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Last updated: 10 Mar, 2017  

H1B.9.Thmb.jpg H-1B visa: IT sector woes

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Bikky Khosla | 21 Feb, 2017
In a first in 25 years, Nasscom, a leading trade association of Indian information technology and business process outsourcing industry, has refrained from issuing a growth forecast for the sector for the next financial year. Presence of huge uncertainties in the market, fueled by macroeconomic factors, currency fluctuation and political volatility is cited as the reason for this. The unprecedented move, which came amid rising concern over the possible impacts of new H-1B visa rules proposed by the US, the biggest market for Indian IT sector, has dampened the mood of the sector further.

But it is not all gloom and doom for the Indian IT industry. Nasscom points out that India's share in global sourcing has risen to 56 percent in 2016 from 52 percent in 2012. We are still the biggest destination for business process management and our business from financial services, accounting 60 percent of our total outsourcing business, is showing a healthy growth. Also, the sector's revenue growth in the last three months to December 2016 is not that bad despite currency fluctuations and global uncertainties. It is also worth noting that analysts, despite admitting some short-term challenges, are largely positive on global IT spending in 2018.

Above all, I think the Indian IT sector has enough strength to withstand any headwind. In the past, it showed resilience and confidence in many such difficult times, and I strongly believe this time would be no different. In fact, some business leaders have already termed the current development as a blessing in disguise, pointing to the huge size of the domestic IT market and ample opportunities available in different industries and geographies that are yet to be explored. But at the same time we expect the government to strongly raise the issue before the US administration and if required it may consider dragging the latter to the WTO.

According to media reports, an Indian delegation of IT sector leaders would meet US lawmakers later this month to highlight the contribution of the Indian IT companies to the US economy. Data shows that the number of Indian IT specialists working on temporary visas was only 0.009 percent of total US workforce of 158 billion in FY 2015. In contrast, the sector is playing in a big way in terms of job creation, directly supporting over 4 lakh jobs. The role is no less important when it comes to investment, tax payment and philanthropic activities, considering which the proposed restrictions sound quite illogical.

I invite your opinions.

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The realities to be learned
Dilip Kumar Pillai | Thu Feb 23 11:44:18 2017
The present H1B visa issue has emerged only because of the chief executive of USA who turns out to be a vibrant hard core American. Unfortunately as far as India is concerned, US is a migration point for 80 % of the Indians where as the foreign exchange earners are NRIs of Middle East region. USA is a trade partner and the earnings in the IT sector have been well utilized by the Indian corporates to their advantage. Being considered a powerful economy with great opportunities, the present situation was never envisaged, where as similar situation has been a part of life in the the Middle East region since 1970s. It is very unfortunate that India with very high FC generated from Middle East. Failed to develop proper infrastructure to withstand today's problem of H1B. It is only an eye opener and since various states boast of investments by US companies must shift the strategy by placing the Indian IT professionals in India and carryout the contracts. One must note that the present H1B affects those on contract and if the IT firms offer proper pay packet, they will be happ to work in the motherland. Let this be a start to set up India as a source for US to procure software a bit more expensive. Dont forget the fact that Indian corporates PAY LESS TO THE INDIAN IT professionals in USA and make profit out of it!! At least that exploitation will stop!

IT Sector Scene
Dr.K.A.Narayanankutty | Wed Feb 22 15:31:47 2017
We are proud that we have much educated youth but we have not much alternative to offer within our country. So wait until the day when our leaders realise that we need to create opportunities to face any threat like this.

India turns obstacles in opportunities
Divyang Shah, Electrosoft | Wed Feb 22 08:12:47 2017
The great Indian IT Business community very well knows how to turn the current situation into a huge opportunity. Today we have the best time 1. To get our brains back to our country 2. Develop world-class products to rule the global IT market for long years. I would recommend a small Government initiative and ecology to fuel the pace of such growth... Jai Hind.

H-1B visa: IT sector woes
Shyamal Chakraborty | Wed Feb 22 06:44:34 2017
I have enriched with reading the above narrative and looking forward for future posting. GOI should strongly protest against this move in all probable fronts with the help IT congloromates of INDIA.

H 1 B visa for IT people is good for usa too.
SACHIN MEHTA | Wed Feb 22 06:37:24 2017
What united states president said on H 1 B visa & to put restriction is not the alternate to create more jobs for USA people. Indian govt should take serious note on this . Indians also contribute a lot for USA economy too.

H1B visa
D R Maheshwari | Wed Feb 22 06:36:04 2017
We are and may be 100% correct but each country has a right to decide it's policy. By the way my son works in US on H1B for last 5 years after his engineering bachelors degree from USA.

No need to cry
Raj | Wed Feb 22 05:21:47 2017
Why worry all the time about IT sector? Concentrate more on manufacture and infra if we really want to make our country strong. Enough damage has already been done to us by IT sector.

  Re: No need to cry
Ravi | Wed Feb 22 07:26:37 2017
IT has brought foreign currency to India in the last 2 decades. It helped lakhs of Indians to live a better life. India is known to developed world only because if IT. Our manufacturing industry is no way near to developed world. We may take 50 more years to reach where Germany is today.

H1B Visa
Litin Lodaya | Wed Feb 22 04:07:27 2017
Very interesting article with rational analysis and logical thinking. Hope that our Govt takes the matter seriously and safeguards the interest of IT sector.

Change the mindset of Indian IT
SP | Wed Feb 22 02:59:05 2017
The Indian IT companies abused the US immigration system for a long time. This was bound to happen. Get over the mindset of getting work from overseas based on a labor arbitrage only and dollar/rs exchange rate. The India domestic IT is lagging behind of this lure. Domestic IT is a projected $90 billion industry by 2020.

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