Global networking giant Cisco Systems announced plans Dec. 6 to make India a base for its globalization drive as it forecast the country could account for half its future workforce growth. Cisco chief executive John Chambers added the U.S.-based company would increase its planned $1.1 billion investment in India announced in October 2005, but would not say by how much.
"Cisco chose India as the location from which to expand its globalization vision because India has a highly skilled workforce (and) supportive government policies," Chambers said..
"Every market will be an export market for India," he said, announcing the appointment of Wim Elfring as chief globalization officer, to be based in India. "This is the most major commitment any (foreign) high-tech company has made to your country," he added.
He also said India could be "a primary place for manufacturing" Cisco products.
Cisco which has annual sales of nearly $30 billion would triple its headcount in India to 6,000 within the next three to five years, Chambers said. "It would not surprise me if 50% of our (staff) growth as a company came here from supporting our global efforts," Chambers added. The company, which operates in over 120 countries, has nearly 50,000 employees worldwide.
The company set up in India in 1995 and employs over 2,000 people in its global research and development center in the southern technology hub of Bangalore and sales offices around the country. Cisco's Indian operations are already its largest outside the United States.
Chambers said Cisco would set up a pilot plant in Chennai to make Internet protocol (IP) phones, which he called the company's "hottest" segment, with sales growing by 40%.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006