Monday, March 20, 2006

Dell in India: Good News

Today’s Wall Street Journal contained a story on Dell Computer’s plan to add 20,000 new jobs in India over the next three years. (I read the online version today, as we are experiencing heavy snowfall here that is keeping me at home. Happy Spring to everyone – even if you are somewhere warm.)

Some may lament this as a further example of globalization moving jobs away from the United States, but that would be a premature judgment. Dell is adding these jobs, which will include not only call center personnel, but perhaps also manufacturing jobs, so that it can be closer to a growing market. Dell has only 4 percent of the computer market in India, but 14 percent worldwide. So that means it has some catching up to do in the Indian market. To the extent they are able to increase market share, the effect on U.S. jobs could be positive. After all, some parts may still be made here, and some design and other work done in the United States may now have a new outlet. The effect on U.S. shareholders should also be positive, to the extent that it is able to expand profits in these markets.

The lesson: do not assume that job growth overseas does not benefit U.S. constituencies.

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On a personal note, today happens to be my parents’ 60th Wedding Anniversary. That is quite rare for many reasons these days. They have seen much in their lives, and they have weathered many storms. My brothers and sisters and I have benefited greatly from their love and commitment. Congratulations, Mom and Dad.

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