Dell EMC eyes $150b IT infrastructure opportunity in digital India
“We were one of the early investors in this space. We started the journey two-and-a-half years back. We set up a separate team that has now grown to maybe five times to what it started with,” added @Dell EMC India President and Managing Director @AlokOhrie. Dell EMC , the integrated entity of Dell and EMC for data storage, #informationsecurity, #analytics, #cloudcomputing and other products and services, is betting big on the $150 billion IT infrastructure opportunity catalysed by India’s digitisation initiatives. The US technology giant has already gained significant lead over competitors in the last two-and-a-half years having supplied key IT infrastructure for Aadhar, GST network and CBDT, among others, said Dell EMC India president and managing director Alok Ohrie . The integration of Dell and EMC enabled the combined entity offer largest product portfolio to customers towards digital transformation, he told ET in an interview. Edited excerpts: How has the integration of Dell and EMC progressed? The integration was completed much before what we had indicated to the market. It has created the world’s largest IT infrastructure company. The product portfolio, thanks to the integration, has become so rich and so broad that for anything and everything that a customer needs, we have become a very compelling choice. We have become, in many ways, a single window for all the requirements that are there on the IT products and technology side for the customer. How did it result in terms of financial performance? In the very first year of the two companies getting integrated, the organisation was able to write down or pay back $9.5 billion of debt. This has happened in addition to the $4.5 billion investments that we have made in R&D. Our combined integrated company revenue in July quarter ($19.3b) was higher than the revenue of IBM globally. So clearly the organisation is on a path of an accelerated growth, of a momentum that is showing up in our markets share gains, and it’s doing things that will continue to make the organisation a lot more relevant in the market, and at the same time build value propositions in the form of solutions to the customer that will help solve all those business related challenges that they have. Where are you heading in India? I think more than numbers, more than anything to do with rankings and all, I will be extremely happy if in India we are seen as thought leaders, we are seen as folks who can be relied on, fallen back on with regards to transformation. We’d like to be seen as a company that comes in and helps transform the business from a customer’s point of view. And be seen as an employer of choice. You are no good if you can’t attract the best talent. In a market like ours, which is, in many ways, in growth mode, there is clearly going to be opportunities across segments in which we can participate and contribute. What opportunities do you see in the Indian market given the series of reforms in the digitisation space? According to CIO review, India is going to be a $150 billion opportunity over the next 10 years on IT infrastructure. That’s a huge number. So, how prepared are you? We were one of the early investors in this space. We started the journey two-and-a-half years back. We set up a separate team that has now grown to maybe five times to what it started with. How has been your success in supplying IT infrastructure to the government? Government buying will be on merit. It will be an open, transparent process of RFP and responsible tender many a times. It’s a combination of technical evaluation and the commercial evaluation, and sometimes it is also reverse auctions. We’re winning. GSTN – GST Network for example, is built on our stack. The recent Central Board of Excise and Customs revamp of the infrastructure is on us. Aadhar itself is all on our stack. CBDT, when you file your e-returns, you are actually filing e-returns on our infrastructure. So we are playing a very active role and a very partnership-oriented kind of an approach, when it comes to the government. In fact we would like to say this that if Jan-Dhan, Aadhar and Mobility is ‘JAM’, then IT infrastructure is the bread. Unless you have the bread, what will you do with the Jam? Does it mean you already have a lead over your competitors? Absolutely. We’re doing well there. Did the integration help you emerge a monopoly in India or command premium for products and services? I only wish we had monopoly. I will beg to differ on that. Yeah, we’ve become very strong with our product portfolio and there is no denying that. We are number one in multiple categories of our products. Today, we have 15 different products and technologies that are sitting in the Magic Quadrant of Gartner. Clearly, we are ahead in the game when on many of these products. Yeah it clearly helps us to have a conversation with the customer with lot more confidence. There were very few things common (between Dell and EMC). So suddenly the base that is available for cross-selling products is a much bigger, larger. Where else did the integration of Dell and EMC help? What has gone extremely well for us is R&D. As a company, we are very committed to leading on the innovation front. In fact today, the number of patents, some 2,000 odd, that we are filing is probably the highest among our peer group companies. This accelerated innovation is helping us launch products literally on a monthly basis. We have some amazing products coming up, including the latest generation of servers. We have an amazing amount of storage products that we launched. In the period prior to that, we have had a massive number of new platforms launched in the client space i.e. the PCs, notebooks, workstations. We have some fantastic products coming up in the space of AR/VR – Augmented Reality/ Virtual Reality, and a combination of the two.