Cisco makes its first India acquisition

| Updated on: Oct 12, 2015
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Buys Bengaluru-based IT security firm Pawaa for undisclosed amount

Technology major Cisco has made its first acquisition in India by taking over Bengaluru-based IT security company Pawaa for an undisclosed amount. 

Pawaa, which provides security solutions and cloud-based file-sharing software, will be integrated with Cisco’s Software Platform Group. Pawaa’s founder Prakash Baskaran has been appointed as Chief Technology Officer for Cisco’s security solutions division.

“Security is a bigger opportunity for India than IT. There is a shortage of hundreds of thousands of security professionals globally and India can solve that problem,” Pankaj Patel, Executive Vice-President and Chief Development Officer at Cisco, told BusinessLine , adding that Cisco will be willing to invest in, or acquire, more such innovative companies in this space. 

Pawaa was a part of Cisco’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence programme, an initiative that supports early-stage entrepreneurs working on the next big ideas in technologies, such as big data analytics, smart cities, cloud computing and enterprise security.

Pawaa became a part of this six-month programme at Cisco’s San Jose campus in 2014, after which Cisco decided to acquire the company’s capabilities in providing policy-based data flow between business systems and people. 

Cisco’s investment arm has already put money in many Indian companies, including Covacsis, MobStacs and MobiKwik. Pawaa is the first direct acquisition by the company in the country. Cisco invests $1.7 billion a year in India, much of which goes into improving its research and development capabilities. 

Acquisition and co-development are the company’s two biggest strategies to improve capabilities and to tap into newer technology domains and markets. However, Patel said the company so far has not done any co-development with Indian firms and acquisitions will remain an important strategy for India. 

Cisco is also developing its first innovation centre in India, which will focus on e-governance, smart cities and education. The centre, Cisco’s 10{+t}{+h} globally, is likely to be located in Andhra Pradesh. 

While India remained the back-office of the world for a long time, global companies are now looking to the country for high-end engineering talent and to acquire companies here. 

Published on January 22, 2018

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