Magazine
Dell Bets on Latin America


Region among star performers for computer maker.

Thanks to Latin America outgrowing the world average both in economic terms and in PC sales, companies like U.S.-based Dell have reason to be optimistic about their revenues in the region this year.
“The economies of Latin America are healthier, with a few exceptions,” says Peter Wiegandt, the company’s Latin America president. “That wasn’t the case 20 years ago.”
Latin America’s GDP is expected to grow by 3.7 percent this year, estimates the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). That compares with an estimated 2.1 percent in the United States, according to Credit Suisse.
Meanwhile, the sales of PCs continue to grow. This year, total PC sales are expected to reach 39.8 million units, an increase of 5.3 percent, according to estimates from market researcher IDC. While desktop sales will barely grow (0.3 percent to 15.6 million units), notebook PC sales will likely increase 8.7 percent to 24.2 million units.
Brazil is Dell’s top Latin American market, followed by Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Peru as well as Central America.
“Brazil has grown most [in relative terms], but the country with most [percentage] growth is Peru,” Wiegandt says.
And Brazil still offers potential for further growth, he adds. The country’s eco-nomy, Latin America’s lar-gest and the sixth-largest in the world, is expected to grow 3.5 percent this year, according to estimates by ECLAC.
Wiegandt is optimistic that demand will continue to increase despite the uncertainty over Europe’s economy and its impact on Latin America. “Latin America has to catch up and the governments have realized that technology is an enabler, a facilitator [that can improve] education, health [and] pu-blic services.”
While he declined to break down revenue figures by country, the company did release growth numbers for the third quarter of 2011. They showed that Latin America revenue increased 4.9 percent, which compares with flat growth worldwide.
Dell ranks second in Latin America after HP, according to IDC. The uncertainty surrounding HP, the world’s top PC vendor, has had a positive impact on Dell, he acknowledges. “We have been talking to clients we didn’t talk to before,” Wiegandt says.
HP last year said it was considering selling or closing its PC unit before reversing itself after it replaced its CEO.

Joachim Bamrud
Joachim Bamrud is the executive editor of the Latin Trade Group and a former editor-in-chief of Latin Business Chronicle and Latin Trade magazine.
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