While reports and rumors circulate about Cisco Systems shedding staff in the USA, we draw your attention to an item from Thomson Financial regarding Cisco’s plans to invest US$1.2 billion in India within the next six years. Cisco also will double its headcount in India to 6,000 employees during that same period.
Wm Eilfrink, Cisco’s chief globalization officer, told Thomson that about 20 percent of the company’s top talent will be based in India. It would be interesting to learn whether Cisco is filling new personnel requisitions in India or whether it’s shifting jobs from the USA to India. What’s happening probably involves elements of both.
In addition to embarking on a hiring binge in India, Cisco has launched a $200-million venture fund to support investments in Asian technology companies. About $80 million of that fund has been deployed already. Again, it would be interesting to compare Cisco’s ongoing venture investments in North America with its heightened investor profile in Asia.
As Cisco experiences slower growth among its installed base of enterprise customers in North America and Europe, we can expect the company to aggressively pursue new markets in Asia and, to a lesser extent, the Middle East. That will entail at least a proportional shift in investments and resources from North America to growth-oriented markets elsewhere.
It’s all part of the global transfer of wealth from west to east. Technology markets and companies are not immune to the trend.