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'Indian IT Firms Should Stop Using H1-B Visas'

'Indian IT Firms Should Stop Using H1-B Visas'

Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy has said the Indian companies need to become more multi-cultural and should stop using H1-B visas. They should stop sending a large number of Indians to those countries to deliver services and focus on local hiring, he said in an interview with NDTV, amid rising concerns over US President Donald Trump administration's proposals to restrict inflow of foreign workers.

"Indian software companies must truly become multi-cultural. They must recruit American residents in the US, Canadians in Canada, British people in Britain etc. That's the only way we can become a true multi-national company and in order to do that, we should stop using H1-B visas and sending a large number of Indians to those countries to deliver services," Mr Murthy said.

Mr Murthy also said recruitment from colleges should be done and local people be trained to add value to our Indian companies. 

"I think even if the executive order comes, we should look at it more as an opportunity for Indian companies to become more multi-cultural than we have been, rather than looking at it as a lacuna. It is great opportunity for the companies to become more and more multi-cultural," Mr Murthy said.

Asked why stock markets were in panic over the stance of the new US administration, he said the Indian firms need to learn working with non-Indian professionals.

He said the Indian mindset, by and large is always to "take the soft option", since becoming multi-cultural is not easy. It needs special efforts from managers which could also be a "learning opportunity" for senior people as well. This, he said, was the only way in which one can remove the risk of an executive order. The Indian companies should look upon a government mandate as a risk and "take action to mitigate this," Mr Murthy added.

H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US firms to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialised fields. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year.

The new H-1B visa reform bill proposes a radical overhaul of the process, increasing the minimum salary for visa holders to $130,000 -- more than double the current minimum. This would mean that companies would have to either pay rather highly for the skilled workers, or not choose foreign employees in favour of American citizens.

Source: NDTV

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