TCS says that its H-1B visa applications in the present year have dropped to a third, as compared to 2015. In its annual report, the company has said that it will focus on local hiring from American engineering and business colleges, and reduce dependency on outsourcing employees, says a news report.
Amid the rise of ‘America First’ sentiment in USA, organizations were left with no option but to hire more native employees. Infosys also recently announced hiring about 10,000 American workers in the next few years. Many view such developments as a way to cozy up to the new administration in Washington, which has become infamous for being bizarrely unpredictable. "We have significantly ramped it (local hiring) up in the last couple of years, replicating many of the programs that have worked very well for us in India, such as partnering academic institutions and engaging with high school students... All this is helping us bring down our dependence on work visas. In 2016 and again this year, we have applied for only a third of the visas we had applied for in 2015" Ajoy Mukherjee, EVP, HR, TCS, said in the company's annual report. He said that the organization is looking to hire from over a hundred colleges in USA. These include both engineering colleges and B-schools.
With IT firms under attack for taking jobs from native workers, and exploiting the visa lottery system, organizations were expected to undertake some sort of damage control. With countries like Singapore and Australia also tightening their eligibility criteria and processes, the norm of thousands of Indian workers going out to work is likely to change, the report adds. The Trump administration has been fiercely critical of Indian IT companies, going as far as naming them publically to blame them for Americans being unemployed.
Similar announcements from other Indian IT giants must be expected in the future, as organizations scramble to re-strategise and find ways to effectively dispel concerns and fears of such important markets. However, this is obviously not good news for the quintessential Indian engineer, who looks forward to going ‘on-site’. If one thing is certain, it is that uncertain and challenging times await the Indian IT sector, with evolving technology, slacking growth, and increasing costs being major and immediate roadblocks.