India Inc optimistic after Obama win, but outsourcing concerns weigh

India Inc. has expressed happiness over the re-election of President Barack Obama despite his hard line stand against outsourcing. India's $100 billion IT services sector is dependent on the U.S. and Europe for over 80 per cent of revenues.

Phaneesh Murthy, who heads the Information Technology (IT) firm iGATE on Wednesday said the re-election of President Barack Obama is not the best news for the Indian IT industry.

Mr Murthy, who has earlier served as a director of Infosys, India's second biggest IT services exporter, said, "Congratulations to the President for pulling off a hard fought victory. Not the best news for India or the IT outsourcing industry”. Mr Murthy is based in the U.S.

However, N Chandrasekaran, CEO of TCS, India's biggest software services outsourcer said he does not agree that President Obama's regime is anti-outsourcing.

"We would like to congratulate President Obama for winning a second term in office. Now the focus will be on driving economic growth, which will lead to increased prosperity and greater job creation in the US, as well as act as a catalyst for growth across the world.

Technology will play a strong role in driving the next phase of growth and Indian IT companies will have opportunity to play a significant role to partner with US companies to achieve this.  This will lead to further job creation in the US and other parts of the world," Mr Chandrasekaran said in a statement.

Rahul Bajaj, chairman of Bajaj Auto said outsourcing could be a sticky issue, but overall it is a good thing that President Obama has been re-elected.

President Obama had adopted a tough line against outsourcing of jobs in the run-up to these elections, and had often said that he wanted to give tax breaks to companies that are investing in the United States. In his attacks on his opponent Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor, he accused him of outsourcing American jobs to countries like India and China.

Adi Godrej, chairman of the Godrej group said President Obama's presidency is a good development for India.

"Between two large economies there will be issues and concerns. Outsourcing is also a concern and I hope it will be addressed soon," Mr Godrej said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on India here.

Som Mittal, chairman of IT lobby NASSCOM said Indian industry is very dependent on the U.S. economy doing well. Only when economic recovery happens will the jobs come back, he added.

BPO industry veteran and former CEO of Genpact Pramod Bhasin told PTI that the issue of outsourcing was more than a plain election rhetoric.

"I think there will be greater implications as he (Obama) focusses on issues like unemployment. I just hope he remains true to free trade and all the other things that he talks about so well," he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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