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Infosys Ltd COO U.B. Pravin Rao
Infosys Ltd COO U.B. Pravin Rao

Infosys well-prepared to address H-1B visa ban challenges: COO

In the last 24 months, we have implemented our localisation initiative at scale in the US, recruiting more than 10,000 US nationals or permanent residents and significantly reduced our dependence on visa, said U.B. Pravin Rao, chief operating officer, Infosys

Infosys Ltd is “well prepared" with a “strong localisation strategy" to address the near-term challenges due to the H-1B visa ban imposed by the US government, its management said addressing shareholders during the 39th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held virtually on Saturday.

“In the last 24 months, we have implemented our localisation initiative at scale in the US, recruiting more than 10,000 US nationals or permanent residents and significantly reduced our dependence on visa," said U.B. Pravin Rao, chief operating officer, Infosys. “Currently, 60% of our US employees are visa independent."

Infosys has earlier stated that 78% of its senior management staff was hired locally in FY20. “We are committed to strengthening local hiring practices and continuously increasing the proportion of senior management hires from the local regions of our operations," Infosys said in its Annual Sustainability Report 2020.

The company recruited over 6,932 employees locally in its markets, of which 2,035 were fresh graduates during FY20. According to Infosys, 92% of the hires made in each location are principally local.

Infosys is also “actively looking" for acquisitions especially in areas of cloud and data in new geographies, said Salil Parekh, chief executive officer and managing director, addressing shareholders at the AGM.

Infosys is seeing new areas of interest from its clients in a post-covid world, Parekh said. “The new areas of client interest include cloud/ digital, cost efficiency & automation, and consolidation," he said.

Addressing concerns on potential layoffs, Rao said Infosys has “no plans for mass layoffs" though performance-based exits will continue.

Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani said the company is well positioned to tide through the covid-19 crisis. “Over the last few years, we have made huge investments in making Infosys stronger and more resilient, while bringing agility and speed in everything we do," Nilekani said.

Nilekani added that their clients continued to benefit from the remote delivery capabilities of the company’s digital delivery centres in the US, Europe and Asia.

“To meet the growing demand for direct in-market engagements, in early FY20, we added a new centre each in Arizona in the US and in Dusseldorf, Germany," Nilekani said.

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