Indian IT Firms Should Stop Using H-1B Visas, Says Infosys founder Narayana Murthy

February 03 2017
Indian IT Firms Should Stop Using H-1B Visas, Says Infosys founder Narayana Murthy

New Delhi: Indian software companies need to stop sending people to US on H1-B visas and focus on local hiring, said Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy today amid rising concerns over 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 H-1B visas and sending a large number of Indians to those countries to deliver services," Mr Murthy said.

He also added that recruitment from colleges should be done and local people be trained to add value to 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.

Also, the recent announcement of a US bill (Lofgren Bill) that proposes doubling of the minimum wages of H-1B visa holders to USD 130,000 from USD 60,000 has worsened the industry.

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.

"I think by and large, the Indian mindset is always to take the soft option. Becoming multi-cultural is a very, very hard option, it's not easy. Our managers will have to learn with non-Indian professionals, how to get the best out of them, how to work in teams that are multi-cultural, how to make sure that we understand the rules of crossing cultures," he said.

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.