IT outsourcing firms in India are bracing themselves for what Donald Trump’s presidency will mean for them, many of whom generate more than 70% of their revenue from US clients.
Guessing Trump’s possible policy decisions with regard to H-1B visa and hiring foreign tech talent is not proving to be easy. That’s largely because Trump has made many conflicting comments about India and its outsourcing industry.
In one of his speeches during the campaign, Trump described the H-1B visa program as “cheap” and vowed to end it forever, but then in the same breath he said Silicon Valley couldn’t function without Indian tech talent.
Most of the analysts in India’s outsourcing industry are of the belief that Trump would focus on stemming the flow of illegal immigrants to restore manufacturing jobs, and that he would not hurt the technology outsourcing industry.
“Trump will not implement his ‘extreme anti-outsourcing promises’ made during the campaign,” reported Times of India, the country’s mass-circulated English daily, in an opinion piece titled “President Trump may not be as bad as candidate Donald.”
That is of course the opinion of the country’s IT industry lobby group, Nasscom, as well. Nasscom has often insisted that ‘candidate Trump’ must be distinguished from ‘President Trump’.
The Hindu, another English daily, has also voiced similar opinion, dismissing concerns that Trump would scrap the H-1B visa program and shut out Indian IT firms that are making the most of the technology talent at their disposal.
To support its argument, the paper has cited the words of Puneet Ahluwalia, a Washington DC-based lobbyist who was a member of the Trump campaign’s Asia Advisory Committee. “The U.S. wants to keep its competitive technology edge in the global market and will require talented folks,” Ahluwalia stated.
The biggest worry stemming from Trump presidency is that he might scrap H-1B visa program. Such an act would force Indian IT firms to hire Americans and accept a deep cut in their profit.
This fear has already begun to weigh down on their stock prices, with top technology firms, including Infosys and Wipro, losing more than 10% of their stock value as Trump emerged victorious in the presidential election.