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Infosys to recruit 10,000 locals in the US, set up four tech hubs

India's IT services companies are looking to highlight the work they are doing locally in their biggest market, where the H-1B visa has become the focal point of a push to protect local tech jobs

Harichandan Arakali
Published: May 2, 2017 01:34:31 PM IST
Updated: May 2, 2017 03:11:41 PM IST

Infosys to recruit 10,000 locals in the US, set up four tech hubsImage: Shutterstock
Infosys will recruit 10,000 local tech workers in America, its biggest market, over the next two years, India’s second-largest software services company said in a news release on Tuesday. The Bengaluru company will also set up four tech hubs in the US, it said, with the first one coming up in the state of Indiana later this year.
India’s IT services companies are seeking to showcase the benefits to local tech ecosystems as well as the communities beyond from the work they do, at a time when they are being seen to be party to replacing local jobs with cheaper imports.

The local recruits will “help invent and deliver the digital futures for our clients in the US,” chief executive Vishal Sikka said in the release. “Learning and education, along with cultivating top local and global talent, have always been the core of what Infosys brings to clients.”

The IT companies have long been among the biggest beneficiaries of the US H-1B visa. They use it to send staff from India to work at client locations in America on a temporary basis. This helps them keep local recruitment, and related costs, low. The visa has become the focal point of a call led by US President Donald Trump, to protect local tech workers.

Infosys, which had about 14,600 H-1B visa holders in the US as of March 31, 2016, will hire both fresh graduates and experienced staff to work at its four technology and innovation hubs in areas, including Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, user experience, emerging digital technologies, cloud, and big data.

Even as the call for protecting jobs has become more strident in the IT sector’s biggest markets, even outside the US, from Britain to Singapore, changes on the tech front have already made it imperative for the Indian companies to hire the best of the best, locally. The areas that Infosys has listed as the ones in which it will recruit locally reflect those changes.

For instance, Indiana, where Infosys’s first hub is to open in August, is also home to Appirio, a cloud software and solutions provider that Infosys’s rival Wipro acquired last year for $500 million.

“In the long run, we do believe that in every market that we work, the kind of work that happens going forward, will need a lot of local talent to be available in the market,” Wipro’s CEO Abidali Neemuchwala told reporters in Bengaluru on April 25, discussing the company’s latest quarterly earnings results.

That said, India’s IT companies, as well as their biggest overseas rivals who’ve taken advantage of India’s engineering talent, will continue to have their biggest centres in India. For example, in comparison with the 10,000 staff Infosys expects to hire over the next two years, the Bengaluru company’s total staff strength is over 200,000.