Businesses can't fight govt: Murthy on H1-B visa

Businesses can't fight govt: Murthy on H1-B visa

 With the Indian IT companies feeling the heat over the H1-B visa, IT czar N R Narayana Murthy today said businesses cannot fight government and have to work within the limitations.

"We cannot fight any government. Let's remember whether it is the US, the UK or the Indian government, no business can fight any government," Infosys co-founder Murthy told reporters here.

He also said, "We have to work within the constraints of the government and there is a lot of innovation that we can bring to the table, whereby our companies are safe. Our companies can grow well again, grow profitably and then we can make the customers."
Murthy said politicians have responsibilities to ensure that unemployment level in their country is as low as possible, and hence they cannot be blamed.

Murthy also argued that India itself has done it in the past by asking the Chinese companies to give a minimum wage of 25,000 US dollars a year for construction workers and power plant builders, to protect India's interests.
"When the Chinese companies wanted to bring Chinese labour because they have very stiff competition target, the than UPA government said that you must give a minimum of wage of 25,000 dollars a year for construction workers for builders in India. So, this is nothing new to the US alone. We have done it ourselves and we all realised that it was done for a good reason by our politicians," he said.

Therefore, he would not blame the politicians and go into a tizzy on the issue, Murthy said, adding that it would the responsibility of the industry to come out with a mechanism to reduce dependence on visas.

"That is the reason why I believe that any prudent board in any of the Indian software companies would have to identity visas as an important risk and ask the management what they have done to mitigate this risk," he said.

Murthy also said it is very unlikely for President Trump to execute the H1-B order, as the Indian software industry has largely been responsible for building and maintaining the information infrastructure of the large western corporations.

"Therefore they play a very very critical role in the success of the US corporations, tampering with it is not going to be easy," he said.

He also believed the customers of Indian software companies will use their influence with the Trump administration to prevent him from executing such a order.
"Therefore, the probability of any such executive order appears somewhat remote, at least from where I see," he said.

Even if the the order is executed, Murthy said in this scenario the Indian software industry will try to renegotiate the prices with their customers so as to their profitability will not be impacted as much as the industry thinks it would.

"I believe that they will be able to sit down with their customers and renegotiate the prices. So, thereby their profitability will not be impacted as much as we think it would," he said.

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