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One of India’s largest tech outsourcers, Infosys to add 10,000 American jobs




Infosys, one of India’s largest tech outsourcers, said the company will add up to 10,000 American workers.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Facing new demands and political pressure from the Trump administration, Infosys, one of India’s largest tech outsourcing companies, said Tuesday that it will hire up to 10,000 Americans to fill jobs servicing its U.S. clients.

The move makes Infosys the latest Asian technology company to pitch itself as a jobs creator, this is President Trump has threatened to curb immigrant work visas and to take action against companies hurting American workers.

Last month, President Trump signed an executive order directing government agencies to begin an immediate review of employment immigration laws to promote “Hire American” policies. The order included suggestions for how to reform the H-1B visa program, which operates as a lottery to bring skilled foreign laborers to the United States each year — usually tech workers.

However, Infosys’s move to hire more American workers is being driven by a different set of circumstances. Back in the company’s home country of India, the climate has become a less attractive location for programmers, leaving skilled labor more difficult to find. A study of 36,000 engineering students at 500 Indian colleges released last month found that only 5 percent could write software code correctly.

“Building talent pools that define the future of America is what we want to do,” Ravi Kumar S., Infosys’s president, told The New York Times in a phone interview from Indiana.

Indiana, which just so happens to be the home state of Vice President Mike Pence, will be the first beneficiary of Infosys’s hire-American efforts. The company intends to open a new technology and innovation office in or near Indianapolis in August, recruiting 100 new workers this year and several hundred more next year, with a goal of adding a total of 2,000 employees by 2021.

The company said it will also seek out three additional sites for American expansion, looking for places that are close to clients and universities and where state and local governments are willing to offer significant economic incentives. The company already has an innovation hub in Silicon Valley. The majority of the company’s business lies in the United States, and it typically receives several thousand H-1B visas every year to bring in mostly entry-level Indian programmers who move from project to project at companies in industries like banking, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and energy.

According to Kumar, Infosys has hired more American college graduates in the last couple of years. Now, U.S. clients have asked the company to have even more people on site locally. So it must expand its American work force significantly, he said.

“We polled our customers and a lot of our newest locations require a lot of presence,” Kumar told the Times. “This year, we are taking it to scale.”

Kumar, however, declined to comment on whether the attacks and threats of President Trump played a role in the move.

Whether or not the company will truly hire 10,000 American workers in the coming years remains to be seen. Infosys, which employs more than 200,000 people globally, has slowed its overall hiring to a trickle as revenue growth has stalled. Kumar said the American expansion plans depend on expected client demand, as well as whether it can find and train enough college graduates with skills in artificial intelligence and other technical fields that it needs.

Indiana’s governor, Eric Holcomb, aggressively pursued Infosys, the company said at a news conference. The company already had a workforce on nearly 150 in the state. The state is offering Infosys incentives worth up to $31 million for the project. Indiana intends to give the company $500,000 in training funds and $15,250 in conditional tax credits per new job created.

Critics say that companies like Infosys have taken advantage of the H-1B program by bringing in workers who ultimately undercut it by taking lower wages. The proposed changes to the H-1B visa program have alarmed Indian companies and government officials, since Indians receive about two-thirds of those visas. India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, discussed the H-1B matter with Trump in February, and Indian tech executives raised it with members of Congress during a visit to Washington about two months ago.

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