Cisco's Chambers promises increased commitment in India


Cisco's chairman and CEO John Chambers said his company would increase its commitments to India, as the company's key objective has been to work with Indian Government to preface technological solutions in spheres of healthcare and education, as reported in ET.

Chambers states, "Using broadband and cloud systems, there can be a change in the school system, this have encoruaged more children to learn from good teachers. With this every village can have a healthcare facility with a fast network connection, where the health data of a person can be captured and a doctor in a remote location can take a look at it".

The $46 bn Cisco, has a number of pilot projects across the country in the areas of education and healthcare. Some projects are cantered in towns like Raichur and Shimoga in Karnataka and Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh. Wim Elfrink, the company's chief globalization officer reported that, in these projects across the seven states, over 6,00,000 hours of learning has taken place.

Wlfrink, further added, "Real scale will be visible when the national optical fibre network is in place". In 2011, the Indian government had announced to connect all 2,50,000 Gram Panchayats with a broadband network, and this work is presently in progress.

Cisco, recently innovated a box comprising of a computer, router, projector, camera, speakers, microphone and a power management system for the Indian segment. This all-in-one box is affordable, and is expected to radically simplify the implementation of remote education and healthcare projects. During the initial phase of piloting projects, all these elements were fragmened and collated from different vendors/parties, each with its own annual maintenance contracts, which entailed to be a cumbersome process.

On this innovation, Aravind Sitaraman, president of Cisco, told TOI, "It was a gruesome process of management. This all-in-one box has brought helped in saving costs, power consumption, and is dust and humidity resistant. We expect it will be very viable for ordinary schools to adopt them".

Chambers, leading Cisco since 1995, has enormously invested in India over the past decade, even at time when the company had just $1.2 bn in revenues. In 2006, Cisco established its Globalization Centre East in Bangalore, which is called 'second headquarters'. Some 11,600 of its 70,000 employees are now in India, including the majority of its R&D staff.

Many of the innovations that have come out of the India centre are being used across the world. "We are not here for labour arbitrage. This is where the future direction of the company is going to come from," Chambers said.


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