The US Immigration Bill could hurt Indian software companies, Tata Consultancy Services MD & CEO NatarjanChandrasekaran believes, even though he points out the final version isn’t out yet. Meanwhile, TCS continues to cash in on the good environment and is keeping a close watch on innovations in technology, which Chandrasekaran feels are going to be rapid in the next few years, requiring IT vendors to be more than agile. He tells Shobhana Subramanian that he finds it difficult to even visualise the kind of work TCS might be doing five years from now, given how dramatic the changes in technology could be.
How serious do you think the impact of the US Immigration Bill could be?
The Bill, in the form in which it has gone through in the Senate, has tough provisions for companies like ours. The overall quota for H1B visas will be increased, which is good, but provisions like outplacement are tough not just for our business model but also for clients in the US because the ability of companies to service them will be difficult. We do, however, appreciate the need for an Immigration Bill in the US; they have issues to address.
From our point of view, the Bill that’s in the House is developing and the early version does not have some of the clauses that are of serious concern. There will definitely be some impact in terms of wage hike and visa hikes though that should not be serious. The outplacement clause, however, could be tough; we need to see how the clause is detailed in the Bill. In all these things, the final impact can be assessed only when you’re able to correctly interpret the rules, so the impact could be high.
Meanwhile, you’ve said it’s business as usual for TCS…
The environment is very good across geographies—the US, Europe, Asia, Middle East—and across verticals and we see excellent opportunities. The US accounts for 50-52% of our business and that share should stay that way.
You have been stressing the importance of technology…
The importance of technology for customers in transforming themselves is growing. Companies are trying to do