IT Inc keeps up hiring tempo in US

Feb 18 2013, 01:22 IST
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SummaryEven as the US hardens its protectionist stance against outsourcing, top-tier information technology firms are ramping up their presence in their largest market, which contributes close to 65% of India’s outsourcing revenue.

Looks to address growing business demand, Obama govt’s outsourcing stance

Even as the US hardens its protectionist stance against outsourcing, top-tier information technology firms are ramping up their presence in their largest market, which contributes close to 65% of India’s outsourcing revenue. Software services companies point out that they are on track with hiring plans both on campus and laterals for this year in the US, with an eye to meeting business demand while also keeping the Obama administration in good humour.

Infosys has been adding 500 people every quarter and 2,000 a year in the US and plans to keep this number steady this year too. “As long as unemployment remains high in the US, you will find the government trying to encourage job creation. Indian IT services companies are creating jobs in the US. For our consulting jobs and client-facing work we need people to be hired locally (in US),” S Gopalakrishnan, executive co-chairman Infosys, told FE.

R Chandrasekaran, group chief executive, technology and operations, Cognizant, said, “Given the growth that we are projecting, we do see a need for hiring talent across geographies. Today, with customers looking for a global delivery model, we need to focus a lot more in globalising our talent footprint. We are visiting a lot of educational institutions for campus hiring in the US. Last year we almost doubled our campus intake in the US. We also started campus hiring in continental Europe." He added that campus hiring will involve a mix of technology and management graduates.

Experts say Indian software-services firms are playing a big role in employing US nationals, who have been hit hard by the slowing economy. According to Nasscom, India has more than 580 offshore development centres in 75 countries. Kumar Parakala, chief operating officer, KPMG India, feels outsourcing is a “necessity of life”. “For businesses to remain competitive, record profitable growth and innovate, they need to look at outsourcing. No matter what regulation or proposals are introduced, the need for outsourcing will remain because that is how our businesses are structured. Government policies do have an impact, but the need continues to exist,” he said.

“We continue to hire both in North America and UK for key jobs, especially the customer-facing profiles like technology and solution applications. We are looking at increasing the strength further,” said Saurabh Govil, senior vice-president, HR, Wipro Technologies.

Despite mature markets recording a sluggish growth last year, the country’s IT firms are upbeat about opportunities in the US and Europe as all of them indicated a steady deal pipeline and increase in IT spend led by newer technologies like analytics, cloud, mobility and big data.

Some of the colleges Cognizant has visited include Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers, University of Massachusetts, North Carolina State University, Virginia Tech, while the B-Schools list has Kelley School of Business, University of Iowa, Krannert School of Management and others. Cognizant had earlier told FE that it has over 20,000 people in the US while about 75% of its global workforce is based in India.

At the recently concluded Nasscom Leadership Forum 2013, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma raked up protectionism issue and pointed out that the Washington-based non-partisan organisation Peterson Institute for International Economics had established that Indian companies in the US had invested $172 billion and created 314,000 jobs in the preceding five years.

A recent report by the Tuck School of Business noted that for every job outsourced, two higher-value jobs were created in the US. For 2.8 million jobs that were outsourced by the time the study was completed, over 5.3 million jobs were created, said Sharma. Last week, US President Barack Obama had once again threatened India’s outsourcing industry with a proposal of ending tax breaks for companies shipping jobs outside America in his State of the Union speech.

Sourcing back

* Infosys has been adding 500 staff every quarter in the US and plans to do the same this year too

* Cognizant has over 20,000 people in the US while about 75% of its global workforce is based in India

* Indian cos in the US had invested $172 billion and created 3.14 lakh jobs in the last 5 years

* India has more than 580 offshore development centres in 75 countries, according to Nasscom

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