The laptop market in Bihar is zooming ahead, thanks to students and erratic power supply in small towns and rural areas. "The laptop market in Bihar is growing very fast. According to market figures, over 8,000 laptops per month or around one lakh laptops annually are being sold through shops in the state, and the numbers indicate a rising trend," Sudhir Gupta, director of Krishna Agencies, a distributor for a major laptop brand, told PTI.
He says a majority of buyers of 90 per cent of laptops sold in the state are school and college students, who go for entry level or medium level laptops priced up to Rs 65,000. "Students prefer laptops over desktops, more so if they are from smaller towns or rural areas because of the non-availability of electricity.
The powerful batteries that come with most of the laptops help them overcome the problem as they offer a back-up of at least two-and-a-half hours, though there are ones that give six hours power backup too," Gupta says. He adds that the latest craze among the students in the state is for laptop-cum-tablets as they are economically priced and come in colourful models. But this is not all.
According to IT Association estimates, the sales figures could shoot up by several thousands if laptop sales by e-commerce sites to consumers in Bihar, as well as, commercial purchases or bulk purchases by government agencies and private institutions are taken into consideration.
Patna-based eastern region vice-president of Confederation of Indian IT Associations (CIITA) Naveen Gupta says, "A couple of months ago we conducted a survey and found that at least 25 to 30 laptops were arriving via courier from e-commerce sites daily in the state capital only.
Some of the shops were also ordering them and then reselling to buyers here. "Since we are unable to access figures for laptops sold via e-commerce sites, we can only hazard a guess about them when it comes to total units sold in Bihar.
Similarly, government purchases are made through tenders either in the state or even outside," he adds. Gupta says that the IT associations are now fighting for regulating e-commerce companies in computers and related things as they are able to offer products at prices that are even lower than what normal shops in the country procure at.