Rank 8: Cisco Systems: Master Networker

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Setting up the largest R&D center after the US in Bangalore; developing a

reseller network across 75 cities, of more than 1,200 resellers trained by Cisco

experts; establishing MoUs with premier and regional educational institutions to

develop networking talent… the list of achievements seems to touch nearly all

possible spheres of activity.


Despite an economic recession, Cisco continued to be bullish about India. It

was quick to notice a shift in the customer behavior, thereby positioning itself

to take advantage of that. It adopted a strategy of developing new markets by

establishing closer ties with partners to focus on specialized offerings and

spreading to new geographies through direct interaction with resellers. It also

paid attention to strengthening relationships with distributors. As a result,

Cisco was able to tap a complex matrix of niches, thus registering a commendable

21 percent growth in a fiscal that was strewn with negative and single-digit

growths. Cisco registered a total revenue of Rs 930 crore to top the Indian

networking industry chart. In the previous fiscal, it had grossed a revenue of

Rs 765 crore. The dominance of this networking giant is evident from the fact

that its revenue figures are nearly thrice those of the nearest competitor,


Nevertheless, a negative service provider market, where caution was on

everybody’s lips, impacted even Cisco’s performance. While new markets in

the carrier optical space did not materialize, the poor Internet access market

pushed Cisco to have a flat growth in routers for the first time in many years.

Routers grew by a mere 2 percent.

It was the enterprise market that came to Cisco’s rescue this time,

especially the switch segment. Switches grew by 32 percent to clock sales of Rs

335 crore, thus constituting 36 percent of Cisco’s total revenues, just a

shade below the 38 percent share of router revenues. The significant gains in

switches came due to the trend of using Ethernet as the last-mile technology for

Internet broadband access and MAN connectivity. Also, Cisco switches became all

the more attractive due to the added advantage of seamless integration to

wireless LAN and IP telephony technologies.


Even as Cisco was leveraging the growing virtues of Ethernet switches, it

struck some new gold in niche areas such as WAN switches, IP phones, security

solutions, wireless products, and IP contact center solutions.

Cisco Systems





Manoj Chugh

Area of Operation : Networking equipment
Address : 2nd Floor, The Great Eastern


70 Nehru Place, New Delhi — 110 019
Tel : 011-6233201-206
Fax : 011-6233207
Tel : 0240-564599
Web site : 

Strength  King of enterprise networking
Weakness So far no major gain in carrier
Opportunity Carrier, core and access
Threat  Lukewarm carrier approach

One significant trend evident in Cisco’s customer spread was the blurring

of lines between enterprise and service provider products. Large enterprises now

implement service provider technologies, such as WAN switches, high-end routers,

and IP telephony products while service providers are deploying enterprise

products like Ethernet switches. During the fiscal, Cisco had some very

significant wins. Cisco’s enterprise customers include Infosys, Wipro,

Digital, Cognizant, Talisma, EXL, Spectramind, and Manjushree, IIT Kharagpur,

IIT Kanpur, WEBEL, Gujarat and AP Govt, and TCG. Among service providers, it

deployed significant amount of networking products for BSNL, Tata Power, Satyam

Infoway, Tata Internet, and Bharti Broadband.