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Cisco sees India as exports hub for its hardware: Dinesh Malkani, President, Cisco India & SAARC

Cisco is already manufacturing access points and routers in Pune. Its president, Dinesh Malkani, said the company expects to complete 50 digitisation projects by December end.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Apr 12, 2017, 12.06 PM IST
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"We have seen much policy change lately, enough for us to say we are ready (for full-fledged manufacturing)," said  Dinesh Malkani, president, Cisco India & SAARC
"We have seen much policy change lately, enough for us to say we are ready (for full-fledged manufacturing)," said Dinesh Malkani, president, Cisco India & SAARC
NEW DELHI: Cisco sees India as an international exports hub for its hardware products and wants its component-making partners to set up shop here too. It is already manufacturing access points and routers in Pune.

Dinesh Malkani, president, Cisco India & SAARC, told ET that the US-based networking company expects to complete 50 digitisation projects by December end, funded by its $100-million Country Digitisation Acceleration programme.

"We have seen much policy change lately, enough for us to say we are ready (for full-fledged manufacturing)," said Malkani. "We recently invited all our partners to share why we took this decision and why it makes sense. We are encouraging them to come here (too)."

"When they (component makers) are in your backyard, you cut logistics costs. I feel quite bullish about it," he said.

Cisco recently unveiled one of the most popular products in its switching portfolio as its first under Make in India. Initially, the company will make five to six products in India, Malkani said.

Cisco’s global supply chain head also sounded out the government on ecosystem development. It manages deep engagements with six-seven states across 50 projects under its Country Digitisation Acceleration programme. It has set up six innovation centres in Bengaluru, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Jaipur and Gujarat to coinnovate with customers, startups and partners to build new solutions, products and engage in rapid prototyping around Internet of Things (IoT) and other digital technologies.

Cisco has invested in 25-26 companies across sectors in India through its $280-million venture fund and is looking to broaden its portfolio. "Of this, the India innovation-focused corpus is $40 million," said Malkani, adding that Cisco has been filing two patents every week.

Malkani said India has been and will continue to outpace market growth, though he declined to share numbers. Speaking about a spate of senior-level exits across functions in the Indian operations, Malkani said Cisco has a strong leadership bench.

“I have been focused on building leadership bench. You always have to have leaders who are ready to take over. We put a lot of efforts in internal training and job rotations for new experience. We will always have leadership transition which is natural,” he said.

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