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Indian outsourcer agrees to set up shop in US

by on02 May 2017

There is nothing suspect about it being In Mike Pence’s home state

Indian based outsourcing outfit Infosys has worked its way around those in Trump’s administration team who want to see an end to outsourcing.

It has set up four technology centres in the United States and will hire 10,000 people over the next two years. And to make sure that it is left alone, one of the centres will be based in Indiana, the home state of US Vice President Mike Pence.

Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro are political targets in the United States for allegedly displacing US workers' jobs by flying in foreigners on temporary visas to service their clients in the country.

The IT service firms rely heavily on the H1-B visa program, which US President Donald Trump has ordered federal agencies to review.

Infosys Chief Executive Vishal Sikka said his company plans to hire US workers in fields such as artificial intelligence.

"When you think about it from a US point of view, obviously creating more American jobs and opportunities is a good thing," Sikka said.

Infosys was applying for just under 1,000 H-1B visas this year. One of the sources said that was down from about 6,500 applications in 2016 and some 9,000 in 2015.

Indian politicians and IT industry heads have been lobbying US lawmakers and officials from the Trump administration to not make drastic changes to visa rules, as this could hurt India's $150 billion IT service sector.

However, it is important to put all this in perspective. The 10,000 new US jobs would be a tiny part of Infosys' overall workforce of more than 200,000. They are research jobs and not the sort of work which takes away US jobs and ships them to India.

The other thing is that it has been part of a cunning plan started long before Trump took office. Infosys has already hired 2,000 US workers as part of a previous effort started in 2014.

"We started small at first and have been growing since then," Sikka said. "The reality is, bringing in local talent and mixing that with the best of global talent in the times we are living in and the times we're entering is the right thing to do. It is independent of the regulations and the visas."

Last modified on 02 May 2017
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