US-based global technology provider Cisco said on Wednesday it will start manufacturing in India as part of its strategy to create an even more diverse and resilient global supply chain and support India’s vision of becoming a global manufacturing hub.

The company is setting up a facility in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, and with this latest investment, Cisco will cater to the growing demand from customers in India and aim to drive more than $1 billion in combined domestic production and exports in the coming years, the company said.

Strategic investments

“Today, we are announcing strategic investments in Indian manufacturing capabilities as the next step in delivering cutting-edge technologies to our customers in India and across the globe. Fueled by a rapidly developing digital economy, India is a focal point of innovation and business for Cisco, and we remain deeply committed to our partnerships here,” Chuck Robbins, Chairman and CEO, Cisco, told media.

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He said the company will export its ‘Made in India’ products to countries in Europe and other nations, apart from what it is already doing from 17 other manufacturing facilities worldwide.

Cisco is now building core manufacturing capabilities in India, including testing, development, and logistics, and expanding in-house repair operations. In addition to supporting supply chain resiliency, reducing lead times, and elevating customer experience, this will add further impetus to the local economy, he said.

Job creation

Robbins said the company will also create around 1,200 jobs along with the investment and will manufacture switches and cutting-edge routing platforms, among other products, especially for the telecom sector with the fast rollout of 5G services in India, for which infrastructure is being built up.

“India is of strategic importance for Cisco, and we continue to bet on India. This investment will enable us to bring state-of-the-art technologies to more people and businesses and help accelerate India’s transition into a leading digital economy,” Daisy Chittilapilly, President, Cisco India and SAARC, said.

India is a key market for Cisco and its second-largest R&D center outside the US.

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During his visit to India, Robbins also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and had a series of strategic engagements with S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister; Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Entrepreneurship, Skill Development, Electronics, and Technology; BVR Subrahmanyam, CEO of Niti Aayog; and K Rajaraman, Telecom Secretary.

He also met Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani on Monday and said they had a “good conversation”.

Extending his gratitude on the announcement of investment in Chennai, Thangam Thennarasu, Tamil Nadu State Minister for Industries, said, “I would like to share that Cisco has announced that they will be manufacturing their products in Tamil Nadu. I would like to thank the CEO of Cisco, Chuck Robbins, and his team for their trust in Tamil Nadu to deliver on their plans.”

Sharing his message via Twitter, he added, “During my official visits to Davos for the World Economic Forum and the United States, we have had multiple engagements with Cisco regarding their investment plans and offered them all our support.”

Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Telecom and IT, also tweeted, “Welcome onboard, @Cisco! #MakeInIndia.”