Home / Industry / Infotech /  Infosys taps US talent to negate H-1B visa ban

Infosys Ltd said it is “well prepared" with a “strong localization strategy" to address any near-term challenges from the H-1B visa ban imposed by the US government.

“In the last 24 months, we have implemented our localization initiative at scale in the US, recruiting more than 10,000 US nationals or permanent residents and reduced our dependence on visa," said U.B. Pravin Rao, chief operating officer, Infosys. “Currently, 60% of our US employees are visa independent." Rao was addressing shareholders at Infosys’ 39th annual general meeting (AGM) on Saturday, held virtually for the first time.

India’s second-largest software services exporter said earlier 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 hired more than 6,932 employees locally in the markets it operates during FY20, including 2,035 fresh graduates. According to Infosys, 92% of new hires in each location are mainly local.

Infosys is also “actively looking" for acquisitions, especially in digital areas like cloud and data science in new geographies, Salil Parekh, chief executive and managing director, said at the AGM. He did not elaborate on the acquisition plans.

The company 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.

On concerns of potential retrenchment of workers, 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 navigate 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.

He said 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, US and in Dusseldorf, Germany," Nilekani said.

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