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Cisco plans to tech a ride on India’s digitisation wagon

Cisco Systems expects India to become one of its top revenue-generating markets in the next five years. The company is well-positioned to meet the country's growing tech needs, with a focus on cybersecurity, 5G connectivity, data centers, and the digitalization of core sectors. Improving productivity and efficiency through real-time insights is a priority for Cisco in India.

Cityscape-transforming data centres and an enviable technology spine being built to undergird the rapid expansion of India’s digital economy present robust growth opportunities for Cisco Systems, which specializes in both networking and security solutions.

Daisy Chittilapilly, India and SAARC president, Cisco told ET that as companies seek to monetize investments made in the 5G telecom infrastructure and harness the insatiable appetite for data to drive India’s announced ascent to the top three of the global economic leaderboard, the company expects India to become a top revenue-generating market for its suite of products and services.

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The global tech major has ambitions to move India, currently among the company’s top ten revenue generators, to a top-five market in the next five years, said Chittilapilly.


“The India market has been one of the fastest growing markets for us worldwide. And the future is also very bright with the growth of tech in India ranging from 7- 11% as the forecast for the domestic market suggests depending on what category you play in… Cisco is now geared up with every capability in the Cisco universe,” said Chittilapilly.

“From a Cisco lens, we don't see any lag in technology adoption between the so-called more developed markets and in India,” she added.

“Being among the top ten markets is also a relatively new position for us which has happened in the last few years but we do see the way in which we are growing versus some of the more mature markets around the world are growing,” Chittilapilly said.

According to her, one of the big shifts in India after Covid is the digitalization of core sectors. Chittilapilly said, “In healthcare, education, agriculture and even social sector adoption, those sectoral shifts are different from before where only IT services and BFSI sectors were consumers of technology.”

This month, the firm announced a 5% cut in its global workforce, constituting more than 4,000 jobs. About a week ago, Cisco cut its global revenue forecast to $51.5 billion to $52.5 billion from $53.8 billion to $55 billion, it projected earlier.


However, as much as she sounded optimistic, Chittilapilly pointed out that 2024 will be also the year of “caution and scrutiny”.

“I think in 2024, there's no dearth of opportunity, no dearth of appetite to try new things. But there is also this overarching environment where macros of the world are fairly volatile and cautionary,” she said, adding that the tech industry’s resilience will sail through yet again as it did through Covid and the supply chain crisis.

With the onset of artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI, in India, Cisco has been using it to deal with cyber security threats and looking at network anomalies, both in private owned enterprise networks and those owned by governments.


In India, it is betting big on 5G connectivity, focusing on data centres and most businesses including government enterprises are looking to go ‘phigital’.


“We've still got a substantial part of our population who is not connected to the internet… cyber has become a clear focus for Indian businesses,” Chittilapilly said, adding that Gen AI is helping a lot in its cyber portfolio. She further said that the customer conversation about improving productivity and efficiency is a cost lever and to use insights, finding out things in real time and monetizing it, is a real possibility.

By Beena Parmar & Surabhi Agarwal

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