Intel to Strengthen E-Biz Presence in India

Intel Corp. is set to expand its e-business operations in India, which it calls one of the biggest markets of the future and a key market for a global
network of Internet data hosting centers.

Intel (INTC) plans to invest US$10 million to set up a separate division for online
services and will enter into alliances with Indian Internet data hosting
companies.

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) of India has already
approved the proposal.

The new online division will mainly manage Intel’s ISP program, a worldwide
channel initiative that will provide ISPs with a variety of Internet-tailored
products and technologies.

Atul
Vijaykar, who spearheads Intel’s South Asia efforts, said that India is a focus area “not merely because of its size and population, but also
because of the fairly high level of computerization and growing Internet use
that we see it as the most promising market in the South Asian region.”

Intel will step up its presence in 100 cities across the country during the
current year and focus on newer areas like networking, electronic business and
enterprise solutions.

“We currently have our presence in 50 cities in India,
while plans are afoot to expand our base on 50 more cities in this year” said
Atul.

Intel will also continue to invest in companies which will add value to
products in the areas of content development and Internet
infrastructure.

The microprocessor giant is reportedly
taking a 30 percent stake in a Cybermedia online venture. “Cyber Media Online
Ltd (CMOL) will have equity participation from Intel,” said sources at CMOL.

So far, Intel has invested in seven Indian companies: Rediff on the Net, Avigna
Technologies, Eastern Software Systems, Network Solutions, Ritechoice, Silicon
Automation Systems and Bharti Telespatiale.

Intel has invested US$10 million for a 20 per cent equity stake in Bharti
Telespatiale Ltd, the holding company for the Bharti Group’s Internet and VSAT
joint ventures with British Telecom.

Sources informed that Intel is investing US$5 million in Total Shopping Network
(TSN) in India, which is a direct- and Internet-based shopping network.

Intel, which has not yet gone in for any buyouts in India, has its options open
on the issue that is decided by the company’s corporate business development
(CBS) wing.

Intel is planning to open an Internet data center in India. The sources could
not shed any light on the quantum of investments to set up the center. The
company has not set a firm deadline.

According to a senior company executive, the explosive growth of Internet in
India is driving rapid growth in the ISP sector. Intel sees this as a
strategic opportunity to build a relationship with the ISPs through a dedicated
program.

Intel Corp. is now concentrating on China, India and Brazil as it sees in
the three countries “the biggest potential for the promotion of IT because of the increasing
demand for the Internet economy,” according to Vijaykar.

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