When Trump declared arms against foreign employees saying “I will end forever the use of the H - 1B as a cheap labour program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program. No exceptions," last March, it gave quite the scares to IT students and firms alike.
And to their utmost horror, Trump's first execution was the H - 1B legislation wich now requires double the minimum salary of H - 1B visa holders, that is $130,000, making it difficult for firms to outsource employees from other countries including from India, instead of hiring American workers.
Soon after the news broke out, tech stocks of the Big Four in India- Infosys, TCS, Wipro and Tech Mahindra- tanked as much as 9%, wiping out Rs 44,000 crore from the markets.
But in an interview with News18, Ashok Soota, former president of Wipro and Executive Chairman of Happiest Minds Technologies, said that it could be a blessing in disguise for India.
He is of the opinion that, now more work could move offshore as the US is set to face a talent crunch in these specialized sectors.
“The effect will be two-fold: We will bring more of the work offshore, which is a long-term advantage for the Indian IT industry. Besides, it will drive Indian companies up in the value chain, because the kind of people who we send will be premium people, people who are consultants and highly experienced and skilled,” he said.
A technology industry veteran, Soota, pointed out there are an estimated one million jobs vacant in the US in the IT sector that American companies have not been able to fill.
“They need the skills, they need us. The net impact will drive up costs within the US, as they have a talent crunch,” says Soota.
The higher salary requirements for H -1B visas mean that the number of IT professionals going to the US will considerably reduce as the doubled salary parameter i s very difficult to cater for India.
“But I am an optimist. Every time there is a change in US policies, Indian companies, Indian businesses have adapted and have converted into an advantage,” Soota said.
Well, we hope for the same!
Title image: qz