First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: Roshani Gosain, a student pursuing her BBS at Khwopa College has been using her neighbor’s laptop for her online classes during the lockdown. She wishes to have a laptop of her own but hasn’t been able to purchase one due to the lockdown.
“We have been attending online classes and have to make presentations which are not possible through a mobile phone. Otherwise there wouldn’t have been any problem,” she says.
And this is but just one example of how students who do not own a laptop are facing.
Whether it be students or office workers, laptops and desktops have become essential these days because many educational institutions are conducting online classes and many offices have adopted the ‘work from home’ modality because of the lockdown. Even those entrepreneurs who were using manual systems are migrating towards digital platforms. So, it is obvious that the demand for laptops and desktops is bound to increase significantly in the country.
The demand for laptops in Nepal has been rising at about 20 percent annually. Dealers say that this increase is normal as laptops get damaged or crash or people want to purchase a better model. However, they mention that during the lockdown the demand has been unexpectedly high.
Gokul Pokharel, product manager at Megatech Trade Group which isan authorized distributor of the Lenovo brand for Nepal, says, “A relatively new segment has come to the market that includes school-going students, parents and schools. Unlike in the past they are at present in a big hurry to buy laptops instead of mobile phones or tabs or even desktops.”
Likewise, Paras Sharma, proprietor of Kausiki Infosys International, a dealer of HP and Dell brands of computers, states that due to the online classes and ‘work from home’ modality the demand for laptops has increased at present. “A family that was till recently using just one laptop now requires at least two laptops,” he shares.
Another reason for the high demand is the limited number if laptops available in the market due to the lockdown. Laptop distributors reveal that only 20 percent of the usual demand is being imported at the moment. In fact, even those orders that were placed before the lockdown was imposed are yet to be delivered. And since most of the laptops in the market have been sold out customers do not have the freedom of choice these days.
“Due to the lockdown we have not been able to import more number of laptops due to which there is a shortage right now and we have not been able to supply to our distributors too,” shares Sharma. “Online marketing of laptops is also useless now because we don’t have enough stock,” he adds.
Pokharel informs that there are logistic challenges to import laptops due to the lockdown. He says that products that were imported before the lockdown are stuck at the customs points.
As per statistics of the Department of Customs, the country imported 7,686 units of laptops and notebooks worth Rs 404.63 million along with 197 units of tablets worth Rs 11.59 million in just one month from mid-July to mid- August when the lockdown was lifted. Whereas, data shows that only 2,995 units of laptops and notebooks worth Rs 164.74 million were imported in the last fiscal year 2019/20.
The increasing number of the users, introduction of advanced specifications, high-end technologies, more storage capacity, high-integrated graphic cards, among others are the reasons for the yearly growth of the laptop market. Another factor for the increment is that they are appropriate for general use, professional work, preparation of documents, presentations, editing, internet browsing, gaming purposes and high-definition videos.
However, laptop distributors say that the market for other customer segments including corporate houses, government offices and banks and financial institutions have remained segment as they have not been operating in a full-fledged manner at present. “The demand from the education sector has been nullified by its lack from other segments, so we can say that demand is in a state of equilibrium right now,” adds Pokharel.
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