Indian IT cos should not define strategy based on govt policy

Indian IT cos should not define strategy based on govt policy

Infosys founder and Indian IT veteran Narayana Murthy on Saturday said Indian IT companies should not define their strategy based on the government policy and should consider sending employees through H-1B visa as a risk.

Interacting with DH on US President Donald Trump’s executive order on H-1B visa, Murthy said Indian software companies need to stop sending people on H-1B visas and focus on local hiring in the US.

“I would like to make it clear that no company should define its strategy based on the government policy. Government polices itself can become a huge risk and we cannot have control on it. We also had to face the adverse situation when we started our business in the 1980s,” he said.

Murthy said when they started Infosys, the government didn’t allow them to import computers. “They didn’t allow us to go abroad and there was no telephone connection. All my colleagues went to the US and got their projects done there, because we were not able to do that from India,” he said.

“I believe that any prudent board in any of the Indian software company would have to identify visa as an important risk and ask managements what they have done to mitigate the risks,” he said.

He also pointed out that even though there is much apprehension on the executive order, he said it is unlikely to happen. “First of all, the Indian software industry has been a lot responsible for building and maintaining the IT infrastructure of most large US corporations. Therefore, they play a very critical role in their  success, and tampering with them is not easy,” he said.

“Now we are offshoring 30% of work. We have to reduce it to 10%. If you hire local talent, the people there will also be  happy and respect those companies,” he said.

Murthy pointed out that Indian companies are sending a majority of their staff on H-1B visa. “But in India, US companies like IBM and Microsoft, and even Chinese company Huawei are hiring locally,” he said.

US President Donald Trump is planning an executive order to overhaul H-1B visa and the US Congress introduced a bill by Zoe Lofgren proposing to double the minimum wages of H-1B visa holders to $130,000 from $60,000.
DH News Service

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