Dell plans Indian manufacturing arm

Five thousands new jobs, a new call centre and a possible new manufacturing plant show that Dell is serious about its Indian future

Dell's march across India continued on Monday as chief executive, Kevin Rollins, announced plans to add 5,000 to its Indian workforce and build a new call centre, which may precede Dell's first manufacturing plant in the country.

The facility in Gurgaon, just outside Delhi, is Dell's fourth in India following Mohali, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

The new contact centre "will employ 700-1,000 people by the end of 2006 when the total number of employees of Dell will grow to 10,000 in India," Rollins told The Hindu newspaper.

Dell said that the customer support centre in Gurgaon will, like the others, largely support Dell's growing customer base in India.

But as one of around 30 customer centres around the world, the new centre will be unique in being able to support customers in any geographic location.

In his announcement, Rollins also told reporters that Dell is now ready to manufacture in India. "The time is ripe to consider a manufacturing centre in India," he said.

Dell is also paying more attention now to the services market. Many of the new jobs in India will be focused on services, including business process outsourcing — an area where Dell is claiming some expertise.

Last Thursday, the company announced it was opening its latest enterprise command centre (ECC) for enterprise services delivery in Penang, Malaysia. The new centre joins others in the US, Ireland, China and Japan.

It is nearly two years since Dell drew fire from customers when it began outsourcing many of its operations, including customer support, to India. Many complained about poor quality support, but Dell has since said it has addressed the issues.