Infosys will hire 10,000 American workers in the US over the next two years and set up four technology hubs in that country, even as it looks to stave off the pressure of increased restrictions on the use of H-1B visas. The new hires will be experienced technology professionals and graduates from major universities, local and community colleges, the IT firm said on Tuesday. The first of the technology hubs will be opened in the state of Indiana in August 2017 and is expected to create 2,000 jobs by 2021. Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka said, “Infosys is committed to hiring 10,000 American technology workers over the next two years to help invent and deliver the digital futures for our clients in the United States.”
This is seen as a victory for the Trump administration, which wants to create maximum jobs for Americans, going by the dictum “Buy American, Hire American”. The four new technology hubs planned by Infosys in the US will focus on cutting-edge technology areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, user experience, emerging digital technologies, cloud, and big data. It will also serve clients in key industries such as financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, energy and more. The latest move by Infosys represents the general tenor for the $155-billion Indian IT industry which in the last four months has faced increased restrictions on the movement of technology professionals to its largest market – US and is hence focused on hiring locally.
The biggest dampener has been the newer regulations inserted on the use of H-1B visas, which is the key permit to enable Indian IT companies to execute their business in the US. Though the Indian IT industry has strongly denied any laxity in standards on the use of H-1B visas, there is a general perception that companies from India bring in lower priced resources at the cost of American professionals.
Wipro has already announced that it expects to have more than 50% of its employees in the US to be local during the first quarter of FY18. It will also be adding two more major multi-client delivery centre in Mountain View, California. They have also added another centre in Michigan.
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Wipro CEO Abidali Neemuchwala said, “FY17 saw immense progress in localization in all our key markets. We have been significantly investing in US, in terms of increased hiring, setting up delivery centres and focusing our sustainability initiatives specifically in the area of education.”
Besides the hiring plans, there is also a concerted move by a few Indian IT companies to provide training and contribute to the education curriculum in the US especially in the area of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Infosys will also institute training programmes in key competencies such as user experience, cloud, artificial intelligence, big data and digital offerings, as well as core technology and computer science skills.
The IT major’s charitable foundation, Infosys Foundation USA has since 2015 has provided computer science training to more than 1,34,000 students, over 2,500 teachers and almost 2,500 schools across America. It also partners with organizations such as Code.org, CSTA and others to advance the skills development of millions of students.