2 min read October 2021 — Lenovo, a global leader in technology and innovation, has one of its two global headquarters located in the Triangle region. In an interview with Invest:, Vlad Rozanovich, senior vice president of Lenovo, and president of the North America International Sales Organization of Lenovo, discusses how demand for technology products has been impacted by the pandemic, how the company has navigated supply challenges that impacted the technology industry, and his outlook for the Triangle region.
What is the importance of the Triangle to Lenovo?
Lenovo continues to be a global powerhouse when it comes to IT and intelligent transformation in the technology industry. When we look at our financial results over the last year, we had $60 billion in revenue worldwide in over 180 markets and employed over 71,000 people. This puts us in the category of a Fortune Global 500 corporation and our ties to the Triangle region are critical to our success. The Triangle is home to one of two global headquarters for Lenovo, and so it is important for us to make sure we are investing in the area and in our people.
How has demand for your products shifted during the pandemic?
The demand is unprecedented. The number of people who are still looking at PC products and infrastructure service products is at an all-time high. This is something the industry has never seen, so this is an exciting time for the industry.
There was a massive increase in demand from a variety of industries. Especially when the pandemic first hit, we saw substantial demand from school districts as they were trying to ensure they could provide a laptop to every child for remote learning. Then we saw an increase in demand for gaming. As people had more time at home and more disposable income, one of the things we saw was a significant increase in our Legion gaming product portfolio sales. One of our biggest driving factors was, as people had to work from home, was the need to make sure they had laptops, high-definition cameras and good audio systems. Everyone was transitioning from their traditional office setting to working from home and needed to make sure they had the technology to remain as productive as they had been in the office. The transition to a remote environment helped to showcase our innovations and products that we feel really help the industry. The products that we put into the market actually enhanced business at a time when personal touch wasn’t possible.
What has been the impact of supply chain issues on the tech sector?
Supply chain constraints have certainly been a challenge in the past year, not just for Lenovo but for the entire technology sector and beyond. . Being a global company, with manufacturing in so many different parts of the world, we are better positioned than most and have contingency plans in place to ensure we deliver products to our customers in a timely manner . We are still gated upon some components in the industry to make sure we can develop all the products that we need based on the demand we’re seeing. But also, being a $60 billion company gives us a lot of strength to make sure we’re getting our fair share of those components. We’ve done a really nice job managing the supply chain issues, which I think has to do with the nature of Lenovo and how we’ve addressed it.
Have you experienced any difficulties in finding good talent in the Triangle?
Being a global leader, over the past year, we’ve invested over $1.4 billion in research and development (R&D). That creates a nice healthy employment pipeline for students coming out of school and people looking for high-tech, innovative jobs. Because we put so much money into our R&D, we’re doing a really good job of attracting and retaining top talent to the Triangle area. People know that the work being done here translates into some of the most innovative products in the market. We stand for innovation and that’s what draws here versus somewhere else. We’ve positioned ourselves as a place where people want to work, with a culture that is very friendly and flexible. So, luckily for us, we haven’t seen those issues.
What is your outlook for the Triangle?
I love the Triangle. When I think about the technology hubs in North America, Silicon Valley has become too expensive and people who were trying to move there couldn’t afford it. We see that happening in other areas, such as Seattle, as well. People are looking for a place where they can be comfortable creating a career and raising a family. There is a great baseline of universities between NC State, UNC Chapel Hill and Duke, creating a steady pipeline of talent and pulling qualified employees from all parts of the country. I think the Triangle is poised for massive growth, there’s no doubt about that, and we’ll continue to invest here.