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Dell delivers first "Made in India" computer

Dell Inc. said it delivered its first "Made in India" computer, with hopes that production here will lift domestic sales in a market that is growing at a 30 percent rate.

The desktop computer from Dell's new plant near the southern Indian city of Chennai was delivered Monday to outsourcing company Infosys Technologies Ltd., one of Dell's largest customers in the country, the company said in a statement.

"The Chennai operation reaffirms the strategic importance of India to Dell, providing significant impetus to our growth plans and prospects here," Rajan Anandan, General Manager at Dell's Indian subsidiary, said in the statement.

Computer sales in India have increased 30 percent annually over the past five years and totaled 6.3 million units in the fiscal year ended March 2007, according to MAIT, India's main hardware trade body.

Dell has done well selling servers and computers to large Indian companies in recent years, but the Round Rock, Texas-based company has had difficulty penetrating the mass market for desktop computers and laptops.

Dell computers are relatively expensive in India partly because the company ships fully assembled systems into the country, paying more in duties than its rivals who manufacture locally.

That may change with the new plant, which will initially make 400,000 desktop computers annually.

"The success of our business has always been about being close to and understanding and meeting the needs of customers better than anyone," Anandan said.

The plant at Sriperumbudur, an industrial hub near Chennai, is the company's third manufacturing location in Asia-Pacific and the ninth globally.

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