Cisco’s chairman emiritus John Chambers reportedly said that Indian entrepreneurs should test their products in the global markets especially the US as the competition they will face from more mature players will make them tough.
“If it works in the US it will work anywhere in the world,” he told ET in an interview. Chambers has been a vocal supporter of the Indian startup ecosystem, having gone on record saying that India could be the next Silicon Valley.
Chambers was in Ahmedabad to attend the Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2019, which was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Reliance Industries Ltd chairman Mukesh Ambani.
Chambers is the founder of venture fund JC2 Ventures. The fund has two Indian companies — Lucideus and Uniphore — in its portfolio of 18 companies. Both the companies have taken their business to the US under Chambers’ tutelage. Uniphore currently has an annual revenue of $9 Mn and Luceidus has a revenue of about $3 Mn, Chambers said.
In 2018, Chambers had led a $5 Mn investment round in Lucideus. The company which is backed by a clutch of global executives such as Google’s Rajan Anandan, Facebook Messenger executive Anand Chandrasekaran and FreeCharge’s ex-CEO Govind Rajan, has seen its revenue growing in triple digits year-on-year and has been cash flow positive for the last few years.
This is Chambers’ second investment in India after speech recognition solutions company, Uniphore Software Systems.
Will India Be The Next Silicon Valley?
Chambers has been very bullish about the Indian startup ecosystem, reportedly saying that startups will act as the new driver of growth and job creation, with India possibly matching the Silicon Valley in terms of entrepreneurship in the next decade.
According to Chambers Silicon Valley can be displaced. He told ET in an interview that: “Before Silicon Valley, Boston was the high tech centre of the world. We thought we were invincible – 1,000 high tech companies and in a period of three decade we disappeared. They had great VCs, smart people. So, there’s no entitlement who is going to lead in this. Fast will beat the slow, you disrupt and you can get disrupted.”
Chambers, who is also chairman of the US India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), said the forum will collaborate with Ahmedabad-based technology incubator iCreate to help local startups connect with Fortune 500 companies and individual investors in the US.