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Cisco Systems to raise India staff by 60% over next four years

NEW DELHI: Cisco Systems will increase its workforce in India by about 60% over the next four years as part of its strategy for emerging markets, a senior executive of the network equipment maker told ET.

This will be the first big-scale recruitment by Cisco in India after it announced a 15% cut in global workforce in mid 2011. Most of the hiring will be for the company's research and development centre in Bangalore, which is its largest outside the US. The IT giant is increasingly using the Bangalore centre for innovating products for emerging markets such as India, China and Brazil.



"By 2015, we will be ramping up from 7,500 people to about 12,000 people, increasing workforce out of Bangalore," senior vice-president Sanjay Rohatgi said, adding, "We want to innovate faster and at the right price point for emerging countries because the growth will happen in this part of the world now."

Rohatgi looks after the California-based company's service provider business in India and the SAARC region. Cisco's service provider vertical contributes about 36% to the company's total revenues from India.

Rohatgi said Cisco is working with service providers on leveraging 3G by offering services such as e-education with the aim to take video and data services to consumers and enterprises. The telcos have direct access to Cisco's Bangalore engineering team, which enables them to get customised products.

In India, the $43-billion (revenue) Cisco will focus on growth areas such as mobile packet core, cable digitisation, cloud services and collaboration with the government.

The company is hopeful of closing one or two major long-term evolution (LTE) contracts by the middle of 2012, as broadband wireless access (BWA) services are expected to begin by the year-end. Over the next three years, a third of the total revenue of Cisco's service provider vertical will come from these contracts.

A large number of IT vendors, such as Juniper Networks, ZTE and Huawei, have been pushing tailor-made products in the telecoms sector. However, experts say they have been conservative in bringing more people on board. For instance, Huawei and ZTE introduced enterprise units and hired a few hundred people while targeting $400 million in revenues.

Over the past year, Cisco has adapted to the demands of mobile service providers by shifting to an alternative business model: from offering capex purchase to a pay-as-you-go model.

Source : ET Bureau