Cisco To ‘Make In India’ Early 2017, To Make India Its Next Export Hub
U.S. based technology giant Cisco will commence its manufacturing operations in Pune early next year as part of its efforts to scale up operations in India and eventually make the country an export hub for its products.
India is the 12th country, joining nations like the U.S., Mexico, China, Brazil and Malaysia, to house Cisco's manufacturing facility.
While the company did not disclose the investment details and number of jobs that will be created, it said the move will help further drive its strategy of having a presence across development, sales and now manufacturing in India.
"India is a place where we invest across all aspects of our business and increasingly, we see a significant opportunity to look at new areas of innovation," Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins told PTI.
Adding manufacturing to India operations would create a "unique capability" for Cisco in the country as the company already has teams involved at every stage of its products -- right from early inception, design and development all the way to supply chain, he said.
Cisco will use the India manufacturing operations to produce and ship orders for customers in India, as well as for testing, development, logistics and in-house repair capabilities.
"Typically, we start with a sub-set of products and that is what we will do here, so I think we are starting with routing and switching platforms and then we will continue to add more and more capabilities," he said.
The first customer shipment will be in early calendar year 2017.
Over time, we would like to see this become a hub for us to build products that are serving other countries in addition to India. We are starting with just providing for India,Chuck Robbins, CEO, Cisco
India is one of the fastest growing markets for Cisco globally. With about 11,000 of its 73,000 people worldwide located in India, the country is the second largest site for the company. With 20 per cent growth in its business last year, the US-based firm is actively participating in various government initiatives like Digital India, Make in India and Skill India.
Robbins, who called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year as part of his India visit, said that the company is working on many "big projects" around areas like Digital India and smart cities.
"We have partnered six countries (on digitisation) around the world and I would say India is one of the top two relative to our progress on a global basis... We lined up against the five big areas that the PM has -- Digital India, Make in India, Cyber security, smart cities and skilling and we created a set of efforts in all those areas," he said.
The other countries include France, Germany, Italy, the UK and Israel.
Cisco is also partnering with the Maharashtra government to roll out smart city solutions in Nagpur to enable city-wide network connectivity, smart and secure Wi-Fi hotspots and smart safety and surveillance solutions.
Robbins said Cisco is engaged in 14 smart city projects in India and sees huge potential in the segment.
Besides, it also plans to establish up to 25 Cisco Networking Academies in the state to train about 10,000 students by 2020. The skills-development programme helps students learn how to design, build, secure and maintain computer networks and prepare for jobs in the digital economy.
The company is also betting big on startups in India, allocating funds for entrepreneurs working on smart solutions.
One of these programmes is Launchpad, that was announced recently to co-develop solutions with start-ups, developers and partners to address demands around digitisation.
Cisco is also collaborating on the state-wide rollout of broadband infrastructure to accelerate the Digital Maharashtra vision.