Even as India’s bellwether information technology firm Infosys plans to hire 10,000 people in the US to counter the impact of impending restriction on H1B visas and to adapt to the rapidly changing technology landscape, the Donald Trump administration is already taking political credit in successfully forcing Indian IT firms’ hands into creating jobs in the host country.
“We’re glad to see companies like Infosys see opportunity in the American economy again,” Ninio Fetalvo, a White House spokesman, said in a statement to The Washington Post. The White House termed Infosys’ announcement on hiring 10,000 local workers a political victory for the Trump administration, adding that Infosys’ proposed move is evidence of renewed investment in the US due to Trump administration’s ‘pro-growth economy agenda’. However, Infosys maintained that its announcement was a “natural evolution” of the company’s work in the US, even though the company will reportedly receive a large tax break for its expansion into Indiana.
“As work becomes more next-gen, you need a more healthier mix of global and local talent and so, you need to re-think the traditional, what has historically been called ‘global delivery model’ and bring in a lot more talent locally,” Infosys Chief Executive Officer Vishal Sikka said in a statement.
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Sikka said that Infosys is not taking these steps just to mitigate the impact of stricter visa norms in the US, but also to build a pedigree of developing futuristic technology-led tools and products, which ease the clients’ work by automating routine tasks. Over the last three years, there has been an increase in the use of new technologies like AI and virtual reality and even the traditional projects are becoming highly automated, he added.
Earlier yesterday, Infosys announced that it will hire about 10,000 employees in the US over the next two years in addition to opening four technology and innovation hubs there, in an effort to tide over the impending H-1B visa restriction issues. Infosys’ first hub will open in Indiana in August this year and will create 2,000 jobs for US locals by the year 2021. The location of the other three hubs will be decided over the next few months.
Indian stakeholders ranging from the top government functionaries to private citizens have raised voices against the United States’ publicly proposed plans to curb H-1B visa allotments to information technology professionals from India. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had taken up the issue at the highest levels with their US counterparts highlighting the contribution of Indian companies and professionals to the US.