"Of the 63 million small and medium enterprises (SME) in the country, only 20 million have adopted digitisation in some form, which leaves substantial headroom for the company to target," said Garde.
As part of this plan, Cisco, together with Tech Mahindra, has invested in the latter’s Bangalore Centre of Excellence, which is focussed only on manufacturing and solutions. While Tech Mahindra will contribute its expertise in software, Cisco will use its hardware products to come up with solutions for the manufacturing sector.
Currently, 90 per cent of Cisco’s business in India comes from IT, ITeS, BFSI and service providers, which the company considers as its traditionally strong segments. Only 10 per cent of its topline is contributed by other verticals.
While Cisco plans to continue its focus on the traditional segments, Garde said that the newer focus verticals will grow faster than the traditional verticals, changing the ratio of traditional vis-a-vis non-traditional revenue sources of Cisco’s Indian operations.
The company is also planning to ramp up its digital solutions vertical, particularly in transport & logistics, security and hotspots segments.
On the WebEx front, which comprises on-demand collaboration, online meeting, web conferencing and video conferencing applications, Cisco intends to increase its customer base by 10 times over the next 1.5 years.
“We have around 1,500 customers now and I think we can increase the count to 10,000-15,000 in the next 18-20 months”, says Garde.
Speaking about the company’s prospects in India, the Cisco executive said that three growth drivers are fuelling digital adoption in the country.
Firstly, more employees are connecting to the internet nowadays which requires upgradation of the network to eliminate legacy issues. Secondly, networks are gradually becoming more complex owing to data centre traffic which also calls for modernisation. Moreover,owing to an increase of employees' digital footprint, security is of paramount importance.