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Marketing Management Case Study

Case Title:

Dell in India Targeting SMB Markets: The Differentiation Strategies

Publication Month and Year :  July 2009

Authors: K. Sravani, C.V. Chiranjeevi

Industry:  Information Technology

Region: India

Case Code:  MM0023

Teaching Note:  Available

Structured Assignment:  Available


This case study primarily initiates a debate on the prospects of Dell Computers’ (Dell’s) differentiation strategies in targeting Indian Small and Medium Business (SMB) segment. Dell entered the Indian market in 1992 through a tie-up with an Indian company named Pertech Computer Limited. After having terminated the partnership in 1996, its presence was limited only to sales and distribution. However, in 2001, it set up a wholly-owned Indian subsidiary Dell India. Subsequently, Dell captured 22% market share in the Indian enterprise segment (corporate segment), becoming the third-biggest player after Hewlett-Packard (HP) and HCL. As a part of its next growth initiative, Dell has targeted the SMB segment, armed with clear positioning, differentiation strategies and global advertising budget of $4.5 billion over the next 3 years for SMB market. Will this Indian experiment, considered a big gamble, pay off? Would Dell achieve its desired success?

Pedagogical Objective:

  • To understand the nature of Personal Computer (PC) industry and the business dynamics thereof
  • To analyse the industry attractiveness of Indian PC industry through a detailed competitive analysis and value chain analysis
  • To understand and debate on Dell's differentiating strategies in the Indian SMB market.

Keywords : SMB Market; Dell's Marketing; Direct Marketing; Build-to-Order; Marketing Strategies; Value-chain analysis; Michael Dell; Assembled Computers; Indian Computer Industry; HP; HCL; Testimonial advertising; Direct business model; Value addition; Supply chain; Customer satisfaction; Differentiation strategies, Marketing Management; Marketing Mix; Market Segmentation; Product Life Cycle; New Product Development; Consumer Behavior; Marketing Case Studies; MBA; Marketing Course for MBA Marketing Course Case Map; Course Case Map; Case Map


  • Dell Computers: Globalised Growth
  • Indian PC Industry: Unmasking the Competition
  • Dell in India: From Enterprise Market to SMB Market

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