Thursday, October 7

Businessworld: Networks will grow faster in India

Mitu Jayashankar (Business Wolrd India )interviews Juniper CEO Scott Kriens :
Like every other tech start-up in the 1990s, Juniper Networks has seen it all - the giddy growth before 2000, when its stock was trading at $240, to the tragic low a year later when the stock fell to $4. In 2002, Juniper posted losses of $119 million. A new phase is now beginning for companies like Juniper as convergence becomes the mantra for networks and communication devices. Juniper, (2003 revenue: $700 mn) is well poised to take advantage of that trend. Some of the biggest spends on networking are coming from emerging markets like China, Korea and India. Juniper is using India as a strategic R&D centre, hiring Indians to develop next-generation routers and networking equipment. Juniper CEO Scott Kriens was recently in Bangalore. He spoke to Mitu Jayashankar, about convergence, its impact on the networking market and existing communication vendors. Excerpts...

His comments on India & Asia :
How strategic is the Asia-Pacific market for you?
One third of our revenue comes from Asia-Pacific, the same as from Europe. In my opinion, the network itself has no value unless it is worldwide. So it is impossible to be a network technology provider without having a global footprint. But it is true that certain opportunities would grow faster than others, India being a good example of that. There are only 150,000 users of broadband in India today, out of 18 million Internet users. So the growth opportunity is high. The growth rate in India will be much higher than in other countries.

How big is your presence in India?
India is very important to us, but not only as a market. We have a development centre in Bangalore where we employ 150 people. We will double that by next year. In sales and support, we have a team of 25-30 people in India. We have 19 customers here, including big names like BSNL. We recently won a big order from Indian Railways, which is connecting 38 railway junctions.