Global technology giant Cisco Systems is focusing on critical partnerships to build a strong ecosystem in India and is investing in innovation as part of its alignment to the country’s digital agenda, its Chief Executive Chuck Robbins said.
“We’re focusing on co-development in India, and are also conducting design reviews with major customers to ensure that we are fulfilling exactly what they want… as things are moving so fast these days,” Robbins said, addressing the CII ‘Digitising India Summit’ here.
Globally, Cisco is very active with its investment arm, having invested more than USD 2 billion in start-ups.
“Clearly, India is becoming much more important in that space, so as a part of our alignment to digital agenda here we brought venture capital money into India.
“We can give visibility to new technology and also see innovative ways of doing things. In some cases we may actually acquire,” he said.
Elaborating on Cisco’s commitment to ‘Make in India’, Robbins said the company would be starting manufacturing here.
“Since 2007, India has been our second global headquarters … we employ 11,000 people full-time, and one out of every four engineers at Cisco is Indian,” he said.
“Cisco has R&D, development…every single function inside the company is represented here. I cannot have a discussion with anyone in the company at the leadership level that doesn’t have some element of their business that is not dependent on India,” he added.
The company also has an active policy of scouting for acquisitions as a part of its growth strategy.
“We realised a while back that we need to have comprehensive acquisition strategy. Now we’re probably among the best acquirers of small technology companies around the world. In the 15 months since I was named, we have bought 16 companies globally. This is a big lever for us,” he said.
Pointing out that by 2020 there will be more than 50 billion connected devices, he said security will be a key concern, and it is one of the major areas of R&D spend for most companies.
“Security risk is one of the major concerns. How to defend against threats will be critically important. We’re spending more on R&D in this space than any other area right now,” he said.