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Naresh Wadhwa quits Cisco to start entrepreneurial venture

Bibhu Ranjan Mishra & Pradeesh Chandran  |  Bangalore 

After a successful 15-year stint with Cisco, Naresh Wadhwa has quit as president and country manager in India to start his own venture.

Wadhwa, the longest-serving country head for Cisco in India, has joined hands with a privately-held infrastructure and real estate company to start a venture that would use technology to build next-generation infrastructure.

After his stint with Cisco ends at the end of this month, it is expected he would make a formal announcement on the new venture, which aims to address the domestic, as well as the global market.

“It has been a fantastic run at Cisco, and the past six years as president is a very rewarding time for me. Frankly speaking, between Cisco and I, we had a very cordial relationship. Though the opportunities to join a competitor always existed, I decided not to do that, but start my own venture and become an entrepreneur,” Wadhwa said.

A graduate in engineering (electronics) from Mumbai University, Wadhwa joined Cisco on January 2, 1998. After various leadership roles in the company in the global and Asia Pacific fronts, he was appointed president and country manager in 2007, following the exit of Jangoo Dalal.

On his proposed venture, Wadhwa says it would address a completely new market and would have the potential to become a Rs 15,000-Rs 20,000 crore venture “in the first couple of years.”

“The infrastructure industry is a very large one. However, so far, very limited technology has been used in infrastructure. So, my venture would be focused on building next-generation infrastructure with the help of technology,” he said.

Cisco is expected to announce a new president and country head on January 10. The company would hold a press conference to announce its “new leadership structure in India”. India is important to Cisco for its global research and development capabilities, as well as for the fact that it is a major market. In 2005, the company had announced an investment of $1.1 billion in India in a phased manner. This was said to be the largest investment by the company outside the US.

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First Published: Thu, January 03 2013. 00:58 IST