Networking giant Cisco announced $100 million investment plan to accelerate digitization in India.
Initially, the company will spend $40 million to fund early-stage and growth-stage companies in the country and train 250,000 students in India by 2020.
The company will focus on technologies such as security, cloud, and the Internet of Things as well as digital plays in smart cities, financial services, healthcare, e-governance.
In the next phase, Cisco will collaborate with state governments in India on initiatives including the addition of 6 new innovation labs, 3 centres of expertise, funded university collaborations and skills investments.
Cisco said this investment form part of its global ‘Country Digitization Acceleration’ or CDA program.
Under this initiative, select countries across the world receive major strategic investment to accelerate existing government goals for driving economic growth through high-tech innovation.
Dinesh Malkani, President, Cisco India and SAARC, said, “India’s digital transformation will grow the economy faster, will provide employment and 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.”
Further, Cisco said the company will expand th program to help India increase its pool of skilled technology professionals and expand its accessibility to education, research and technology.
Cisco have 176 academies nationwide, over 110,000 students have been trained since its inception through arrangements with educational institutions, public sector agencies, and nonprofit organisations.
As part of today’s announcement, Cisco intends to launch 6 innovation labs, 3 centres of expertise and funded university collaborations, across select states in India.
These three moves are intend to offer opportunities for diverse groups of entrepreneurs, start-ups, accelerators, developers, researchers, ecosystem partners and the venture community to build businesses and innovate in digital technologies, smart cities and the Internet of Things.