1. Infosys says not worried about impact on H1B visa hires despite Donald Trump’s potential policy changes

Infosys says not worried about impact on H1B visa hires despite Donald Trump’s potential policy changes

Infosys Ltd on Friday said the company is not “overly concerned” about potential restrictions on sending its employees to the United States for client work, as it is anyway increasingly hiring more local people.

By: | Published: January 13, 2017 5:46 PM
Indian information technology companies such as Infosys use H1B visas to send employees to the US to work with the clients on their projects. (Reuters) Indian information technology companies such as Infosys use H1B visas to send employees to the US to work with the clients on their projects. (Reuters)

Infosys Ltd on Friday said the company is not “overly concerned” about potential restrictions on sending its employees to the United States for client work, as it is anyway increasingly hiring more local people.

“There will be some impact on H1Bs depending on the nature of the policies but it is not something that we are overly concerned about,” Infosys CEO and MD Vishal Sikka said referring to the incoming US President Donald Trump’s stand on immigrants and job creation.

Indian information technology companies such as Infosys use H1B visas to send employees to the US to work with the clients on their projects. However, of late, it has created resentment among the US residents, who face tougher competition for jobs.

Trump, who was surprisingly elected in November the next US President, had curbing immigration and job creation for US citizens as his major poll promises, and has reiterated his views on this several times.

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“Of course, visa policies and immigration-related policies may change. We have to watch and see what happens there. We have a lot of H1Bs and we have quite a lot of local hires,” Sikka said responding to questions on the potential visa policy changes.

He said Infosys is hiring more and more people locally in the US to engage better with the clients and foster innovation on the ground, notwithstanding the potential visa restrictions.

“When I joined two-and-a-half years ago, I had articulated anyway that we have to become much more locally-oriented in our strategy, markets and globally,” Sikka said, adding, “So, regardless of visa policies, the right thing to do for innovation is to have a lot of rich local talent.”

Sikka, who joined Infosys in June 2014, himself is a US citizen, and travels frequently between India and the US.
He also said he expects Trump to be business-friendly. “President-elect Trump is himself an entrepreneur, business-friendly and innovation-oriented, so I expect the policies of the administration are going to be friendly towards business, innovation and entrepreneurship,” he said.

The company has so far not noticed any change in pattern of the client behaviour. “We are waiting and watching,” Sikka said.

Earlier Friday, Infosys reported its consolidated net profit for the third quarter of the current financial year 2016-17 rose 2.3% on-quarter to Rs 37.08 billion, beating most analyst estimates and sending shares soaring. Its consolidated revenue for the Oct-Dec quarter was almost flat at Rs 172.73 billion, down 0.2% from the previous quarter. However, despite the strong showing of the third quarter financial results, the company lowered its full fiscal 2016-17 USD revenue growth guidance to 7.2-7.6% from 8.6-9%. It narrowed the band for the full year constant currency revenue growth guidance to 8.4-8.8% from 8-9% earlier.

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