Intel looks to India for greater growth pushPaul S Otellini, the fifth chief executive of Intel, is not a chip off the old block. The 59-year-old describes his immediate predecessor Craig
Barrett as the ‘‘manufacturing guru’’ of the tech bellwether, while Andy Grove before him was the ‘‘management guru’’.
Intel’s founders Gordon Moore and Bob Noyce were entrepreneurs and inventors. Otellini is shaping up to leave behind a legacy as the marketing guru. India, where Intel develops some of its most cutting-edge chips, is where some of that legacy is going to be shaped. While design and development work based out of India continues apace, the vast market opportunity that the country offers is Intel’s main focus. As computers and notebooks get cheaper, Otellini sees Intel at the forefront of enabling these devices with wireless broadband technology.
Intel’s facility in Bangalore is where it does a lot of internal information technology software work, and of late, chip design, including the high-end server chip called Dunnington, and newer chips for the mobile environment.
Intel’s factories cater to the global market. As the market grows here in India, Otellini is confident that in time to come India will have what it takes to drive production for the entire world. But the company’s main focus is now markets like India. The US, while pulling out of a recession, is still seeing spending returning only on the consumer side. But Otellini predicts that most CFOs will begin to look at budgets early next year and sees the opportunity for an upgrade cycle. ‘‘The combination of the age of the machines and the fact that they are not on warranty and the desire to upgrade to a new operating system and new security hardware, could be a driver for 2110 volumes,’’ says Otellini.
Intel is excited about India. ‘‘I was told that the net-top business has grown substantially. It is doubling quarter after quarter now for four quarters in a row. It was the new class of machines and we will enable those with things like WiMAX to be able to allow the rural parts of India the same kind of accessibility that you can get in the main cities,’’ says Otellini, adding that relentless investment in IT is what will put India on the global map.
Otellini hopes that he will leave behind a legacy like his predecessors. ‘‘I spent most of my first four years in restructuring the company. But I am very excited about where we are pointed today and hence the new markets and new opportunities. I think Intel for a variety of reasons is healthier today than it has been in decades,’’ he said.