4. COMPAQ INDIA: Systems King

DQI Bureau
New Update

While India’s software exports crossed 60% growth, Compaq India grew even faster than that. It topped the PC charts, beating HCL and leaving other MNCs far behind. In PC servers too, it was on top, with a quarter of the market by units, winning key accounts like the postal department, United India Insurance and




  • Strength: Product range, from hand-held to mainframes. Strong PC base, consistent branding. Sound channel and retail network. Good financial sector base for servers and services
  • Weakness: Unix servers (low global marketshare, Alpha to be discontinued, transition to Itanium ahead). ‘PC company’ image
  • Opportunity: Major services projects, especially in the government and PSU segment
  • Threat: Price competition from local PC players and

    MNCs, Dell’s entry



  • 67% systems growth, 37% services growth
  • Topped desktops, PC servers
  • Major server wins in financial sectors
  • Four Himalaya mainframe sales at Rs 7 cr each


MD: Balu Doraisamy 


PRODUCTS & SERVICES: Computer Hardware, Solutions and Services


Branch Offices:



Compaq Centre 92, Industrial Suburb 2nd Stage, Yeshwantpur,

Bangalore- 560022

TEL: 3097785 FAX: 3374395 WEBSITE:

Compaq has now merged all desktop, portables and handhelds into one Access Business Group. Its Bangalore plant rolls out 25,000 desktops every month (with plans to double this run soon). This helped its price competitiveness. But distribution was the key. Apart from a strong channel program, it’s the only vendor other than HCL to have a real retail presence, with 300 retail stores going up to 500 this year. Its Presarios may not have made their way into Indian homes en masse without this visibility.

More significant than PCs for its health was Compaq India’s spectrum of systems sales, backed by services. It’s keen to “change this perception of being just a PC company” to a tech and solutions company. That means moving further into the S-segments: servers, storage

(India makes up a tenth of Compaq APAC storage revenues)–and services. 


Citibank was a major five-month project for Compaq’s services group. First, installing an 64-bit Alpha Server for Citi’s national ATM switch at Chennai. And moving credit card authentication (1,000 transactions per minute) to an Alpha Wildfire running Oracle. And revenues doubled on the fault-tolerant Himalaya mainframes, thanks to big upgrades at the BSE and CSE stock exchanges and other banking customers, including SBI, ICICI and


Other projects included Oracle apps at Cummins; an infrastructure project for Global Trust Bank, SAP for TVS Suzuki, billing for Orange Cellular, ATM switches in 13 banks, and systems in the top four stock exchanges. Despite server

successes, there’s a gap ahead in the freeway, as Compaq moves its Unix servers from Alpha to Itanium. That means user concerns about continuity, and Compaq’s challenge is to assure them of seamless transition and support.

While holding on to its systems leadership, Compaq will be working on vertical segments with its solutions partners, focussing on wireless  services. It’s clear about its S mantra: systems, servers, services, solutions, success.