Would you kindly enlighten us about Cisco and its
existence in Gulf and in Pakistan?
Since quite a few years now, Cisco exists in Gulf
and is now scheduling to enter in the developing markets. We have
benefited from our momentous presence in the Middle East with
personnel force being more than 100 employees. We have an overall
presence in over 150 countries and earn more than $9 billion in
revenues whilst employing a staff of more than 40,000 employees.
Pakistan is a big and exciting opportunity for us.
The company assists all sorts of client segments from high-end
ventures to service providers of telecom and public sector, in
addition to medium enterprises like real estate, hospitals and banking
etc., and thus restrains a significant market share worldwide. Cisco
is setting gears to enlarge its operations in Pakistan. Presently the
firm is doing its business wordlessly in Pakistan for the last couple
of years but now she is eager to amplify market share.
In the next twelve to eighteen months, Cisco plans
to invest heavily in Pakistan in terms of technology and manpower.
With control center based in Islamabad, Cisco is very fervent to tap
the great potential in Pakistani market and is positive about the
What services Cisco is planning to offer in
We are planning to bring the full range of our
products, from an entry-level infrastructure, which is our traditional
routers and switches with value-added technology. We have meticulous
focus around IP surroundings and have a number of clients in Lahore
and in Karachi who are eager to investigate our value-added
contributions and want to access technologies like security and
storage utilized worldwide. In Pakistan, we go through our
distributors and dealers who offer value-added services from their own
for the clients.
Do you find the current government policies
encouraging for Pakistan's business industry?
We are thrilled about the present management. Our
Vice President and Country Manager visited Pakistan a couple of weeks
ago and met with the Prime Minister and the Federal Minister for IT.
There has been very prolific discussion about how Cisco could play a
strategic role in the country's IT expansion. The country's IT policy
supports both the government's and Cisco's philosophy. It has been a
What strategy will Cisco adopt to tackle with the
Internationally, Cisco is a very flourishing
company. The investment that will be done in Pakistan would be based
on how we are in other parts of the world rather than trying to copy
or follow some other troupes.
We will put the right type of people on the ground
in Pakistan; people who have the knowledge of Pakistani market and
have enough experience that can bring value to our clients, as we
value intellectual assets. We have been in Pakistan for quite some
time now and are escalating our aura here. We are bringing more people
and are investing more in this country.
How does Cisco plan to handle the local market,
which primarily opts for generic systems?
Cisco plans to pursue two approaches to tackle this
market. The first approach is to introduce a lot of clientele to our
infrastructure. We have observed that many of our clients are not
revealed to our infrastructure like our routers and switches including
a lot of other competitive products that we would like our clients to
use. There are lots of products in which we believe we have
competitive advantage over competitors. We want our clients to get as
eager about these products as we are. So that's the strategic
What we are doing tactically worldwide is that we
have a vision for our system where we are taking the intellect from
the applications and folding it into the system. It would be extremely
constructive for this market to know what it means when they initiate
to invest in the infrastructure from the counterbalance. So these are
the two ends from the product point of view. From an industry
standpoint, we are planning to bring much more business value to
Pakistan instead of just the product information. And here with the
business value, I can see real opportunities in the market place.
Cisco has ample experience and implements that
which is derived from business point of view in all its branches
worldwide and now we are planning to bring all those experiences to
the Banking Industry of Pakistan. From the government point of view,
we have some exciting ideas too; we are having discussions with
certain ministries about the importance of e-governance and what it
can bring to the government and citizens of Pakistan and to the
ministries largely. There is a complete e-learning environment they
want from government point of view. These are the two market segments
that we want to add.
These are the formative years for Pakistan in terms
of products and solutions that we can offer, however, the market seems
very inquisitive to know the right hi-tech decision for the right sort
of technological solution. Today, people are not asking about what is
our cheapest product, they are inquiring and discussing about what
would provide them total cost of ownership in future. Where their
investments will be most secure from the technology point of view?
There is a factual change in the market, with a great concern of
Our point of view is to provide the best solution
in terms of both fiscally and give them the right technology advice.
We don't want to be generic because it is not a one fit for all
products in today's world.
How do you scrutinize the execution of WTO? Does it
pose a peril or an opportunity to your business?
The scenario is very optimistic for us. Textiles is
the largest industry in Pakistan. The players are now concentrating on
how they can be prolific and are making sure that they could go a long
way. The people who are distresses by the WTO have been contacting us
and requesting for help. This is very heartening.
Taking into account the details that the market
segments of Gulf and Pakistan are by now competitive enough, how does
Cisco plan to bring services unlike the ones that are presently being
offered by the existing companies?
The manner by which we will discriminate ourselves
from others is that we will be the technology advisors in whom our
clients could confide and we plan to do that by substantiating
ourselves and bringing in the international and local expertise in the
marketplace that can help clients make strategic decisions around
technology. We believe in having the right internal capability,
intelligence and channel to be a client's trusted technology partner.
IT is no longer a back office function. IT now
makes or breaks the company. People are slowly warming up to this
idea. People are also coming to know that Cisco can do lot more than
what people perceived it to do. Let me give you some practical example
like banking. We can help our clients understand what it means to have
a common acquisition price. What it actually means and how we can
advise them in ways where they can achieve economies of scale. The
fact is that certain technology has to be in place for this to happen.
We understand what it takes to do that.
On the legislative level, governments everywhere in
the world are talking about building global classrooms, which is
facilitating e-learning in the community and thus giving people access
to skill training and ability empowerment. We comprehend what it takes
to make Pakistan, a global classroom. Those are the types of
discussion that we think are extremely important. We have people in
our organization who are engaged in just advising the clients
strategically about their needs.
Are there any other areas that Cisco is planning to
highlight in addition to banking and textiles?
Being a product and solutions provider company,
Cisco partners with its client to bring real solutions in time. Our
market is in fact about entry-level communications. It is about
high-end integrated systems and also concerns advanced technology like
storage and IP Telephony. Incidentally, we have experiences in many
industries like manufacturing, textiles, governance and banking. In
Pakistan, our emphasis is on high level markets so it's a combination
of focused industry skills; primarily in these industrial sectors plus
solutions and expertise in entry-level medium firms.
We are doing loads of work with universities. Cisco
is very keen and focused on education. From ground bottom we have
established Cisco networking academies, which are, recognized
institutes that provide labs in the country. 500 people have graduated
from these institutes. On graduation a certificate is awarded and thus
allocates better job opportunities. There are approximately 2,000
students in the organization right now in Pakistan.
Cisco invests one billion dollars in terms of
research to encourage products into market. There are two types of
research. One is what the market is looking for and secondly what is
the technology worldwide. We believe in enhanced intelligent network
and thus take the intellect from our surrounding. Being a technology
company we deem in the future. We need to build products that construe
Cisco's strategic direction and try to focus more on customer
What do you seek to capture, in next five years, in
terms of market share?
We don't have any precise statistics yet but would
like to quote soon. We are keen on getting majority market share in
the IP market because we are bringing in advanced technology. We would
like to have same level of governance in infrastructure development as
we have the benefit of 85 percent of market share worldwide. Small and
Medium enterprises are mainly the growth area. Our success will
largely depend on how well we can communicate with our customers. In
addition to all this, there are numerous variables, which we will
learn within the course of time.