Dell Focuses on India as Global Market Softens

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Dell is focusing on emerging markets such as India, anticipating some softness in global markets, a company executive said Thursday. The company has rolled out its first brand campaign in the Indian market.

In an economic downturn, marginal competitors including makers of unbranded PCs and small regional players will be eliminated, giving Dell an opportunity to gain market share, Mark Jarvis, Dell's chief marketing officer told reporters in Bangalore.

Besides India, the company expects high growth from Brazil, Russia, China, and some 10 other countries.

During an economic downturn, some customers are likely to look at IT as giving them a competitive edge, and not just as a cost, Jarvis said.

India's PC market grew 8.1 percent in the second quarter of this year to 2 million units, according to research firm IDC India. While shipments of desktop PCs declined by 2.4 percent over shipments in the same quarter last year, shipments of notebook PCs increased by 51.2 percent. Hewlett-Packard had the largest share of the market.

Buyers in India are cautious and it is not clear whether it is a temporary issue, or a sign of a deeper, long-term trend in the PC market, IDC said in September.

Dell is rolling out its first brand campaign in India, focusing on the use of Dell's technology by some key entrepreneurs in India. The new campaign will run on newspapers, billboards, and mobile SMS (short message service) and has top entrepreneurs from the IT industry and a film maker endorsing Dell products.

The company has so far advertised its products in India rather than its brand, Jarvis said. A survey by the company found that the Dell brand was not very visible in the SMB (small and medium-size business) segment of the Indian market, he added.

The SMB segment in India is a relatively untapped market for Dell, according to the company.

Dell is putting its marketing budget in its fastest growing markets, said Jarvis. He did not disclose how much the company was spending on the new brand-building campaign.

Localized versions of the campaign will be rolled out in other emerging markets, Jarvis said.

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