group’s acquisition of the former IBM Personal Computing Division, the company develops, manufactures and markets reliable, high-quality, secure and easy-to-use technology products and services worldwide. Lenovo has major research centers in Yamato, Japan; Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China; and Raleigh, North Carolina. For more information see www.lenovo.com.
Monique de Klerk
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