In 1984, a young American by the name of Michael Dell had the foresight and vision to launch a company that would change the way computer technology was designed, manufactured, and sold in the future. The 19 year old founded Dell with US$1,000—then doing business as PC’s Limited. After only months of operation, he introduced his first complete computer system to the world, the Turbo PC, and from there things started to fall into place.

Recognising that there was a need in the industry for a better customer experience, Dell was the first to offer risk-free returns and at-home, next-day product assistance for customers. This would be Dell’s point of difference in the market, and it proved to be an incredibly successful approach.

In the years that followed, the business experienced rapid growth—roughly 80 per cent annually—before renaming to Dell Computer Corporation and taking the plunge to go public in 1988. With its newly acquired capital of US$30 million, it was able to expand its product offerings and make its presence known in other countries around the globe, opening a subsidiary in the United Kingdom and later a manufacturing centre in Ireland to better serve its clients in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Its first laptop computer, the 316LT, was introduced in 1989, and three years later the company debuted on the Fortune 500 list. Dell became a household name.

In 1993, Dell joined the ranks of the top five computer system makers in the world and made its entry into the Asia–Pacific region, opening subsidiaries in Australia and Japan. It launched its website Dell.com and started to sell its products via the internet as well as instore. After only six months online, it was the first site to hit US$1 million worth of internet sales in a single day. By the time the early 2000s rolled around, Dell was the number one computer systems manufacturer in the world. During this time, Dell had evolved from being a PC manufacturer to being a true end-to-end solutions provider. Dell made significant investments in building its server, storage, and networking business in the enterprise space. Dell also established a strong services practice as well as a software business to give it the breadth and credibility with enterprises.

Over the years, Dell made several strategic acquisitions to build differentiated IP in key areas. In 1999, the company launched Dell OEM Solutions, a business unit specifically for original equipment manufacturer customers. Its aim was to help companies take their own products to market more effectively by leveraging Dell’s solution and supply chain. Today, Dell OEM Solutions looks after almost 4,000 organisations across more than 40 industry verticals and builds its hardware, software, and services into the client’s already existing ideas. Its operations include but are not limited to providing cloud solutions and mobility applications to the telecommunications industry, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and digital imaging to the healthcare field, and video surveillance and contaminants monitoring to the aerospace and defence sector.