Government needs to make it much easier to do business and reduce regulations by removing all the hurdles for campaigns like Make in India and Startup India to succeed, Cisco Executive Chairman John Chambers said.
“You have to overcome the challenges. So if you look at the Prime Minister’s agenda with Digital India, Make in India , skills in India, startups in India… you will have to remove hurdles,” Chambers said.
It it will take a very strong government leader and a leadership team that has the courage to make the changes and remove these hurdles, he added.
“… Govt does have to reduce the regulations. It has to make it much easier to do business. Look at logistics, you have to give people an equal playing field, you have to have a start up mentality and re skill the workforce,” Chambers said.
He said India can play a leading role in global economies helped by factors like strong domestic consumption and availability of English speaking engineers.
Stating that he is most optimistic now than he has been in the last 20 years about the Indian market, Chambers said adding businesses and government need to work for the progress of the country.
“India is way ahead of counterparts in the world. You can see the Indian economy picking up…,” Chambers told CNN IBN.
He added that India has the benefit of being the world’s largest democracy as well.
“There are disadvantages as well with it in terms of speed of change. But I think you have majority of positives versus your peers to lead,” he said.
He further added: “The question is whether you have the courage, whether the people in India have the patience for the change and not expect it in a quarter or this year… It takes 3-4 years to drive a change effectively”.
Earlier this year, the US technology giant had committed towards manufacturing in India and said it will invest USD 2 billion (roughly Rs. 13,227 crores) in the country this year.
The company, which pumps in USD 1.7 billion (roughly Rs. 11,241 crores) every year (including USD 250 million on R&D) in its India operations, also plans to invest an additional USD 60 million in the country on training and facility expansion.
Asked if India could outperform the Chinese market, Chambers said the company is “doubling down” on the India market.
“It’s not one country versus another (China). I think it’s about which country is moving more progressively. China is a country in a period of rapid change.
“If you look at India, it is also in a period of rapid change but it has the benefit of being the largest democracy in the world and a majority of engineers speak English. I think both countries will do well. I think India has a chance of doing well, we are doubling down on India,” he said.