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H1-B Visa: Expect US Policies to be Friendly for Business, Innovation, Says Sikka

Bengaluru: Stating that any “discernible pattern” of clients worrying about adverse visa policies is yet to be seen, Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka on Friday expressed hope that policies of the new Trump administration would be friendly towards business, innovation and entrepreneurship.

“In terms of the new administration, the new President is going to take office next week. President-elect Trump himself is an entrepreneur and has a very business-friendly, innovation-oriented background. So, I expect that the policies of the administration are going to be friendly towards business, innovation and entrepreneurship,” he said.

He added that if companies continue to focus on delivering value and innovation, “things will be okay”.

There are concerns that the new government in the US, under Donald Trump, is likely to push for a stricter visa regime to curb “abuse” of H1-B and L1 visas used by foreign workers.

The move is likely to significantly impact Indian IT firms, which get about 60 per cent of their revenues from the US.

“Of course, visa policies and immigration related policies may change and we have to watch and see what happens there,” he said.

Sikka said there would be some impact of the H1-B depending on the nature of the policy that is enacted but added that “it is not something he is overly concerned about”.

Noting that some clients did reach out to Infosys, Sikka said: “So far, there is no discernible pattern in client behaviour.”

“Many clients have reached out, because everybody is trying to figure out what this means but I wouldn’t say there is any noticeable discernible pattern. So as we see the policies take effect, we will let you know. We are waiting and watching,” Sikka said.

Sikka said the company has been increasing the number of local hires in its international markets, including the US.

“We have quite a bit of H1-Bs and we also have a lot of local hires… We had articulated that we have to become much more local and locally-oriented in our strategy in the market and globally…So ultimately, regardless of the visa policies or so forth, the right thing to do for innovation is to have a lot of rich local talent,” he said.