Bengaluru: US President Donald Trump’s “Buy America Hire American” policy has brought a cautious response from India’s IT industry, for whom US is the biggest market. Industry body Nasscom estimates that US markets account for more than half of India's 108-billion IT exports.
Every year, thousands of Indians go to work in the US with H-1B visas. The Trump government wants to tighten the HIB visa regime by controlling the number of employees and their salaries. Two bills that will bring this about are pending.
Rostow Ravanan, the chief of IT firm Mindtree said they are “closely monitoring the transition”.
Some players have been talking of going local in their hires, even if the local talent available needed polish.
Ahead of Mr Trump’s inauguration, Pravin Rao, the Chief Operating Officer of Infosys, told NDTV that it was one of the many “disruptions” and one had to learn to live with it.
Over the last few years, the company has been hiring local talent – a task made easier by their experience of “building and executing on education infrastructure” in Mysore, he said. The company can make similar investment towards training local candidates in the US. Besides, much of the work, he said, can be done without leaving India, given the improvement in tools and technologies.
Infosys, he said, was also collaborating with NASSCOM and key stake-holders in the US to bring focus on the value India is adding in terms of innovation and economic development in the US. “Those are things we have not done very effectively in the past," he said.
NASSCOM is now highlighting how 84 of 100 Indian companies have planned to invest in the US in the next five years. By providing high-skilled IT solutions to innovate and open markets, Indian companies were helping American companies to grow and creating thousands of jobs for Americans, the trade association said.