While Dell Technologies’ global business grew 17 per cent annually, its Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) business saw a 50 per cent yoy growth in the same period.
In an interview with BusinessLineAmit Midha, President, APAC & Japan, Dell Technologies shares the reasons why India has been the “star” market in the APJ region, and what excites the company as its customers embark on a decade-long technology opportunities in multi-cloud, 5G, and sustainable security.
India is currently at an interesting junction now that 5G auction is going to happen anytime soon. What are the Dell offerings to look forward to?
5G will be transformative. It will create lots of SMBs to be able to access and connect enterprise applications seamlessly. There will be a significant opportunity around remote offices to work. New use cases whether to run EV-charging, its programmability and autonomous nature becomes very much possible. Other new use cases in gaming, cashing, fintech, edtech, and others, will leverage 5G to create new outcomes.
We are excited and we are going to take part in building this infrastructure that is future ready. One of the things 5G does is instead of trying to use proprietary stuff, it creates a more programmable open LAN sort of scenario which reduces cost dramatically, gives a lot more bandwidth in data capacity and creates the resiliency that enterprises are looking for. Hence, remote locations and new applications will benefit.
How significant is the Indian market for Dell and what are the core areas that the India team has been working on?
India is strategic and a top 10 market for us. We want to make sure that we are investing and bring growth here.
We are launching products here pretty much the same time as we launch anywhere else. We have the best-in-class sales tools, labor, and partner structure.
We have all the assets including the support team, technology, engineering, manufacturing and marketing resources. We even run several things from here for the globe such as product support and software. We are proud of how important role our infrastructure here in India plays for the entire company and global operations.
Dell has also been actively working with the government and institutions for upskilling Indian talent. Could you tell us more about it?
Across the region, we’re doing a lot in terms of community engagement and making a difference. In terms of partnerships in India, we have observed 3.2 million beneficiaries across 3,800 schools in association with Shikshana Foundation and then, of course, through digital life care site, we have built a way to integrate the data from the citizens into creating better health outcomes , better appointment management before people leave villages to travel for a day or two to get some help from the healthcare system.
We have done partnership with Microsoft and the Hope Foundation, we have Dell Kaushal Kendra, first ATL Tinkering Lab, Project Future Ready, and have also established a center of excellence in partnership with Andhra Pradesh government.
From a start-up perspective, we’ve partnered with MeitY Startup Hub that’s going to fund 2,000 start-ups and we’re going to open up our labs and solution centers for many of these start-ups. .
In Singapore, we have partnered with several universities to train 5,000 people to become digitally savvy through a certification program.
We think that technology is the differentiator, and using technology people can leapfrog, companies can leapfrog, and having a knowledge, awareness, and the skills is a protocol in that journey of leapfrogging.
Are there specific sectors that the start-ups are focusing on and how is Dell helping them grow and innovate?
While we can help commercial start-ups, what we like to get engaged in is from a STEM training perspective.
We like supporting groups that have traditionally been marginalized or have been missing from the tech base such as SheCodes Program. Also, social entrepreneurship, to me, is a great way to grow and we want to make sure to be a part of this. It’s not just about selling product and supporting the commercial entities, it’s also about creating mission driven start-ups.
How has the laptop sales performance been in India so far and how is the order book looking in the coming quarters?
We shipped a record 59.3 million notebooks. We’re going faster than other competitors. The APJ market is growing and India is the star within this region. As the market is continuing to grow, we are committed to grow faster. A lot of large projects are also underway which is to create work from home or work from anywhere or future of working as a mainstream theme and we’m pretty excited about this.
At the same time, more companies are thinking about security. They are putting a lot more of workload in the data centers. They do not want any privacy or data theft to happen.
In the Union Budget, the government has given data centers with ‘infrastructure’ status and now they will be eligible for various incentives as well as funding. What opportunities lie ahead for Dell on this?
We have several customers who are Cloud Service Providers (CSP). They have built sovereign Cloud and dedicated Cloud for customers. We are looking at the edge growth which is data centers being closer to where the data is originating and you know the 5G is going to change that where each tower is a mini data center and thus you will see data centers everywhere. Soon, every neighborhood will have a data center and we’re going forefront in this.
So now companies are asking, ‘okay, now that I have infrastructure everywhere, where is my data? How do I secure it? How do I make it compliant? How do I manage it? I have this SaaS offering, I have this public cloud offering, I have my own infrastructure, so how do I manage it with few people I have? I can not have people dedicated to each type of infrastructure ‘.
Hence, they need a new kind of infrastructure to manage, secure, comply, and need to put data to use without increasing much cost and that’s the multi-cloud journey which is exciting to us because that is what many customers and companies are looking for .
Where do you see the company and the products reach, as well as the emerging technologies that’s coming in place in India, over the next two to three years?
Amazing times lie ahead – you’re going to have metaverses, digital twins, you’re going to be able to create so much more immersive and innovative technologies.
I think it will be a brand new world that is getting built. It’s very exciting and all of those innovations – given India being a top strategic market for us – will be available here pretty much at the same time as we launch globally.