Partnerships key to success in digital world: Cisco India head



Creating a new business model, finding the right partners and getting the last mile connectivity are key pillars of success which are increasingly being digitized, a top Cisco executive has said.

Known as a networking giant for its routers and switches business, Cisco has reinvented itself many times, with its latest focus being on software and services.

“If you are a leader, your job is to create new markets, to ensure you create new business models and figure out how you can touch customers, you thought you would never be able to reach,” Sameer Garde, President, Cisco India, and Saarc, said during his keynote address at the Cisco India Summit here.

“It is not anymore about serving old customers with existing business models. It is about serving new customers with new business models. And that is what leaders should do,” he said, adding that the contribution of core digital sectors is growing fast in India, fuelling further growth in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

It is estimated that India will be a $5 trillion economy by 2025 in which the contribution of the digital sectors would be around $1 trillion, which is about 20 percent of the total economy.

“India is currently about $3 trillion economy in which the contribution of digital sectors is about $200 billion. So in just five years, the contribution of digital sectors is set to grow from six percent to 20 percent,” he said.

The new success mantra in this digital world, Garde said, is not about building new products.

“The new success mantra is about new go-to-markets and new business models,” he said, adding that software is driving innovation in the digital world.

“Software will eat the world. And this is a very important part of what we want even Cisco to do. Think about it. Material objects are now assuming digital attributes. Forget cars, today, even shoes are getting software-enabled. Did you ever think that you might have shoes to wear that will tell you on a real-time basis if you are running or using it in the right way,” he said.

Businesses that think that they will be able to sail through the digital tide by just increasing efficiencies in operations or going to new geographies to find new customers while keeping the old business model intact, might be preparing themselves for a rude shock, Garde said.

Cisco, which reported $13 billion revenue for the quarter ending on April 27, on Monday announced a partnership with Google to launch free high-speed public Wi-Fi in the world, starting with India.

According to B Raghavendran, Managing Director, Partner Organisation, Cisco India and Saarc, 94 percent of Cisco’s business in India happen through its partners.

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