American multinational technology conglomerate, Cisco, has realised the great potential that the growing Indian Startup ecosystem holds. In fact, the company is not only issuing statements and applauding the industry but it has also decided to put its money where its mouth is.
In an exclusive interview with CNBCTV-18 recently, Cisco’s executive chairman, John Chambers, revealed that the global network giant has launched a USD 70 million fund dedicated exclusively for Indian startups. He also shared that the booming Indian Startup ecosystem has got him so excited that he might even consider investing some money of his own in the ecosystem in the near future.
“We have committed over USD 70 million to the start-up engine in India. I would probably even some day personally invest in several others,” Chambers said in a statement to CNBCTV-18.
Cisco’s interest in startups and entrepreneurship isn’t all of a sudden. The Chairman of the California headquartered company, which is the world’s largest networking company, also revealed that he coaches around 30 startup CEOs every month, and interacts with 7,000 startups a month and 1—15 individual ones and guides them on how to make a success and stand out.
Chambers in his interview also shared his views on what would drive economic growth in the Indian subcontinent in the coming few years. According to him, startups would drive economic growth in the South Asian country in the near future and not any big companies or names. He said, “Big company may or may not add headcount over the next decade and government may or may not, the engine of economic growth whether it is 100 and 1.2 million people a month in India or in the US 200 to 250,000, it will be largely start-up driven.”
Cisco’s relationship with India goes way beyond the USD 70 million startup fund. 22 years ago in 1995, the US-based company that is widely acknowledged for revolutionising the world of digital networks set up its second world headquarters in India, its largest outside its home country, United States.
In the light of PM Modi’s visit to the US, Chambers also applauded Prime Minister Narendar Modi’s effort to improve ease of doing business in the Indian subcontinent and creating the right environment for it. He said, “3-4 years ago many countries were hesitant about investing in India and making a partnership and it being a two-way approach, today you do not see that at all.”
Cambers was also all praise for the recent schemes and reforms launched by the Indian government like demonetisation, Digital India and GST.