Michael Dell says emerging markets are major focus

Dell chairman and CEO says company putting investment and new products into emerging markets during UAE visit

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By  Mark Sutton Published  April 6, 2008

Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell is visiting the UAE today, holding meetings with government officials, customers and partners.

Dell told journalists that the Middle East is one of the fastest growing regions for the company, with 70% year-on-year growth on a unit shipment basis.

"This is one of the most promising and exciting businesses that we have around the world. Currently the business here is growing at about 70% year on year basis in units, which is about three times the overall growth of the market," he said.

The company announced that it will open a logistics centre in the region in the near future, to support distribution in both the Middle East and East Africa. The centre will initially be based in Jebel Ali, and builds on previous investments in services infrastructure, partner training and increased local skills, In order to improve its services for the Middle East.

Dell, who founded the company in 1984, said that recent job cuts, including the closure of a manufacturing plant in the US, would not affect the company's ability to expand, although there are no plans to bring manufacturing or R&D to the region.

"As we are making adjustments in our business, we are essentially freeing up resources and capital so that we can make the investments we need to drive our future growth. We are definitely investing here, and in all of the key emerging markets. Last year we had 50% growth in the BRIC countries, the faster they are growing, the faster we are making investment to support that growth," he said.

In order to target emerging markets, Dell said that the company is planning a "pretty dramatic expansion in the range and variety of products" sometime in the early Autumn, with products for both consumers and SMBs in emerging markets. The products would not be cheap, Dell said, but they would need to be attractively priced to be able to reach markets like education.

During his visit Dell also met with TECOM Investments, with Abdulatif Almulla, CEO of TECOM Investments saying that the two are "considering some strategic initiatives", although no further details were available.

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