Cisco Systems open to India entry in electronics manufacturing

ENS Economic Bureau Posted online: Saturday, Jun 28, 2014 at 0000 hrs
New Delhi : US technology giant Cisco Systems on Friday said that it is open to scaling up its presence in India and may enter the electronics manufacturing sector in the country.

After meeting industry secretary Amitabh Kant, Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers told reporters, “India has a very bright and prosperous future” and “we like their (new government’s) business plans and where they are headed, the ability to digitise the country and bring all the benefits of the Internet to all the citizens, in areas like healthcare, education, and job creation is very exciting. We see a government willing to make changes and we want to be a partner in that.”

With a stable government in place, foreign investors are making a beeline to the country, showcasing a renewed interest in the country’s growth story. Soon after taking over, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had announced his focus on the electronic manufacturing, an employment-based sector. Companies including Cisco can take advantage of the Indian electronic market, projected to reach $400 billion by 2020.

The government has also indicated further liberalisation of FDI policy regime and easing the ways to do business, following which foreign investors including Japan’s Uniqlo, US-India business council and Cisco have met Cabinet ministers and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They have also met industry bodies including CII and Ficci to raise their concerns and express their interests in the economic story unfolding in India.

On Thursday, US-India business council (USIBC) chairman Ajay Banga, president and CEO of Mastercard Worldwide, met the Prime Minister and later the industry chambers to narrow differences on what should be the foreign direct investment caps for insurance and defence manufacturing sectors, just weeks ahead of the presentation of Budget.

Similarly, Kyushu Economic Federation, Japan, led by Yutaka Aso, leader of the delegation and president of Aso Cement, will meet the industry secretary.

Chambers, who was on a two-day visit to India, met CII members later during the day and said that Cisco wants to play an active role in digitisation of the Indian economy and develop it as a strategic business hub. “We are very open. We discussed the possibilities of that (increasing its presence here). Electronic manufacturing is something we can take a hard look at. We led electronic manufacturing in China 15 years ago and actually brought the concept of electronic manufacturing,” Chambers said.