Cisco aims to hook up 100 smart cities in India

U.S. networking hardware giant Cisco Systems is looking to transform 100 Indian metropolises into smart cities with connected technology.

Economic Times says Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins confirmed his company’s commitment to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative.

He said that Cisco is currently working with state governments to digitally transform 14 cities, and that’s just the beginning.

“I wish to take this number to 100 in the next five-seven years in line with the government’s ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives,” said Robbins at the annual Cisco Partner Summit in San Francisco.

“We are working closely with our partners in India as they have the skills and capabilities to make this happen,” Robbins said. “This is part of our broader India digital plans,” Robbins added during a media interaction at the annual here on Tuesday.

Cisco’s larger plans in India also include its recently launched manufacturing operations in the western city of Pune.

Since first setting up shop in India in 1995, Cisco has expanded to its current level of 11,000 employees.

Robbins said that in those two decades, Cisco has gained a deeper knowledge of the challenges facing the fast-growing country. And he says his company has helped India tackle big challenges in the areas of healthcare and education.

“It is absolutely amazing to see the technology helping students read better and transforming healthcare in the Indian villages,” he said. “This is what actually drives Cisco.”

India just the next connected step for Cisco

The involvement in India’s smart cities movement is in line with Cisco’s interest in expanding into the burgeoning world of connected devices and infrastructure. Cisco has indicated that it is pursuing a strategy that involves the Internet of Things (IoT), cybersecurity and cloud computing.

And the IoT market that Cisco is targeting is growing a dizzying pace.

Currently, there are almost 23 billion connected devices around the globe. However industry forecasts have predicted that this number to grow to 50 billion by 2020.

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