Dell Inc, the world's No.2 PC brand, aspires to be the leader in the Asian market in three years if the economy picks up, a senior executive said on Friday.

I'm not making a projection, I'm setting an aspiration, Steve Felice, president of small and medium-sized businesses at Dell, told a teleconference with reporters.

I see a way there. We need some help from a healthy economy, but we're going to push the teams to drive for that.

Data tracking firm IDC said Dell was ranked third in Asia excluding Japan, behind China's Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard, but ahead of Acer and Founder.

Felice, however, emphasized that the company would still try to balance profitability and growth, pointing to rivals such as Lenovo and Acer, which he said were trying to push demand that was not there.

Everybody has their own choice to where they're going, and the way Acer went over the last quarter they shipped a lot of units but didn't make investors very happy.

In Asia, Dell's first-quarter revenue fell 20 percent from a year earlier as large companies cut back on technology spending amid the global economic slowdown, but consumer spending continued to grow, particularly in China and India.

Stimulus measures in China to encourage purchases of electronic consumer products was likely to help the world's most populous nation stabilize growth more quickly than other countries, Felice said.

Where we've seen some traction is in the areas of health care and education, and this was several parts of the stimulus package, so we've seen some benefit from there.

Felice did not go into specifics about possible job cuts, but said that while the company had cut staff in certain areas, it was still expecting to see overall employee growth in Asia.

There've been some reductions in some areas, but they've been very minor ... we might see some minor activity, but in general we should be seeing net growth of employment in Asia.

Dell narrowly beat analysts' expectations for sharply reduced profit on Thursday, prompting a rise in its share price after hours, but gave little comfort to investors looking for signs of a quick turnaround in the PC sector.

Dell's shares have climbed about 12 percent so far this year, outperforming a 4 percent decline on the Dow Jones share index.

(Reporting by Kelvin Soh; editing by Chris lewis)