Networking giant Cisco is undergoing a transition of sorts. The company that made the router, a device that forms the backbone of Internet, is now transforming itself into a company where the bulk of its future revenues would come from services. Jeff White, the newly appointed President for India and SAARC, spoke to Business Line on the company’s India strategy at Nasscom.
With the new management, would the India strategy change?
We have always seen India from a long-term perspective. Right from the time we started out to a 10,000-strong team in India, over a decade, we have made investments that show our commitment. India would be looked at from a different prism from what we looked in the past. By that I mean, we are increasing our business process innovation-related work from the country. Products made in India that can be extended to other Asian countries and even be exported to developed markets. The first product (a Set Top Box) is already being used in the Indian market.
So, would more revenues come from services?
Yes, we are planning to double revenues in the next ten years from $6 billion to $12 billion in the next five years. In the overall scheme of things, it will contribute about 20-27 per cent of our revenues. We are doing this since our consumers are increasingly asking for software solutions rather than devices.
In which sectors will these solutions be used?
It can touch every aspect of day-to-day life. Right from smart cities, managing security, healthcare technologies, education to smart energy — technologies that will have a bearing on a large number of people is our key focus.
On the ground the most basic issue is broadband connectivity. What more needs to be done?
The Government’s plan of putting in broadband in villages is a good one, but it needs to be done fast. The ecosystem of a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) would help in expediting a lot of technology adoption. Also, the talent that is required in the technology sector needs an urgent relook. We see pockets of excellence in the country but to get it together and working with a single agenda, would help in driving the economic growth.