When the Trump administration came into force in the Unites States of America in January 2017, a series of administrative reforms were undertaken that were in line with Trump’s infamous maxim of ‘making America great again’.
These included several discriminatory policies toward migration exacerbated by political crises around the world, as well as fiscal policies aimed at retaining jobs for local Americans. Recently, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that necessitates a thorough re-examination of work visa programs that are employed by outsourcing firms based in the US. These work visa programs focus on the H1-B visa on the basis on which high-skilled foreign workers are employed in American companies. According to popular opinion in the US, these visas discriminate against the local workforce because they prioritise the hiring of foreign workers which is a proven method of cutting down costs. But the downside to these policies is increasing resentment toward migratory workers and a general blow to the American values of multiculturalism.
In a counter measure to lull the frustration, the Indian-origin IT giant Infosys Limited is all set to hire 10,000 American workers in the next two years. Apart from this, the company will also open four new technology and innovation hubs across the country in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning, user experience, emerging digital technology, cloud, big data, etc.
The current chief executive officer of Infosys, Vishal Sikka has stated: “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.” The first step in the expansion of local hiring will take place in the American state of Indiana with a new centre opening in August 2017. This centre is expected to create over 2,000 new jobs for Americans by the year 2021 and boost Indiana’s economy.
The initiative to increase local hiring may prove beneficial politically but it is sure to increase labour costs in the US. It is imperative that outsourcing companies, especially Indian ones, emphasise local hiring in order to boost crucial ongoing and future projects. CEO Sikka further says, “In the fast-changing world of today, we need the ability to be local. We need to be trusted by our customers as being local. To work with a mix of global and local talent is absolutely the right thing to do.”
Many Indian outsourcing firms employ a large proportion of foreign workers because of a shortage of qualified American workers. However, Infosys CEO Sikka believes that this challenge can be overcome easily by training. “We are not only hiring computer science specialists but also engineers with software development aptitude and potential who we will train and prepare,” he says. Considered to be a trailblazer for the immense success of the IT industry, Infosys in the past few years has been facing flak in the US. It also faces severe competition from rival firms such as TCS and Cognizant. Such a measure is certain to boost its presence in the American market and work in favour of other Indian firms.