Cisco has announced a slew of investments for the Indian market. The networking giant who has been vocal about playing a big role in initiatives like Smart Cities and Digital India has announced a number of local initiatives including a move towards manufacturing in India. John Chambers, The outgoing CEO of Cisco who has also met PM Narendra Modi a couple of times during his India visits said that Digital India represented an opportunity of $511 billion across public and private sector.
"We are committed to making in India. We have met PM Modi and expressed Cisco's support and excitement in fulfilling his Digital India dream," Said Chuck Robbins, CEO Designate of Cisco. "We invest $1.7 billion in India on a yearly basis now, since several years" Robbins added. India contributes around $1.1 billion to Cisco's revenues as of now.
Cisco will directly and indirectly invest upto $20 million over the next five years into Cisco Networking Academy to train 120,000 students for jobs in digital economy. Cisco will also invest an additional $40 million for the next phase of expansion in India. Cisco recently announcement of close to $10 billion in China.
As for manufacturing in India, Chambers said that they have made clear their commitment to PM Modi about making in India and will "take one step at a time". "Look at what we did in China. We started slowly and built an ecosystem and today we have been manufacturing in China for over 20 years . We are going to start slowly for India as well, but we are committed to making in India," Chambers said. Cisco will start with manufacturing of products for broadband infrastructure.
Both Chambers and Robbins were excited about Modi government's digital vision. "PM Modi's eyes light up when he talks about Digital India and Smart Cities," Chambers said.