Infosys to hire 10,000 in US over next 2 years in effect of Trump's work order
BENGALURU/WASHINGTON,May3: Infosys said on Tuesday it will hire 10,000 American workers over the next two years and establish four technology and innovation hubs in the US. The first hub, which will open in Indiana in August, is expected to create 2,000 jobs by 2021 for American workers.
The announcement of such a large number — unusual for a company that never discloses country-specific hires — suggests that it is at least partly an effort to keep the Trump administration in good humour, given that Indian IT companies have been at the receiving end of the US president’s periodic barbs for offshoring jobs. CEO Vishal Sikka said there is “a strong desire by the president and administration to hire more locally and make things locally, and that’s something we deeply support.”
However, the company said hiring is driven more by the massive technology changes under way, which in turn are compelling business model changes. “More and more of the work that we do going forward will be about rapid implementations, very agile implementations, problem finding and design thinking and empathy for clients…You need a great amount of presence locally,” Sikka said.
Infosys has about 20,000 of its 2 lakh employees in the US. As of March 31, 2016, some 14,659 employees in the US were on H-1B visas and 1,364 on L-1 visas. That means about 4,000 are local Americans. This number could rise significantly with the local hiring proposed for the next two years. Infosys’ gross hiring in 2016-17 was 44,235. Assuming this number stays steady this fiscal, the local hiring in America will constitute about 11% of gross hiring. But considering gross hiring numbers have been falling in recent times because of automation and lower attrition, the percentage of American hiring in gross hiring will likely be higher than 11%.
Indiana was quick to respond to Infosys’ desire to establish a hub. It is US vice-president Mike Pence’s home state, whose current governor Eric Holcomb(Pence’s successor) joked during the announcement that “you can’t even spell Indiana without starting with India”. Indeed, the Hoosier state (as it is called in American argot) has had a storied relationship with India, going back to 1962 when the Columbus-based Cummins tied up with Pune’s Kirloskar (and later, Tatas) to make goods from diesel motors to truck engines.
Infosys deputy COO Ravi Kumar revealed, “It took only a week from the time Infosys first reached out to the state for Indiana to send a team to India, and since then someone from the governor’s office has been on the phone with the company every single day.”
Infosys currently has offices and development centres across some 15 states in the US. Many of these centres have only 100-200 employees.