TiEcon 2023: John Chambers underscores the US-India relationship in his grand keynote


“I think the most strategic relationship of the world is between our countries – US and India. So what have I been doing since I left Cisco? I’m doing for the first time in my business career what I love the most, which is nurturing young companies and helping them to grow. At Cisco, I’ve helped about 180 companies. We probably set the gold standard for how you do that well. And we also learn from our mistakes as we move forward,” said John Chambers, Founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures, Chairman US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) at the TiEcon 2023 Grand Keynote with moderator Scott Thurm, Senior Editor at The Information on May 4.

The TieCon 2023 was held on May 3 through 5, returning to in-person after three years of being virtual drawing attendees from across its global chapters.

“I now have 22 startups. We have nine unicorns among those startups. We focus a lot on cybersecurity and also artificial intelligence. That would be the next major frontier after the internet. After the cloud now it’s AI, which I think will be dramatically bigger than all the waves that went in front.”

ALSO READ: Tech industry legend John Chambers to be grand keynote speaker at TiEcon 2023

Talking about what he enjoys doing, Chambers said: “I’m more of a strategic partner, a mentor, a coach to the young teams. I like to be referred to as their older brother. They probably call me their father in many ways. I’ve learned the process and a lot in sharing that with others that helps them through the challenging times and the good times.”

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “a very good friend”, Chambers said that Modi had outlined that digital agenda. “It’s an honor to welcome the fastest-growing country in the world, for the next two decades as we move forward with digitization. And then something very likely talking about, when you think about the future of startup regions, not only to West Virginia, West Virginia is becoming a digital state, is becoming the fastest growing state in the nation economically,” he added.

“We take these concepts that we learned every time and say how do you make a difference in the world? I’m trying to chase the world one more time as I did with the internet,” Chambers said.

“I always start with a big picture. The big picture is tech. It’s not only good to stay. Technology, the digital world, digital countries, and digital individuals will be the future. Now AI will be what really powers that is to move forward. I’ve never been more optimistic than I’m about technology, the future of technology. Finally, people are realizing every company would be digital. And I think people are going to realize that every company, every individual will be AI in terms of their direction,” he added.

Talking about which could be the best bank in the startup arena, Chambers said: “In terms of what we’re seeing, Silicon Valley bank had been a mainstay for Silicon Valley in terms of financing the direction, et cetera. And it helped so many others in the valley in startups and the individual capital will be successful. But it speaks to how fast this market is moving. The pace of change is extraordinary. You are seeing the speed of change, which has never been seen before. It causes us all to think about how really things differ.”

Do we do best in terms of the benefits? “We try to, when we’re there to see the areas although sometimes we miss out. I’m guessing for me, that was during 2001, a lot of successes. But I missed the transition in 2001, even though the start part of the signal is a promise that was made clear in my life, the street change in the business side. But in 2008, we got it right. But it goes back to the speed of this change. It’s going to be clear, we should have known when you move free money to 500%. You can do the math on how to get out of court.

2500% increase. It’s the fastest in history by fact, what’s ever been done before. Unintended consequences, of course. And it looks obvious after the fact. So this is the marker we’re now on. It’s not going to wait for anyone. And while there are 500 million of the sign lines there, the VCs are looking at how they fund their current unicorns, and how they fund the commitments that have already been made,” Chambers said.

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