Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) will make a series of strategic investments in India totalling over US $100m.
The commitment, a part of its global “Country Digitization Acceleration” program, whereby select countries across the world receive major strategic investment to accelerate existing government goals for driving economic growth through high-tech innovation, includes US $40m to fund early-stage and growth-stage companies and training of 250,000 Indian students by 2020.
For investments in startups, Cisco will focus on next generation technologies such as security, cloud, and the Internet of Things as well as digital plays in smart cities, financial services, healthcare, e-governance. The company aims to have an active role at all stages of startup development, from identification, creation of incubators and accelerator programs, and directly and indirectly funding the most promising digital startups across the country.
Cisco will also collaborate with state governments in India on strategic initiatives including the addition of 6 new innovation labs, 3 centers of expertise, funded university collaborations and skills investments.
In the education field, the company will expand the Cisco Networking Academy® program, a cloud-delivered skills-development program that allows students to learn how to design, build, secure and maintain computer networks and prepare for jobs in the digital economy.
The company also plans to collaborate with states committed to embracing digitization in order to improve their economies, the citizen experience and overall wellbeing and with the public sector to contribute to large-scale transformation projects such as smart cities as well as education, and healthcare.