Cisco has announced plans of investing over US $100 million to boast the digital and startup ecosystem of the country. Giving a kick-start, the company has also announced US $40 million for the early-stage and growth-stage companies in the country and training 250,000 students in India by 2020.
Hot on the heels of digitalization plans with Andhra Pradesh, Cisco will collaborate closely with state governments in India on strategic initiatives including the addition of 6 new innovation labs, 3 centres of expertise, funded university collaborations and skills investments.
John Chambers, Executive Chairman, Cisco said, “Digitization goes beyond connectivity. The impact of digitization is far-reaching, helping countries maintain global competitiveness, foster innovation and create jobs. Education and Internet are two equalizers in life. 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.
As part of Cisco’s commitment to accelerate India’s digital transformation, the company will expand the Cisco Networking Academy® program to help India increase its pool of highly skilled technology professionals and expand its accessibility to education, research and technology.
Dinesh Malkani, President, Cisco India and SAARC, said, “We are thrilled that India has been chosen for Cisco’s global country digitization acceleration program. India’s digital transformation will grow the economy faster, will provide employment & inclusion, will enable innovation opportunities; and help deliver affordable citizen services to become more competitive on the global stage. 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.”
Cisco’s focus will be on next generation technologies such as security, cloud, and the Internet of Things as well as digital plays in smart cities, financial services, healthcare, e-governance. Cisco’s strategy is to have an active role at all stages of start-up development, from identification, creation of incubators and accelerator programs, to directly and indirectly funding the most promising digital start-ups across India.
The new activities form part of Cisco’s global ‘Country Digitization Acceleration’ or CDA program, whereby select countries across the world receive major strategic investment to accelerate existing government goals for driving economic growth through high-tech innovation.