Inder Singh joined Cisco Systems, Inc., in 2008 as Vice President for Strategic Planning. A year later, the company named him Vice President for Corporate Portfolio Management and Long Range Planning.
In the accompanying video, Inder Singh discusses Cisco’s rapid, sustained growth of the past two decades, as well as his efforts to craft a forecasting and portfolio management system that will guide the company’s continued growth.
A multinational corporation operating in more than 160 countries, Cisco System’s core business strategies focus on networking and communications technology. In the video, Inder Singh referred to discussions with CEO John T. Chambers about his desire to continue the company’s fast pace of growth, despite its size.
To facilitate this strategy, Inder Singh helped put together a framework for forecasting potential areas of investment. He outlined one path to growth that includes looking at existing markets, adjacent markets, and new markets. As a strategy, Mr. Chambers favors investing in technology transition, which means, essentially, waiting for a disruption in a given market and then investing in it.
According to Inder Singh, portfolio management for Cisco means examining ways of taking Cisco’s existing business of networking and making it relevant to other markets. He cited an example in his career, where Cisco is partnering to build a “smart city.” This means, Singh noted, learning the real estate business, which until now has not been a part of Cisco’s core competency.
The video conferencing market is another area of opportunity for Cisco to nudge itself into adjacent markets. Video conferencing and other collaboration markets, such as social networking, represent a $30 billion opportunity for the company.
Portfolio management provides a structure for the management team to assess and forecast the company’s current operations against future opportunities.