I got a whiff of this at Perspective: Here's what he (John Chambers) really says he's going to do:
1. India will be Cisco's Globalization Center East meaning all corporate and operational functions at the US HQ will be mirrored in India.
2. They'll pilot a high tech manufacturing facility outside Chennai and finally, and most intriguingly,
3. One fifth of Cisco's senior management will move to Bangalore.
"All of the company's primary business functions, including sales, business development, IBSG, finance, HR, marketing, engineering and customer support will all be represented in India, as well as in the US."
It is not a second headquarters, This is more akin to the major headquarters-like capability centers we maintain outside San Jose in the U.K., Hong Kong and the Research Triangle Park area in Raleigh, NC.
In the process, I discovered Bangalore Tigers - a Businessweek blog by Steve Hamm and of course the story behind Ciscos Globalization Center, East. Bangalore Tigers has this post on the same, here, but for some strange reason I couldn't find the article in Businessweeks own site.
While this is great news for Bangalore and for the tech Industry in India as whole, it is worth noting that Cisco with this step will perhaps be one of the first companies to have such an important office in India too. The Wipros and the Infosys being here obviously have their HQs here, but this is the first example of a high end center being established in India. This center will be management heavy - perhaps a first example of the recognition of an Indian management talent pool. In fact, I would not call this outsourcing at all.
These are but baby steps if Indias tech industry has to progress and move up the value chain (and they are - more on this some other time).