Infosys has hired 2,500 American employees over the past year

29 March 2018 3 min. read
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In a concrete example of how US President Donald Trump’s inward looking policies can have a tangible impact on Indian nationals in the USA, Indian IT giant Infosys has begun to significantly prioritise ‘visa-independent’ employees for their US operations. In 2017 alone, the firm hired as many as 2,500 US citizens to avoid the plethora of complications that the new policies have brought about.

Indian IT services firm Infosys is actively engaged in evolving in tandem with the domestic and global markets. In India, the Jio-driven digitalisation has blown the market wide open for solutions and strategy in the digital sphere; a demand that the firm is now ready to feed after having gone on a steady acquisition drive.

The firm also killed two birds with one stone recently with its strategic partnership with Tonetag. On the one hand, the partnership allows the firm to capitalise on the vibrant startup environment in the country, while simultaneously producing a solution to capitalise on the global FinTech arena.

However, evolution doesn’t only involve expansion and investment. Part of the firm’s efforts have been devoted to becoming more lean and efficient. In today’s world, this means the automation of simple functions, which for Infosys resulted in the letting go of 9,000 employees in one year between 2016 and 2017, creating the first ever dip in the staff size at its Bengaluru headquarters.

Infosys has hired 2,500 American employees over the last year

Infosys’ growth as such has not been the best for its employees in India, although it has proved to be exceptionally beneficial for workers in the US. The firm has an extensive presence in the country, operating out of 16 offices with key locations in New York, Paolo Alto, and a number of other industrial centres.

The US is an integral market for IT services, and the firm has initiated the development of Innovation and Design Hubs across various parts of the country. Alongside offering premium facilities for research and innovation, these hubs also provide facilities for training local workers in the skills required for IT services.

The hubs have been lauded for their value in job-creation and skill-generation in the US. However, they spell bad news for Indian workers in the country, as these local employees are being trained with the purpose of replacing the Indian employees of Infosys, whose residence and right to work in the US is at risk of being revoked.

Even if a blanket ban is not imposed, new visa regulations have made, and will continue to make, the visa process much more complicated, both for employees and for firms such as Infosys. Traditionally, the firm’s US outfit has recruited a number of workers from India who are skilled in IT services, and has helped them secure the long term H–1B work visa.

However, obtaining such a visa has reached an unfeasible level of complexity for Infosys, as a result of which the firm will now primarily train and recruit American, or ‘visa-independent’ employees. Over the last year alone, the firm has recruited 2,500 such employees; a number that it plans to increase to 10,000 over the next two years.