US welcomes Infosys decision to hire 10,000 workers in US

The US administration has welcomed the decision of Indian IT giant Infosys to hire 10,000 Americans in the next two years, as part of their drive to hire more locally, saying it was a result of the US government’s “pro-growth economic agenda.”

Infosys announced it plans to hire 10,000 U.S. workers in the next two years and open four technology centers in the United States, starting with a center this August in Indiana, the home state of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, reported Reuters.

Other Indian IT companies have recently announced plans to hire locally in the US, including TCS, to face the challenge of likely reforms in the H-1B visa and other work visas. In a statement to The Washington Post, the White House termed the announcement by the Bangalore-based Infosys a political victory for the Trump administration, which has on several occasions accused outsourcing firms of “unfairly” taking jobs away from the US. “We’re glad to see companies like Infosys see opportunity in the American economy again,” said Ninio Fetalvo, a White House spokesman, in a statement to The Post.

The decision to hire locally by Indian IT companies comes as Infosys and some of its peers such as Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro Ltd have become political targets in the United States and have been accused of displacing U.S. workers’ jobs by flying in foreigners on temporary visas to service U.S. clients.

The IT service firms – which advise large companies on tech issues and carry out a range of tasks for them, from managing back-end computing systems to high-level programming – rely heavily on the H1-B visa program, which U.S. President Donald Trump told federal agencies to review.

Other Indian outsourcing firms have recruited in the United States, but Infosys is the first to give concrete hiring numbers and a timeline for its plans, following Trump’s visa review. The move marks a huge increase in U.S. hiring by Infosys. In 2014, when Vishal Sikka became chief executive, the firm had said it would hire 2,000 people in the United States.

In a telephone interview with Reuters from Indiana, Sikka said Infosys had achieved that goal and now wanted to hire U.S. workers in fields such as artificial intelligence, cloud and big data. “The reality is bringing in local talent and mixing that with the best of global talent in the times we are living in and the times we’re entering is the right thing to do,” said Sikka.

He said the timing of the decision was not related to the visa review. The company started active talks with Indiana in late February, Deputy Chief Operating Officer Ravi Kumar told reporters in Indiana.

“More and more as we look at the future, we have to decrease the dependency on visas,” Sikka told CNBC earlier on Tuesday. “That is something we have been working on for the last two and a half years.”

The 10,000 new U.S. jobs will form a small part of Infosys’ overall workforce of over 200,000. Infosys did not give details on specific jobs it would bring to the United States, but said it would seek experienced tech professionals and recent graduates from universities and community colleges.

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