Dell Inc. continues to ramp up its commitment to India. Chairman Michael Dell announced in Bangalore on Monday that the company plans to double the number of its employees on the subcontinent, to 20,000, over the next three years.
The computer giant now employs 10,000 workers in India at four call centers, a product-testing center for corporate customers, and a global software development center, reported the Associated Press. Most of the new headcount will be hired for call centers, noted the AP, which added that Dell also expects substantial recruitment for the product-testing center and perhaps a manufacturing plant.
This aggressive expansion may represent an attempt by Dell to lock up local workers before its competitors do. Last month, The New York Times reported that at an industry meeting, executives expressed strong concern about an impending skills shortage in India.
Traditional outsourcing issues aren’t the only concern, though, according to the AP; Dell also hopes to sell more computers overseas. Although the company’s global market share is nearly 18 percent, the wire service noted, it accounts for less than 4 percent of the 4 million computers now sold annually in India.
One big reason: high import taxes on fully assembled computers. An Indian manufacturing plant would enable Dell to sidestep that obstacle. James McGregor, a Beijing-based economic analyst, also told the wire service that such a facility “will help Dell to be close to its customers not just in India, but South Asia.”
Research firm IDC predicted that the Indian computer market will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 23 percent until 2010, according to Reuters