Ali Jaleel, general manager of South Asia Developing Markets Group at Dell was in town to launch their new Inspiron R series and also to launch their ‘School In a Box’ educational initiative. He spoke to THT Perspectives about Dell’s plans and projections for Nepal and Asia. Excerpts:
What is the significance of ‘School In a Box?’
We are calling this the ‘School In a Box’ programme and are tying up with our partners Microsoft and N-Computing. They have both been our partners for years and the whole programme focuses on educational institutions and setting up computer labs in schools. We are aware of some of the budget constraints here and what this does is offer options to institutions to set up labs at a much lesser cost. We have also successfully implemented these solutions in other countries, where these labs are up and running.
It is our educational initiative. Dell is not only a personal computer company but a distribution organisation as well, and this is one of the educational solutions we offer. We are also very particular about this programme as it means more than business. We want everyone to have an opportunity to computer education.
What are your plans for Nepal as a market for your products?
Nepal is an investment market and an important and developing market too. We have made the investments and we actually have Dell people on the ground here. We are making even more investments as we are here for the long run. There has been organic growth but we do feel that Nepal has immense potential, especially with its geographical location between India and China. There can be no other way but up — and all the signs are very positive.
What’s the competition like?
We have tough competition here. We have the two letter company, the three letter company as well as ourselves the four letter company here and there is stiff competition. But competition is always good and healthy for organisations and consumers in terms of delivering the best prices and technologies.
Our market share in Nepal is growing. But you have to look at it from the perspective that we are a new entrant. We started focusing on this market about a year and a half ago, when we really started making investments and so our market share is growing. In the consumer sales segment, we are very close to market leadership and in the enterprise segment we have a good foothold and are trying to grow our market share.
What are your plans for the international market and Asia?
Internationally, we are one of the biggest IT organisations and Asia is of course a big growth market for us. A lot of investment is coming into Asia even as we speak, whether it is India, China or other countries in the region, we will continue to make those required
investments. As far as Dell is concerned, we are on an acquisition spree for the last few years and on average I would say we are
acquiring four to five companies a year. We are moving quickly to distribution services and so we have bought such companies which offer software as a service. All the signs are very healthy and we want to play in the solutions league as well. We are also diversifying
into mobiles. We have android and Windows seven phones, which tie up nicely with our overall focus. We also introduced printers in Nepal and our projectors and a lot of products are still coming in and will soon be available.
We are focusing on profitable business and market growth. This is the reason our vital signs are looking very strong. We grew
not only our market share but also profits, and were able to give back to the shareholders much more than what was anticipated.