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India Becomes Fastest-Growing, Third-Largest Market For Dell

India was the fastest growing market for Dell last year, the Dellfirst full year since the company went private. The growth was two times faster than in the second fastest growing market. And the growth did not come from a low base. India is Dell’s third largest market, after the US and China.

Dell India MD Alok Ohrie told TOI that the company grew 30% in its fiscal year ended January 2015, compared to the year before. “This was the highest globally. It was a historic year,” he said, speaking about the growth performance publicly for the first time.

In India, he said, the company grew five times faster than local competitors, and that the growth momentum was continuing into the ongoing year. Research firm IDC’s figures bear this out. In 2014, Dell’s commercial PC business achieved a market share of 22.6%, a gain of 10.8 percentage points over 2013, and the highest share among all vendors.

In the consumer and small business segment, Dell’s share in 2014 was 21.7%, a share gain of 7.5 percentage points compared to 2013, and again, the highest share among vendors. In servers, there was an 8.7 percentage points gain in revenue share, and 6.7 percentage points gain in unit shipment share.

Dell founder Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Management together invested billions of dollars in 2013 to buy out all other shareholders and take the company private. The objective was to reduce the company’s reliance on sales of PCs and to strengthen enterprise technology — sell more servers, storage, networking and security products. Dell felt this transformation required a long-term vision unhindered by short-term pressures from Wall Street analysts and investors.

Looks like this strategy is working best in India, for now. Ohrie attributed the commercial success partly to Dell’s philosophy of open standards and architecture, and not pushing proprietary systems. “We believe in giving choice to the customer. We don’t have any technology that locks them in, so we don’t have biases in our recommendations. When I ask customers why they chose us against other big names, they tell me: `We find you guys to be very refreshing in your approach.'”

Ohrie said huge investments had been made on people to enable them to be able to deliver the right solutions.

The consumer side growth has come partly through a massive push with retail stores, and innovative products. Dell won a slew of awards for its products at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this year, the highest ever in recent times.

Dell India now has over 500 exclusive stores, up from 400 in January, and the plan is to take that to 800 by the year end. While the exclusive stores are across 350 cities, Dell PCs are available in 600 cities. “We believe only Cafe Coffee Day and Bata have more stores than us,” Ohrie said.

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