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Michael Dell, from to-be-doctor to the founder of Dell PCs

Michael Dell, is the founder and CEO of Dell Inc., the world’s leading seller of personal computers. In 2016, he became the CEO of the newly formed parent company, Dell Technologies. The company has offices in 34 countries and employs more than 35,000 people. He is an American entrepreneur, businessman, philanthropist, author, and the owner of luxury homes. His wealth has afforded him a $100.47 million Manhattan penthouse, a $40 million home at the Four Seasons in Boston, a residence on the Kona Coast of Hawaii with 7 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms, and a home in the Caribbean island of Antigua. Today, Michael Dell has a net worth of $40.8 billion making him the 32nd richest in the world on the Forbes list.

Image credits: Pinterest

Baby to businessman

Michael Saul Dell was born on February 23, 1965, in Houston, Texas to Jewish parents. His father Alexander Dell was an orthodontist and mother Lorraine Charlotte a stockbroker. Michael Dell attended Herod Elementary School in Houston and then Memorial High School. When he was 8 years old, he took the high school equivalency exam in a bid to venture into business.

During his teenage years, Dell did several part-time jobs from dishwasher to maître d’ and selling subscriptions to the Houston Post. All this to collect money to invest in precious metal and stocks which was his passion. At the age of 14 he received his first computer Apple II which he completely disassembled only to understand how it worked. In 1983, to please his parents, he went to med-school at the University of Texas. While still a freshman, Dell from his dorm room 2713, began an informal business of assembling and selling upgraded kits for personal computers with only an investment of $1000. The business was a success!

Image credits: Wikiwand

The colossal growth

1984 Michael Dell drops out med to pursue business and sets up a company “PC’s Limited”. In May the same year, he incorporates the company as “Dell Computer Corporation” with an office in North Austin.

1985 The company designs and launches its very first computer – Turbo PC

1987 Open their first international subsidiary in the United Kingdom.

1988 Dell Corporation goes public. The company is named Dell Computer Corporation. Also sets up a manufacturing unit in Ireland to cater to European, the Middle Eastern, and Africa markets.

1992 Dell Computer Corporation enters Fortune 500 list of largest companies in the world.

1993 Michael Dell is voted CEO of the Year by Financial World.

1995 Dell Corporation expands its business in Asia and Europe.

1996 The company begins first online sales of PCs.

1998 Company sets up a manufacturing center in Xiamen, China. In the same year, Michael Dell founded MSD Capital L.P. to manage his family’s investments.

2000 – 2010 The company the top computer systems provider.

2013 Michael Dell, privatizes Dell, Inc. with a 75% stake in the company.

2016 Acquires EMC for $67 billion labeled the “highest-valued tech acquisition in history to form Dell Technologies, a global enterprise solutions powerhouse.

2020 Dell Technologies is worth roughly $70 billion.

Image credits: Dell by Achievement

Awards and accolades

  • 1989 Inc. magazine’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’.
  • 1993 CEO of the Year by Financial World.
  • 1998 CEO of the Year by Industry Week.
  • 1998 Golden Plate Award from American Academy of Achievement.
  • 2001 Chief Executive of the Year by Chief Executive Magazine.
  • 2002 Honorary Doctorate in Economic Science from University of Limerick.
  • 2008 Computer Entrepreneur Award.
  • 2013 Bower Award for Business Leadership by Franklin Institute.
Image credits: Your Story

Michael Dell, the Author

In 1999, Dell published his first autobiographical book “Direct From Dell: Strategies That Revolutionized an Industry.” Dell talked about the mistakes he made and the lessons he learned along the way. It contains the strategies he used to grow the business. The book Michael Dell says is a direct model for success.

Philanthropic work

1999, Michael, along with his wife Susan Dell, founded the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF). The foundation focuses on providing education and better health facilities to underprivileged children. The foundation has committed to $1.23 billion annually to social enterprises in USA, India and South Africa.

2006, $50 million allocated to three organizations associated with the University of Texas: the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Advancement of Healthy Living, the Dell Pediatric Research Institute, and the Dell Children’s Medical Center.

2012, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation committed $50 million to set up the Dell Medical School that began its first term in 2016.

2013, the foundation gives additional $50 million to establish the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas, Austin. 

2014, donates $1.8 million to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.

2017, gives $36 million towards Hurricane Harvey relief measures.

Michael Dell’s contribution in the field of technology and his philanthropic efforts, are highly commendable. His meteoric rise is attributed to his business acumen. But the road was bumpy. In July 2010, Dell paid more than $100 million in penalties to settle charges of accounting fraud filed by the Security and Exchange Commission. Dell has seen its share of the PC market drop in recent years as well as increased competition from tablet and smartphone makers, but the need to innovate to stay ahead of the game remain integral to Michael Dell. As Micheal Dell says, “Whether you’ve found your calling, or if you’re still searching, passion should be the fire that drives your life’s work.” Dell will continue to tell its story, and we will continue to read it on our Dell PC at home.

Image credits: Zamroo
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Rukshana is a freelance content and communication strategist based out of Mumbai, India. She mingles her expertise in PR with comprehensive domain knowledge and creative writing skills to assist and propagate business, worldwide. Being a quick learner, she utilizes her diversified digital expertise to provide copywriting and content writing services to create highly profitable brands, products, and services.

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