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Hire local: Infosys mantra in the Trump era

January 27, 2017 13:23 IST

All major Indian IT services providers are keenly watching US President Donald Trump's potential actions on immigration law. Ayan Pramanik reports.


IMAGE: Infosys is setting up "region-specific hubs" to hire freshers and experienced young professionals in America and Europe. Photograph: Vivek Prakash/Reuters.

Infosys is setting up "region-specific hubs" to hire freshers and experienced young professionals in the United States and Europe to combat growing anti-immigration policies of local governments.

The decision comes at a time when major Indian IT services providers are keenly watching the potential immigration law changes by President Donald Trump

Two Republican senators have sought to revise the H1B visa programme to increase the minimum wage by 40 per cent to $ 100,000. Majority of H1B visa holders are Indian nationals, working with Indian service providers and multinationals such as IBM and Accenture.

"We started hiring freshers from US campuses in the past couple of years, so that will continue. Our focus is to hire locals and supplement skills, which are not available with the visa programme. We are also looking for setting up specific hubs, which we have experimented with in the last couple of years," Ravi Kumar S, who has been elevated as deputy chief operating officer of Infosys, told investors in a recent call.

Infosys does not give specific data on local employees in developed markets.

Industry experts say Indian IT service players, including Infosys, have less than one-fourth of the total workforce close to the global customers. "Going forward, we may see a reverse trend with a significant increase in local hiring," said Pareek Jain, head of HfS Research India.

Ravi Kumar added that Infosys would focus on setting up such hubs in geographies where clients have a higher demand for local people.

"We want to continue to do that in terms of availability of talent pools and classes of customers where they are available. So, it's a very comprehensive plan of looking at local hiring from campuses to one to four-year experienced folks," he said.

Infosys declined to elaborate.

During the earnings call, Chief Executive Officer Vishal Sikka said hiring local talent helps it "bring the contextual sense of innovation" at the work for clients.

"So far, Indian IT services players followed a model wherein they could work out of India and send employees on a visa. This gave a competition to local firms in terms of cost. Local hiring has been a barrier in the European countries as well. I think it is a mindset change. As a survival method, you cannot depend on the visas for long," said Jain.

Ayan Pramanik
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