Oct 24, 2008

Business - Dell plans to up focus on India biz

Anticipating some softness in the demand in the wake global financial downturn, world’s second biggest computer maker, Dell, is now increasing its focus on emerging markets including India, China, Brazil and Russia.

As a part of this strategy, the company is rolling out its first brand campaign in India roping in real-life business heros and entrepreneurs to endorse its products, especially targeting the small and medium businesses (SMBs).

This is in a slight change in its marketing strategy which was earlier largely focussed on the large enterprises.

“Yes, we are already seeing softening demand. However, the current economic slowdown can either be a problem or an opportunity for us. But we are strategically focussed on gaining market share by conveying the message to the people to invest in right products and technology,” Mark Jarvis, chief marketing officer, Dell told newspersons here on Thursday.

Starting from next week, Dell plans to launch the brand campaign across 22 cities in India showcasing the success of real life Indian entrepreneurs including Raman Roy, CEO of Qattro BPO who is also known as the father of BPO industry in India; P Rajendran, co-founder of NIIT and national award winning filmmaker V K Prakash.

The new campaign will run on newspapers, billboards and mobile SMS to start with, which will gradually be taken into television advertisement campaigns.

“Dell is a well-known brand in India, but among the SMBs we are not the brand leader. Our competitors have chosen Bollywood stars who are not real life heros. However, our campaign will convey the SMBs the stories of real life Indian business heros who have used IT and have become successful in their own business,” said Jarvis.

Dell, which leads the large enterprise market in India cornering 22 per cent market share in the personal computer market, has also improved its position last quarter to no-2 in the consumer segment. However, the company still lags behind its competitors in the SMB segment with a mere 3 per cent market share.

According to industry sources, Hewlett Packard is the number one player in the SMB market in India whereas Dell has been pushed to the fifth position. Over the last one year, Dell had been systematically preparing itself to tap to the opportunities in the SMB market as a part of which the company opened its manufacturing centre in India last year.

This helps the company in reducing the lead time for delivery of products from 21 days to about a week’s time. In April this year, the company went for a channel strategy when it realised that the most SMBs don’t have in-house IT departments.

The company has now more than 300 channel partners in 150 cities who work as the IT advisors to the SMBs thus pushing the sale of Dell computers.

In August this year, the company has launched its Vostro range of products (laptops) which are specifically designed keeping in mind the interest of the SMBs and the users in emerging markets.

“Earlier, we were shipping the products from our factory in Malaysia which was taking at least 21 days to deliver the order in India. It was not much of a problem for large enterprises who plan their investments ahead and in a phased manner. Having our factory in India has reduced the lead time to about 7 days, which will help us better in catering the small businesses who don’t go for a planned purchase,” said P Krishnakumar, Director - Marketing, Dell India.

There are close to 8 million SMBs in India. According to a recent survey, about 12-13 per cent of the Indian SMBs use technology in their business operations. India is presently the 13th largest country in terms of PC usage. According to a report by research firm IDC, with phenomenal increase in the number of users, India is set to become the third largest PC market by 2015.

No comments: