Founder of Dell Computer Corp. Michael Dell reformed the world of computers with his innovative ideas and vision. The self-made billionaire is currently the chairman and CEO of the company and holds the rank of the 41st wealthiest person in the world according to the Forbes Billionaires list of 2012.
Michael Dell was born on 23rd February 1965 in Houston, Texas. Dell was very keen about computers from an early age and also held an avid interest in business. His first computer was an Apple II which he took apart to see how it functioned. He was an intelligent child and his smartness helped him earn $18,000 in one year while he was only in high school by selling subscriptions to the newspaper ‘Houston Post’. Dell entered the University of Texas to study medicine as his parents desired however he was more interested in computers.
Dell started purchasing IBM personal computers from the retailers at the cost price and with a capital of 1000 dollars registered his business with the State of Texas. His initial customers were the students on campus but more customers poured in and soon his dorm room was filled with computer parts. Dell decided to shift to another apartment off campus. When his parents found out about his new business they were not very happy. However Dell was earning more than 80,000 dollars per month and with this kind of money he was ready to leave university and start a full time business. He founded PC’s Limited and began selling computers by taking orders on the phone. By late 1980s his company was blooming into a full fledge business offering technical support free of cost, a practice that was used later by the whole computer industry. PC’s Limited became Dell Computer Corporation in 1988 and went public.
The business expanded worldwide and by early 1990s the firm had entered the Fortune 500 list of the world’s largest companies. By 27 Michael Dell was the youngest chief executive officer of a Fortune 500 firm. Dell is also credited for pioneering online commerce. Many in the industry grimaced upon the idea of selling computers online, Dell was firm in its belief. He was able to sell 50 computers in a single day without using any marketing techniques or promotions. The company’s online sales exceeded $18 million that year.
In 2005 Dell was the fourth richest person in the U.S with a net worth of $20 billion. Michael Dell has managed to hold on to the reigns of his computer empire till now achieving the distinction of being longest tenured CEO of a company. Dell has been given many recognitions; his accolades include ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ by Inc. magazine, ‘CEO of the Year’ by Financial World, ‘Top CEO in American Business’ by Worth magazine and his venture was called ‘America’s Most Admired Company’ by Fortune magazine. Michael Dell’s current wealth is estimated to be $16 billion. He resides at his home in Austin Texas with his wife and four children.