Cabletron CEO aims to beef up local operation

Cabletron's Australian office got a rap on the knuckles yesterday from Piyush Patel, the company's international CEO and chairman. He claimed the operation can "definitely" do a lot better than its current performance.

Patel said the company is "not getting enough revenues" from its Australian operations, despite yearly revenues of $US20 million to $30 million.

He hinted the company is interested in investing in professional services and support companies in Australia, either as acquisition targets or strategic partnerships.

"We definitely intend to beef up the Australian office to do even more and more business in Australia," Patel said.

"In the beginning, I think our plan is to go after some medium-sized company . . . and in future if there is some synergy between some of the bigger players we are willing to looking at some of the other options also."

Patel labelled Australia, Singapore, Japan, India, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong as the key Asia/Pacific markets that Cabletron intends to make more investments in.

"We want to be a premier provider in the Asian market," he said.

Meanwhile, Patel said he is confident that Cabletron has already made the transition from a company that was not making money. Earlier this year, the company posted losses of $22.5 million for the quarter ended May 31. This was an improvement on losses of $154.6 million reported in the same quarter last year.

"We are definitely on our way to making not only small profits but making a bigger and bigger profit . . .we already have about $500 million cash in the bank," he said.

"I am fully optimistic that things are already turned around and we already have basically made the transition into the faster growing healthy company again."

Patel said the company will target the service provider markets and emerging xDSl, Web hosting and network management sectors.

He also said aggressive marketing strategies are underway throughout the company, including the Australian operation and Spectrum division.

Patel hinted at the possibility of a new name for the Spectrum group to create new brand recognition for the division.

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