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H-1B Visa Effect: Infosys To Hire 10,000 American Workers

Amid concerns over H-1B visas, India’s second biggest outsourcer Infosys has said it will hire 10,000 American workers over the next two years and open four technology centres in the United States as part of a plan to ramp up local hiring in that country. The first centre is planned by August this year in Indiana, the home state of US Vice President Mike Pence. The move comes at a time when Infosys and some of its peers such as TCS or Tata Consultancy Services have become political targets in the United States for allegedly displacing jobs of American workers by flying in foreign workers on temporary visas to service their clients in the country. The 10,000 new US jobs would be a small part of Infosys’s overall workforce of more than 200,000.

Infosys ✔ @Infosys
Infosys will hire 10,000 American workers, build 4 new technology and innovation hubs in the U.S. over next 2 years
10:08 AM – 2 May 2017
16 16 Retweets 18 18 likes

The IT service firms rely heavily on the H-1B visa programme, which US President Donald Trump has ordered federal agencies to review, and are now hiring more locals and setting up delivery centres in the US in anticipation of a tighter visa regime. “Infosys is committed to hiring 10,000 American technology workers over the next two years to help invent and deliver the digital futures for our clients in the United States,” said Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka. Over the past few months, other countries like New Zealand, Australia and Singapore have tightened their visa systems.

Vishal Sikka ✔ @vsikka
Proud that 10k+ Americans will become Infoscions in the next 2 yrs! Thx @GovHolcomb for a warm Hoosier welcome… …
10:46 AM – 2 May 2017
16 16 Retweets 17 17 likes

Last month, a Trump administration official accused top Indian outsourcers of unfairly cornering the lion’s share of H-1B visas by flooding the system with applications which naturally ups their chances of success in the lottery draw. President Trump had in an executive order last month asked American agencies to review the H-1B visa system to make it more merit-based.

Indian IT industry body Nasscom has defended its members TCS and Infosys, saying the two accounted for only 7,504 – or 8.8 per cent – of the approved H-1B visas in 2014-15. Indian technology firms use H-1B visas to send their employees to work at customer sites in the US, which is the largest export market for the $150 billion Indian IT industry.

For the 10,000 jobs in the US, Infosys said, it will hire experienced technology professionals and recent graduates from major universities, and local and community colleges. The company plans to institute training programs in the US in areas such as user experience, cloud, artificial intelligence, big data and digital offerings, as well as core technology and computer science skills.

The four tech hubs in the US will not only have technology and innovation focus areas, but will also closely serve clients in key industries such as financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, energy and more, the Bengaluru-headquartered company said.

Mr Sikka told news agency Reuters that Infosys has already hired 2,000 American workers as part of a previous effort started in 2014. “When you think about it from a US point of view, obviously creating more American jobs and opportunities is a good thing,” he said.

Shares of Infosys were flat in Mumbai market following news of the US hiring plans. Analysts say that a ramp-up of US hiring entails higher cost for Indian outsourcers, thus impacting their margins.

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