We Are Keen To Acquire Cos In India

Updated: Aug 30 2002, 05:30am hrs
Christian Morales is vice president, Asia Pacific of Intel. He oversees sales and marketing of Intel products in this region. Moreover, Mr Morales is shadowing Intel chief executive officer Craig Barrett in his ongoing tour of Asian countries and Australia. Ashu Kumar of eFE caught up with him in an exclusive interview about Intels business plans for India. Excerpts:

What are the major areas of strategic interest for Intel in India
Intel has been bullish about Internet economy. We believe in the importance of e-business and e-governance. Moreover, spreading education to create information technology awareness is another thrust are for Intel in India.

What are the new business initiatives that will be rolled out by Intel in India in next one year
We have decided to develop India center to conduct high end 32-bit enterprise microprocessor design work. These kind of design jobs are so far being done only in the US and Israel. We already have around 1,000 engineers in our India center and will be adding a few thousand more in the next few years.

Intel has already made investments in around 30 companies in India. We will continue to make further investments in technology start up companies while re-investing in some of those where it has already made investments. The focus will be on the firms involved in the areas of silicon design, Internet applications, 802.11 technologies and information security. The company will also be keen to acquire companies in India as it has been doing in the past. The companies having strengths in the Intels core business practices or compliment our business, will suit us the most.

As far as the market is concerned, although all the major cities continue to be a higher growth market for Intel, the company will now also be focussing on Tier II and Tier III cities to promote Intel technologies. We plan to facilitate a closer interaction between users and local computer assemblers, which dominate the Indian computer market.

We will strengthen our relationship with the large Indian software companies like TCS, Infosys, Wipro and Satyam to port more and more applications on Intel platforms.

Has Intel decided about the quantum of investment (or a budget) to be made in Indian start-ups in next one year
No, the budget is not at all a constraint in making investments. We have made $500 million investments in 105 technology companies in the Asia Pacific region so far, and, a third of these companies are in India.

Mr Craig Barrett is visiting Hyderabad and meeting the states chief minister on Friday. Do you have any plans to set up a research and design facility in Hyderabad
We do not have any plans to set up another center in India in the near future. We will concentrate on expanding the existing facilities in Bangalore.

How do you compare India with China from Intels strategic stand point on both counts: as a local market and as a technology base
India will remain important as a software and design base for Intel while China will continue to be a manufacturing base. China has developed capabilities in hardware sector and it has also been focussing on developing infrastructure.

However, India has a lot of intellectual capabilities for design and development. In terms of local market, China is a four times larger market than India and also ahead of India in terms of number of computers, Internet connections, mobile users, etc. China is certainly an important market. India is also growing fast and has a lot of future potential.