Dell Inc., one of the world's top PC makers, plans to double its headcount in India over 3 years, its founder said, but there was no word on the location of a planned manufacturing unit in the country. "India produces over 200,000 engineers and we see that as an asset for our hardware and software activities," Chairman Michael Dell said.
Dell said its staff numbers in India would rise to 20,000 over the next 3 years from about 10,000 now. Dell has set up huge business process outsourcing units to tap India's pool of low-cost English-speaking workers.
Dell also considers Asia's third-largest economy a growing market for desktops and laptops as demand for computers surges across the country.
Research firm IDC expects the Indian computer market to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 23 percent until 2010. In India, Dell competes with multinationals such as Hewlett-Packard Co. and International Business Machines Corp. and local giants HCL Infosystems Ltd. and Wipro Ltd.
Dell, with about 4 percent of the Indian market, declined to give details on the upcoming PC manufacturing unit. But he added the firm was in discussions with various states for a suitable site and hoped to conclude them fairly soon.
"The kind of investments that have occurred in China, Taiwan, Singapore, we would really like to see this in India," Dell said. "One of the real threshold events will be for the government to essentially decide to establish an industrial policy to create capital intensive manufacturing."
SemIndia, a consortium of overseas Indians, recently announced plans to set up its semiconductor chip-fabrication unit in Hyderabad, with technology from America's Advanced Micro Devices Inc. The first phase of the project is to be implemented in 3 years' time with a U.S. $1 billion investment.
Paul-Henri Ferrand, Dell's vice president and general manager for South Asia, said the U.S. company's new Indian plant may even export to Eastern Europe depending on its capability.
"It might be more cost effective to export it from India than from Ireland or from China," he said. (Reuters)
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