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MANGO: Pakistan's first branded PC

Offering a affordable choice to potential buyers

By Syed M. Aslam
Feb 05 - 11, 2001

International Office Products, one of the oldest computer selling company in the country, intends to extend the delectable mango season beyond its traditional summer months to last throughout the year. The IOP which launched what it claimed Pakistan's first 'truly assembled branded PC', Mango, end October last year is primarily targeting the small and medium entrepreneurs who demand quality but are simultaneously extremely price conscious.

PAGE learnt that name was chosen by the MD of IOP, S.M. Sain as mango is not only the most delectable national fruit but is also recognised one of the best recognised exotic fruit of Pakistan in the international market. It seemed most appropriate thing to do as the US have Apple, French telecom is named Orange and an IT company is called Tulip, said Ali Abbas Mirza, the marketing manager of IOP responsible for Mango sales.

Marketing Manager of IOP, Ali Abbas Mirza, talking to PAGE acknowledged that while Mango may not be the first branded assembled in Pakistan it is certainly the first 'truly locally assembled branded PC' compared to the J-Systems introduced by its only rival, Jaffer Brothers.

'Though Mango has the same components in its assembly like the J-Systems, Mango provides a comprehensive three-year warranty on all components unlike its predecessor. We have gone beyond establishing a brand by merely designing and putting on a logo as brand development is much more than that. That's the reason Mango comes not only in designer casing with unique mouse pads and offer a level of service at every stage including helpline, free delivery and installation, after-sales service at the premises, training, dedicated website and leasing options," Mirza added.

Manager Operations IOP, Syed M. Salis, told PAGE that Mango is an Intel-based product. Components used in the assembly of Mango include Intel Pentium III and Celeron processors, genuine Intel motherboard, various brands of RAMs including Kingston, Seigat hard disks which are also used by such internationally known counterparts as IBM (IBM PCs are marketed by IOP for the last 16 years) and Dell. IOP has signed a licensing agreement with the Microsoft to use software and operating systems and the branded mouse is also designed by the Microsoft. IOP, he added, has also successfully received the certification from Intel, the premier component provider, which require a minimum of two Intel-certified engineers.

So what's the initial response to Mango been like? Mirza said that over 200 units of the Mango PC have been sold since its launching on October 30 last year. In fact, he added, we have been actively only about of these past three months primarily due to the traditional laid-back business activities in the holy month of Ramazan. We have been able to sell 60 units to Dadabhoy Institute of Management Sciences, 20 units to the Iqra University etc. We are focusing on small and medium businesses which thus far are using on low-priced and inferior quality unbranded PCs and feel that with the rising quality consciousness among the people in next two years will be doing much better. A number of multinationals as well as local companies and IT institutes have also expressed keen interest in our product, he added.

Mirza said that IOP market research shows that PC market in Pakistan can be divided into three major categories — the high-end users which prefer to buy branded PCs only; the low-end users which go for unbranded products; and the quality conscious users who are also highly price conscious. The first and the second, he added make up 15 per cent share of the total PC market while the third make up the rest of the 70 per cent share. It is the last segment that we are targeting — particularly the small and medium businesses and IT institutes.

Mango expects to attract and cater to this massive segment of the market, not to say that we don't intend to make inroads into the other two markets. As is, the fact that Mango has attracted attention from the multinational and local businesses as well as from the individuals is a sign that we will be able to fill the gap between growing consciousness for quality and a purse which matches the budget.

This is why, Mirza said, all-inclusive prices of the three Mango PC packages run between Rs 32,000 to Rs 51,000 aimed at offering a affordable choice to potential buyers who till recently were to choose only between costly internationally branded PCs and cheap but extremely inferior versions.

So what's the total volume of PC sales in Pakistan. Mirza said that though no figures are available crude estimates put annual PC sales at 250,000 including both the branded and unbranded machines. Of this, he added, the 80 per cent share is dominated by the unbranded segment while the branded products enjoy the rest of the 20 per cent share. Home users and small and medium businesses each equally make-up 70 per cent of the PC sales while IT institutes and others make -up the rest of the 30 per cent share of the market. It is this reason that we are particularly targeting small and medium businesses and IT institutes which demand quality PC at affordable prices.