Cisco’s Chambers bets big on India

  • M Rajendran, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 15, 2015 01:25 IST

Global IT giant Cisco is looking to grab a big role in India’s digital march, with thrust on smart cities and digitisation of government offices.

A team of the company’s top management, led by its chairman and CEO John Chambers, is visiting India this week and is likely to announce a major partnership with the country.

Cisco officials are tightlipped about details of the visit, but industry sources told HT, “Manufacturing base is on top of the agenda and tie-ups with educational institutions to help them ride on internet will be next.”

Cisco has about 11,000 employees in India and is likely to add another 1,000.

“Cisco is an important player in smart cities ecosystem globally and India is a big market for smart cities,” said NK Goyal telecom analyst and founder of industry body Communications and Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI).

Cisco has been a leader in promoting Internet of Things, the concept of connecting devices to the internet so that they can communicate with each other.

It is predicted that in India, the number of devices connected to the internet will grow from about 14 billion now to about 50 billion by 2020, and 500 billion by 2030.

The number of mobile internet users in India is expected to reach 213 million by June 2015, according ‘Mobile Internet in India 2014’, a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India and IMRB International. Mobile internet penetration in rural India is expected to grow from 45 million in December 2014 to 53 million by June 2015, the report said.

Having a positive outlook on India, Chambers at various public forums has reiterated that he is betting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his vision about smart cities and the push for broadband and generating employment through the power of internet.

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