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Sahara Computers plans to shift R

By Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 16 (UNI) Sahara Computers and Electronics Ltd (SCEL), South Africa-based global technology major, is planning to shift a lot of research and development (R&D) activities to India.

''At present our R&D headquarters are at South Africa. But we are looking at options to shift some of the programming work from South Africa to India,'' SCEL Chief Operating Officer George Van Der Merwe told UNI.

At present, the Indian R&D centre has only 15 people who work on localisation of the products for the country.

''We are looking at increasing the headcount to not less than 150 in the course of time,'' George said.

George said that the R&D activities would be gradually shifted to India depending on the number of products being introduced in the country. ''India is an attractive destination because of its low costs,'' he said.

SCEL, a 50:50 joint venture between Sahara Computers of South Africa and the Sahara India Pariwar, started operations in the country in June 2005.

The company is aiming at a growth rate of 400 per cent during its second year operations in the country.

''We have been growing at 53 per cent quarter-on-quarter,'' George said.

''SCEL aims to increase the PC penetration in India over the next two years. With an aim to create demand for the Sahara Computer brand and increase the PIE for computer penetration, SCEL sees immense growth potential in the Indian market,'' he said.

The company plans to increase its reach to the B, C and D towns by educating the masses in these towns by offering the best computing solutions.

''We are aiming for market leadership in the PC segment by 2007,'' he added.

SCEL plans to launch one or two products every quarter in order to increase its product basket. Among other things, the company is also looking at the possibility of introducing its LCD television here.

SCEL at present produces 1,500 machines each day, which it plans to increase to 4,000 by the end of this year.

''We have acquired a 8,000 square feet space just besides our plant which will start functioning by the end of 2006,'' George said.

The Indian IT market crossed the 25 billion dollar mark in 2004 and is predicted to grow to 65 billion dollar (Rs 290,000 crore) by 2009, a compounded annual growth rate of 21 per cent.

Market researcher IDC has predicted the domestic market to grow at an average rate of 17 per cent for the period 2004-09 and will move from Rs 38,303 crore in 2004 to Rs 84,878 crore in 2009.

UNI SR SS HT1157

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