Infosys CEO to accelerate hiring from US, Europe even after Trump departure

Salil Parekh, chief executive officer of Infosys
Infosys Ltd. will accelerate hiring in the US and Europe, after Trump-era immigration curbs forced the Asian tech-services giant and its rivals to overhaul their traditional reliance on serving global clients with Indian talent.

Asia’s No. 2 IT services company has recruited 2,000 college graduates outside of India in the past 12 months and will only hire more over the next year, Chief Executive Officer Salil Parekh told Bloomberg Television. That’s despite expectations that President Joe Biden will adopt a more relaxed view on immigration in general than his predecessor.

“We’ve taken a localisation approach,” Parekh said in an interview. “That helps us build a more resilient approach for the future which can work for different policies, different scenarios. That’s our hope. As new policies emerge, we have the building blocks which can work in multiple scenarios.”

Infosys, larger rival Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. and their American peers have long warned immigration barriers would undermine a business model used to supply highly skilled talent to clients from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. Key for the tech industry are H-1B visas used by workers from India and other countries to fill vital roles.

The visa system was conceived so companies could hire overseas workers to fill a shortage of high-skilled talent in technology services and product development. The fact that Indian outsourcers collect a substantial share of the visas each year has made the program controversial, with critics arguing that companies abuse the system by replacing American workers with cheaper foreign labor.

While the bulk of Infosys’s recruitment remains in India -- with 15,000 grads enlisted over the past 12 months -- Infosys is laying the foundation for more hiring abroad at a rapid clip. It’s built six research centers from Rhode Island to Indiana, which will act as magnets for American talent, Parekh said.

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