H1-B Visa: Forget US UU., You need to train again to stay in India: R Chandrasekhar, Nasscom

In an interview with ET Now,
R Chandrasekhar, Nbadcom
, says that while India represents 70% of US H1-B visas U.S., Indian IT companies represent less than 15% of visas, but definitely the change in green card applicants will have an impact in India.

Excerpts edited:

What is your opinion on the Trump government's latest proposal on H1-B Visa holders who become green card applicants? How prepared is Indian IT as a sector to handle a situation in which almost five Lakh Indians will be sent home?

This is one more in a series of steps that the United States has been taking in the last year to slowly adjust the entire regulatory regime around the visa, either in terms of increasing the rate or imposing more restrictions. Essentially, what they now say is that in the past, when visa holders applied for permanent residency and the application was accepted, the extension of the visa was automatic. But now they have declared that the adjudicating official can decide not to extend it, which basically means that the person would be out of visa status and would have to return because there would not be a valid H1 visa and there would not be a green card. . But having said that, this is only an enabling provision. It is not as if tomorrow morning, everyone was denied an extension and asked to go home.

The core of the problem is the shortage of skills in the USA. UU And if half a million Indian visa workers, overqualified workers and you care not only about IT, you are also a doctor and many other trained professionals as well. The greatest damage would be first for the US economy. UU And, of course, obviously India would also be more affected because 70% of H-1B visas are taken by Indians. Indian IT companies actually represent less than 15% of visas. These are some of the background numbers that we should keep in mind.

It is true that this is not the first time that there is a fear of H-1B visas. Almost every day and every month, under the administration of Trump, this has been a big problem for Indian IT as a sector. What else can Indian IT companies do because they are already increasing local hiring, and they already have MOUs with local universities as well? What else in terms of tools they have in their hands to address a situation like this?

IT companies have been battling on many fronts in the last year. I would say that the global economy and global politics have thrown everything possible in the industry in terms of problem. There have been political problems, for example, Brexit, Trump in office, etc. Economically, the world economy has been slow in the last year. Many emerging economies left the table and growth in Japan was not really improving.

All these problems have been there. The most important aspect was the development of technology that really made automation more common, but the most important companies were asked not to deliver technology services, but commercial transformation services. All this required mbadive adjustments by the industry and political and economic aspects, and the visa problems were also just one of them.

All these factors and not necessarily the most important. The industry has shown its resilience because despite all these problems that came together in the same year, we have even delayed our projection in three months the first time due to these uncertainties, but still the industry grew between 7% and 8%. %.

In 2018, we definitely see a positive sign. Global economic growth has recovered. The economy of the United States in particular has strengthened considerably. Interest rates in the United States have hardened, which affects the investment of the BFSI segment and represents a large part of the industry's turnover in the US. UU

All these are positive aspects and given that the challenge in the USA. UU It is the lack of skilled workers and none of these measures addresses that problem. Then, if people can not go there, the work will have to be moved and we will see that this stabilizes in a certain balance.

I hope this works in the interest of both India and the US economy. UU

The responsibility for training has always been in companies per se, in any case, and at a time like this, do you think IT as a sector can afford to spend more on labor training for a good three? six months because this is not a one-day training we're talking about?

When it comes to the IT sector, companies can not afford not to spend on training. It is the opposite. In fact, because every day you can not improve, whether you are an employee or a company, in a certain sense you are diminishing and if in a year or two the skills have not been substantially improved, then you can almost fall off the charts.

Therefore, it is not an option, it is not a preference or a priority, it is an obligation for all companies. In fact, both at the individual company level and at the industry level, at Nbadcom, the Sectoral Ability Council is in the process of carrying out the largest retraining and capacity building exercise that has ever had an impact on our industry, but it will have global ramifications because we represent a significant percentage of skilled labor in many countries.

Soon we will see the profits also of the elders of IT. How does the future of IT look like at a time when the world is becoming so insular?

We must recognize that there are two opposing and very strong forces at work; number one is the negative force of anti-globalization and protectionism that is becoming stronger and economies are becoming a little more insular and, to a certain extent, xenophobia is also increasing. In that sense, it is affecting even the temporary movement of skilled workers that we believe is a commercial problem and not an immigration problem.

That is a strong negative force; but on the other hand, and moving in the opposite direction, it is the unstoppable and irresistible force and power of technology, which increasingly leaves these matters out of the control of individual governments and, therefore, companies can find ways to overcome some of these the man or the government created barriers by resorting to technology, after all, all the growth of the IT industry happened only because it was possible through technology to do the job in a different place to the one that ultimately I needed to be delivered.

This will continue and with the increase in artificial intelligence and automation, more and more will be where skills are available and companies will go there. There is really no alternative because if companies do not adopt and adapt, they will leave their main business. I refer to companies that are not IT and those that are not.

There is no option for anyone and beyond a point, it is very limited what governments can do and the only thing that governments really need to focus on either in India or elsewhere is to look at the training equation and see how much It can affect the internal availability of skills because, unless it is done, you can not keep jobs in your own country.

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