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Dell Starts Production in India

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 30 percent a year.

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.

In the year ended March 2007, 6.3 million computers were sold in India, according to MAIT, a 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 plant at Sriperumbudur, an industrial hub near Chennai, is the company's third manufacturing location in the Asia-Pacific region.

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