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HP Enters Gaming Vertical With OMEN

Rajiv Srivastava, Managing Director, HP India and Ketan Patel, Senior Director, HP India talk to BW Businessworld

Rajiv Srivastava, Managing Director, HP India and Ketan Patel, Senior Director, HP India talk to BW Businessworld's Brij Pahwa

Srivastava my first question to you is that you have been very vocal about budget 2017 and you have talked a lot about the expectations you had from the government. Do you think your expectations were met, especially in regard to digitization?
Yes I think the budget has been structurally very sound, especially from the perspective of IT industry and I will give you couple of reasons, one is the emphasis on infrastructure spending which fuels a lot of ardency, demands from the IT industry and that you will find a lot of infrastructure spending and management of projects which have to happen on backdrop of IT. The second thing in my opinion is that the word digitization has almost got synonymous with business, everybody has heard of it now especially after demonetization. Everybody now knows that there is a digital way of conducting business, there is a digital way of doing things.

HP India has been diversifying in various verticals now, what are the new initiatives on the cards?
You are right, I think we became the market leader last year and became the leading provider of printing and personal systems in the industry last year. Now we are launching a completely new range of devices called the gaming devices. These are for the young millennials, people who are into playing games, people who are creating lots and lots of internet traffic by competing with their friends and family across the globe.

What's the name?
The range is called omen. It's a completely new range and fulfills a new range of market place. We think it will be a revenue addictive to HP.

I turn to Mr. Patel. What are the specifics of this device technology that Mr. Srivastava is talking about?

OMEN is a gaming brand which we are launching, very excited that we are launching this brand because from a vast portfolio of products of what we have at HP across our various ranges of notebooks, desktops, workstations, think clients etc., this was one missing piece. Specifically, we are launching an entire range of products, the good thing is we are not launching one or two products we are launching a complete range to make sure that from casual gaming experience to top end of serious gaming we are taking care the needs of every single gamer.

On that strand of thought, there are already existing players who have already made a mark in the gaming industry especially in India. For eg. Nintendo, Xbox. How do you plan on to reign in yourself into that industry and challenge the competition?
We are in PC gaming and they are in console gaming. PC gaming is a market which is growing at almost 15% + every year and we believe that the trend is increasing day after day. So while there are other gaming options available there are very specific Pc gaming needs which are there and we are trying to cater them. We are launching five different products in notebooks, 3 products in 15 inch and two products in 17 inch and one dedicated omen desktop for gaming.

Gaming industry is on a boom in India and according to a report, it will touch the 100 million mark by 2022. But gaming is moving now from pcs to smartphone and we have seen this worldwide. So why this announcement right now aren't you afraid that this might not take off?
The gaming industry is a very very strong segment of the industry in countries like China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan. Everywhere, we have seen that gaming enthusiasts like to play on large big screens, highly efficient and fast machines with good input/output and a high quality of hard disk capacity. We launched these machines in china recently and we sold 10,000 of these things in one hour.