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Maran welcomes Cisco''s $1-billion investment in India news
Our Corporate Bureau
19 October 2005

Mumbai: Cisco Systems and the ministry of communication and information technology, have announced that they will collaborate on the ''national e-governance plan''. Cisco will also support BSNL''s telecom network evolution by establishing Asia Pacific''s first IP ''next generation network'' (NGN) Lab for BSNL in Chennai. Cisco will invest a combined $10 million on these two projects.

Thanking John Chambers, Csco''s president and CEO John Chambers, currently in India on a three-day visit, for the Company''s investment of over $1.1 billion, communications and IT minister Dayanidhi Maran said, "Our association with Cisco Systems complements the government''s unique focus and vision for creating a broadband infrastructure and a network backbone enabling the government to connect with its citizens. We are confident that Cisco System''s networking technologies will have a positive impact on the productivity, efficiency and the GDP of the country."

Maran and Chambers had met earlier this year in San Jose, California, to discuss ways for Cisco to collaborate with the government''s e-governance plans and efforts to bridge the "digital divide" by providing connectivity across India.

Cisco will establish the ''SWAN advanced technology enablement programme'' and provide networking equipment for establishing a ''SWAN advanced technology centre of excellence'' in state government headquarters in India, to bring them under the coverage of the national e-governance.

These centres will serve as pilots / proof of concept labs as technology demonstratorsfor technologies like LAN / WAN, IP communications, wireless and security. They will also serve as test beds for state governments to test applications and services before they are rolled out on the SWAN network.

In addition to this, Cisco will set up an IP-based next generation network (NGN) lab with BSNL in Chennai. The lab will support BSNL''s telecom network evolution by providing an environment to test services before rolling out on the actual network.

Another major initiative of the e-governance plan is to establish "common service centres" (CSC) in villages in India for providing citizens on-line access to government services in rural areas. Cisco will provide networking equipment to build networking infrastructure for up to 100 villages. For which the company will invest $10 million to establish rural connectivity.

"Affordable access to information infrastructure will play a critical role in India becoming a developed country," said John Chambers. "The government has embarked on a massive e-governance exercise aimed at connecting the country and bridging the digital divide. Cisco is proud to collaborate with the Indian government in its endeavour to e-enable the country, which is an important step as the country moves into the next phase of economic growth."

In addition, Cisco will also support a year-long series of activities including senior-level workshops, research, reference visits and a national e-government summit, to be held in 2006. As a part of these activities, it will bring best practices and expertise in e-governance from around the world to India.

Earlier in the day Cisco had announced a $1.1-billion investment initiative in India, spread over three years, after Chambers had discussed Cisco''s investment plans in India with prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Maran

"Through the wisdom of its government leaders and the entrepreneurship of its private sector, India has rapidly risen to become a major force in the global economy," said Chambers. "Cisco believes that the internet and related technologies will be a key enabler for India to achieve its goal of becoming a developed nation. As Indian companies strive to be globally competitive, they have relaxed the importance of investing in information technology and networking to adapt quickly to rapidly shifting market transitions," Chambers added.

"A year and a half ago, Cisco recognised this inflection point in the Indian market and made several strategic investments, which are paying-off today. Cisco in India is truly a global success story," Chambers added.

Cisco''s three-year $1.1-billion investment in the country will direct investments in:

  • $750 million towards R&D, including training, development and staffing over the next three years. Cisco''s own R&D activities will be complemented by work done by Indian strategic partner companies.
  • $150 million will be dedicated by Cisco Systems Capital, a division of Cisco Systems, Inc,.to provide leasing and other financial solutions to Cisco customers and partners.
  • $100 million in venture capital will to invest in Indian start up companies.
  • $100 million in customer support operations, a significant portion of which will be allocated for technical services, spare parts depots and channel development.

Cisco established operations in India in 1995 and has over 1,400 staff at its global R&D centre in Bangalore and offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkatta, Pune, Hyderabad and Colombo, Sri Lanka.It also operates141 networking academies virtually across the entire country.


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Maran welcomes Cisco''s $1-billion investment in India