Cisco is set to invest a total of $100 million in India. Executive Chairman John Chambers on Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the participation of Cisco in the government initiatives such as “Digital India” and “Make in India”.
The $100 million investment planned by Cisco includes $40 million to fund early-stage and growth-stage companies in the country. The US networking equipment maker is also set to train as many as 250,000 Indian students by 2020 to expand the government’s “Skill India” initiative and to uplift digital economy.
“Education and Internet are two equalizers in life,” said Chambers. “With our increased investments in education and innovation, we are harnessing the power of technology to launch a generation of problem solvers who will innovate like technologists, think like entrepreneurs and act as social change agents.”
66-year-old Chambers additionally revealed that his company intends to launch six innovation labs, three centres of expertise and some funded university collaborations in select states across the country. He also stated that there are plans to work with federal and provincial governments to launch new incubation centres for entrepreneurs and to help in the ongoing development of smart cities.
“India’s digital transformation will grow the economy faster, will provide employment and inclusion, will enable innovation opportunities; and help deliver affordable citizen services to become more competitive on the global stage,” said Dinesh Malkani, president of Cisco India and SAARC. “Today’s announcements underscore India’s strategic importance to Cisco’s global operations particularly as an innovator in the next wave of the Internet’s development. We believe Cisco with its full breadth of technology, and leadership in digitization can impact the lives of 1.25 billion Indians in a meaningful way.”
On Thursday, Cisco partnered with the Andhra Pradesh government to launch state-wide broadband project ‘AP Fiber-Net’ in the state. The company is also setting up an Internet of Everything (IoE) Innovation Centre in Visakhapatnam to support tech startups.
This isn’t the first time when Cisco is supporting the developments in India. The San Jose, California-headquartered company invests nearly $1.7 billion every year in the country to expand its presence. It has more than 10,000 Indian employees in its total workforce that spread all across the globe.