Dell adds 2,000 more staff in India

Dell plans to add over 2,000 staff to its call centers and software development operations in India, its CEO said Friday.

Dell plans to increase the number of staff at its Indian call center and software development operations to 10,000 by the end of the year, the company's president and chief executive officer (CEO) said Friday.

Dell currently employs about 7,000 to 8,000 staff in India, Dell President and CEO Kevin Rollins told reporters during a visit to Bangalore.

Dell stopped routing some technical calls from corporate customers to India in late 2003 after receiving complains about poor quality of service. The problems were not related specifically to outsourcing in India, Rollins said Friday, but were more a reflection of the company's failure to effectively manage the rapid growth of its operations in the country.

"Rather than pull back, we shifted resources into other [product] categories and took our time, and that was read by some as a lack of confidence in India, a pull back from India, which is not true," Rollins said.

The Round Rock, Texas, company will continue to grow its headcount and operations in India, but now knows how to do it better, Dell's CEO said.

Dell opened its first customer contact center in Bangalore in 2001, initially providing technical support for customers in the U.S. It set up another contact center in Hyderabad last year, and a third this year in Mohali, in Punjab.

The company has also set up a product team in Bangalore that develops and tests some of Dell's enterprise server and storage products, and a software development center that serves Dell's internal information systems requirements.

"We need talent in India to help us grow our business," Rollins said.

Dell recently unveiled a plan to achieve US$80 billion annual revenue by 2009. As it looks to reach that target, over 55 percent of the growth will come from outside the U.S., with revenues from Asia, Japan, and Europe showing higher growth than the U.S., Rollins said.

Dell is turning from a PC company to a broad based IT supply company, Rollins said. However, while Dell has been offering managed services, its strategy is to offer only services that relate to its hardware business. It does not plan to offer the broader range of services that some of its competitors offer, such as business process outsourcing (BPO) and large outsourced IT contracts, Rollins added.

Dell said on Thursday that it had been awarded a three-year, multimillion dollar contract by Honeywell to provide managed services throughout its IT network in the U.S.

"Our services strategy is to work in tandem with our hardware business, where we apply a layer of support services around the hardware and then over time add to the menu and increase those support services around (the) hardware," Rollins said.

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