The plan was to establish Bangalore as a second headquarters. That's done. I came here with a three-year plan, all the elements of which have been executed. We are actually ahead of target. We had a clear vision of accessing new talent, new growth and new innovation. We have 6,000 people today from just a handful a few years ago. We grew despite the recession. Two new buildings came up during the recession. . . .
But are we now a global company? Not yet. That requires going through a real change...requires three to five years. But do we have the critical mass? That is where we are ahead of the plan.
To achieve that breakthrough momentum, Elfrink said, Cisco has to extend the model and philosophy and culture its created in Bangalore to other vibrant geographies around the world, and he identified Brazil as the company's "next frontier":
"Now some people are going back to the US and Europe while some are going to Korea, China and Singapore," Elfrink told the Economic Times.
"I expect some people to go to Brazil, the next frontier. The idea is to transfer our learnings in India to those places. We will look at innovation centres around the world. We will look at something unique, to make three to five-year commitments on."
Elfrink also described Cisco's unprecedented work in Songdo, South Korea, and indicated that the mayor of San Francisco-just 50 miles from Cisco's San Jose headquarters-visited Bangalore to try to gain some insights into the potential for technology to help drive urban revitalization.
"Unlike in India, where most companies are very verticalized, with separate P&Ls, we try to create a leadership that is what you could call internet-enabled; it's like social networking, but a bit more structured," Elfrink says in the article.
"We started this several years ago. John Chambers said, 'How do I move from command and control to one where teams work in collaboration?' "
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