India's information technology industry should start hiring in the US to help in its economic recovery as the US is always going to be its biggest market, the industry association's head has suggested.
The restrictions on H1B visas in the US "absolutely is a concern," Pramod Bhasin, president and chief executive of outsourcing firm Genpact and the new chairman of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), said in an interview with Forbes Asia.
"We've met the concerned people in Washington and expressed our views. Any abuse of the visa system must be stopped, and Nasscom will help to do that," he said.
"That said, I believe that we should be hiring in the US and thereby participate in its economic recovery," Bhasin was quoted as saying. "Several of our companies are already looking to create employment in the US It's the ideal time to get the best talent."
Asked about Nasscom's strategy to address the protectionist wave in the US, Bhasin said there's a lot of protectionist noise today, but the Indian industry "should respond to the reality, not the rhetoric."
"American companies are not going to turn away from global intellectual capital. The US is always going to be our biggest market," he said.
Calling backlash against outsourcing due to layoffs around the world as "a big issue that we're facing," Bhasin said Indian "industry isn't responsible for these layoffs, which have been caused by other factors."
"We're working with governments around the world to make ourselves heard. We bring real value to global companies, and it would only hurt them if they dispensed with our services," he said.
Asked about the industry outlook for this year, Bhasin said last October they had estimated an annual growth of 13 percent over the next two years after ending the last fiscal year with an overall increase of 16 percent. But that's "no longer achievable."
"Although we expect to grow at a lower pace this year, our sector will still outgrow other sectors," despite the recession as "the fundamental premise of our business remains unchanged," he said.
"We see ourselves as part of the solution to the global recession," Bhasin said noting "that ours is still a small industry; our biggest firm has revenues of only $6 billion. We still have a lot of runway ahead."