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Dell launches low-cost products for retail

This is a significant initiative as Dell sells directly to consumers without going through distributors or retailers, reports Venkatesh Ganesh and Ruchi Hajela.

business Updated: Mar 25, 2008 03:16 IST

Texas-based PC maker Dell is planning to sell its PCs and laptops through retail chains in India. It is eying some exclusive tieups and is in advanced stages of talks with Indian retailers to sell its PCs and laptops.

The company is in talks with Subhiksha, India’s largest supermarket, pharmacy and telecom retail chain. The details would be announced soon.

When contacted both Dell spokesperson refused to comment. A Subiksha spokesperson said: “We already retail mobiles, and examining whether some of the mobile shops can retails PCs. However, no decision has been taken yet.”

This is a significant initiative considering the fact that Dell sales directly to consumers without going through distributors or retailers. Globally, Dell PCs are sold in Wal-Mart stores in the US and recently the company entered into a tieup with Gome, a Chinese electronics retailer.

Currently, the Indian PC market is dominated by international manufacturers such as HP, Lenovo and homegrown players like HCL.

Dell on Monday announced plans to launch a low cost PC in India in the next three weeks. "The low cost PC will be customised for India and there will be desktop and notebook variants,” said a Dell spokesperson. These low cost desktops would be manufactured from its Chennai plant.

When asked about tying up with Indian retailers Rajan Anandan, vice president & general manager, Dell India, said the company sells through 10,000 retail outlets across the world, but none in India yet.

Some senior Dell executives recently told HT that the company is exploring alternate distribution channels and are talking to retailers in India.

Recently, according to market research firm IDC, the overall PC market (desktops and laptops combined) in India has grown 22.1 per cent and 1.53 million units have been shipped in the second quarter of 2007. The study points out that Dell ranks third behind HP and Lenovo who have a marketshare of 40.4 and 16.7 per cent respectively. Dell’s recent initiatives suggest that the company is looking at other alternatives business models like setting up manufacturing plants and supplying them for local demands, which in turn reduce costs and enables the company to sell more,” said an IT analyst from an international research firm.