Indian software firm Infosys plans to hire about 1,000 people in the US in the next 12 to 18 months amid a gloomy job market.
In an interview with the local media, Infosys Chief Executive Kris Gopalakrishnan, who is currently in Seattle for Microsoft's CEO Summit this week, said that the company plans to add more than 100 new employees as part of a big US expansion in anticipation of growth resuming in 2010.
Altogether, Infosys plans to hire about 1,000 people across the US over the next 12 to 18 months, he said. Already, 14,000 of the company's 1,04,000 employees are based in the US.
"We believe business will be there if we add capabilities, more services and solutions to our portfolio and increase the business volume with the existing customers -- that's how we see growth coming to our business," Gopalakrishnan said.
Regarding the recovery in the Indian economy, he said that it is in, "Very early stages."
Gopalakrishna said, "I hope it is sustained and picks up. The difference with the US is in the US it has gone from 2-3 per cent in GDP growth to approximately zero, about a 3 per cent decline.
"India has also declined 3 per cent -- it's gone from 8 to 9 per cent growth to 5 per cent to 6 per cent. On the positive side it's still 5 to 6 per cent growth, but the decline is similar, actually."
Hoping the gathered executives will have insights into what fundamental changes will result from the downturn, so they can distinguish between the greed that marked the financial meltdown and innovations that were happening, he said.
"If you look at the Internet boom, everybody jumped in, many of those companies got funded, lots of money was poured in," he said. "Of course many of those companies failed, lots of money was lost but some good things happened -- some companies emerged very strong, became the leaders in that space..."
Gopalakrishnan clearly sees the dangers in industry consolidation and in changes in the nature of outsourcing, with more businesses taking the same tack as they have with their internal IT organisations by looking at business process applicability rather than discrete technical capability.
Infosys seems well-oriented to adapt to this new world since Gopalakrishnan identifies their value proposition as a strong knowledge of customer businesses.