New York: Indian companies, which are becoming major players in the International arena, are hiring aggressively in the US, reversing the earlier trend when they always transferred Indians to work in America on temporary visas.
Terming it reverse “offshoring”, a new report names India’s largest offshoring firm Tata Consultancy Service Ltd (TCS) and software giants Infosys and Wipro as groups helping laid-off American workers to be re-employed in Indian outfits after training in India.
Wipro, for instance, is scouting US locations for two big software writing centres that eventually could employ hundreds of programmers each. Cities on its short list include Austin, Tex, and Atlanta, because of their deep tech-talent pools and reasonable salary costs, the leading business magazine says.
“The work we’re doing requires more and more knowledge of the customers’ businesses, and you want local people to do that,” Wipro Chairman Azim H Premji is quoted by Businessweek as saying. Today only 2.5% of Wipro’s global workforce is non-Indian, but the company wants to boost that to more than 10% in a few years. The Indian outsourcers are quoted as saying that their US expansion plans predate the latest concerns over immigration and jobs.
But they acknowledge the trend might ease tensions as the Senate mulls regulations that would require companies applying for H-1B visas--temporary working papers for foreigners--to try hiring Americans first.
Hiring by Indians in the US, the magazine says, echoes the strategy, Japan’s auto industry devised after soaring levels of imports sparked political outcry in Washington in December 2000.
“The Indians are doing to the world’s IT processes what the Japanese did to manufacturing,” says analyst John McCarthy of Forrester Research Inc (FORR). And now, like Japan’s carmakers before them, the Indians are becoming major employers in the US as well.