Commercial Spaces by Cisco in BangaloreThis comes as a downpour in Bangalore’s realty drought. Multinational networking giant Cisco has cleared the deck for developing an
additional 6.6 lakh sq ft office space with a provision of scaling it up to 2.2 million sq ft in Bangalore, making this the largest development plan by an IT major in recent times. More than the realty expansion, the move perhaps signals the fact that the IT industry
may be readying to invest on future growth, according to a realty consultant who works closely with many IT companies.

Cisco currently occupies 1.2 million sq ft at Cessna Business Park, an operating SEZ developed by Bangalore-based Prestige Group and has a staff strength of around 4,000. The 6.6 lakh sq.ft facility is targeted to be completed by the second quarter of 2012. Once that happens, Cisco will be occupying 1.8 million sq ft, making the India centre its largest outside of the US. In the long term, Cisco’s India centre could even touch 3.2 million sq ft. Subash Rao, director-HR , Cisco India , says, “Cisco has designated Bangalore as our globalisation centre East and indicated that we will have 10,000-12 ,000 employees based here over the next three to five years. The idea is for 20% of the top talent in Cisco to be based here.”

A part of the additional space will be used to consolidate Cisco’s offices in Bangalore into this state-of-the-art campus where all businesses and functions are co-located , he added. According to a property consultant, who requested anonymity, the Cisco deal reposes faith in India as a strategic location as against merely an outsourcing destination. IT services firms may be going slow on development owing to order-book constraints but for product companies who do highend R&D work, India is linked to mission-critical operations.

Bangalore became a very important hub for $39.5-billion Cisco, outside of its headquarters in San Jose, California, when it set up its second globalisation centre in January 2007 with its chief globalisation officer Wim Elfrink being located in the city.

Besides being the largest R&D centre for Cisco outside of US, Bangalore is also serving as the hub for its new multi-billion dollar business initiatives . Cisco has already said that it would be driving new businesses which has the potential to touch $1 billion in revenue within three years from Bangalore.

It has already rolled out a few such initiatives targetted at the real estate sector, healthcare among others. The fortunes of the realty sector, more so in Bangalore, have been directly linked to IT. The commercial realty market has witnessed almost zero activity in terms of fresh development along with huge vacancies in office
space, especially in the peripheral suburbs like Whitefield and Outer Ring Road.

Source:Economic Times, 30th Junly 2009