Tech Mahindra’s Vice Chairman Vineet Nayyar on Friday said he does not expect the incoming US President Donald Trump’s possible restrictions on visas as big hiccup for Indian information technology services companies. Nayyar was talking in an exclusive interview to CNBC TV18. The Vice Chairman of India’s fifth largest information technology services company also said he would be surprised if Trump imposes tariffs that end up restricting trade.
Earlier this week, Tech Mahindra CEO CP Gurnani said that the company will continue to invest in hiring more and more local people in the US to augment competitiveness across locations, and in response to Donald Trump’s potential restrictions on immigrant workers taking up jobs in the US.
Gurnani had also said that Indian companies would not need to worry much about Trump’s possible policies as Indian IT industry in fact helps create jobs in the US by investing $4-5 billion a year. He added that Tech Mahindra sends only high-skilled workers to the US, while Trump has been very clear he does not want the displacement of low-skilled workers.
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Indian information technology service companies, bulk of whose earnings come from offshore clients in the US and other western markets, 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. Indian companies face new challenge with the incoming US President Donald Trump seeking to limit workers from other countries taking over jobs that locals could have had.
In response, the companies are seeking to hire more local people close to the client locations.
Tech Mahindra has less than 5% of its total workforce on H1B visa at present, Nayyar said.
Earlier this month, the second-largest Indian IT firm Infosys said it 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. The largest company, Tata Consultancy Services, as well has begun to address these concerns proactively, it had said, adding that it has been making changes to its business models for the last one year, fully aware of the consideration that it will have to operate in a restrictive visa regime.
Further, Nayyar on Friday said that adoption of automation is a bigger challenge than uncertainties over Trump’s policies.
Information Technology has constantly evolved from Y2K days, he told CNBC TV18.
His comments were in sync with India’s second largest IT services company Infosys MD and CEO Vishal Sikka.
Sikka had earlier this week that a lot of the jobs of the past are going to be displaced by AI (artificial intelligence), and that companies must collectively think on how to re-skill more and more people on newer services and technologies to bring them into the workforce.
Infosys is sharply focussing on embracing AI-based automation, as it foresees an increasingly AI-led future, Sikka had said.