Visa curbs force TCS to beef up onsite hiring

  • Manu P Toms, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jan 20, 2014 23:22 IST

With visa restrictions and protectionist policies being enforced in major markets, India’s largest software exporter Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) is looking at a substantial increase in onsite hiring.

For instance, TCS will hire 2,000 people this financial year in its most important market, the US, which accounts for more than half of its $11-billion-plus (more than Rs. 67,782 crore) revenue.

TCS’ hiring in the US increased by a fourth but its overall hiring this year is about 15% lower than last year. TCS plans to hire 55,000 people in 2013-14, while it hired 65,000 in 2012-13.

“This year, we would hire 2,000 (employees) in the US. Last year, we hired 1,500-1,600 people. This will go up as our business volume grows,” Ajoy Mukherjee, executive vice-president and global head of human resource, TCS told HT. “The compensation cost will go up but not very substantially.”

The number of H-1B visas, a non-immigrant visa that allows US employers to temporarily employ foreign workers, is capped at 65,000 for India, restricting the country’s software service exporters’ scope of moving some of its workforce to their centres in the US.

“Hiring has gone up in all geographies. We have often said that we would be net positive hirer in all markets we operate in,” Mukherjee said.

Companies including TCS, Infosys, Wipro and HCL are keeping their fingers crossed as the US House of Representatives is yet to decide on an immigration reforms bill. The bill that was passed by the Senate recommends a substantial hike in visa fees.

Meanwhile, TCS has added to its delivery capability in Europe through the acquisition of French IT services company Alti. “We now have a delivery centre in France that we did not have before,” he said.

In India, TCS will recruit 25,000 fresh graduates through campus hiring in 2013-14, almost the same number it did last year. The company will conduct interviews in 350 institutions.

The company will also conduct interviews for candidates from institutions outside the list of this 350 in select places.

Mukherjee said Tata Consultancy Service would set up new software development centres in Nagpur and Indore this year.

New campuses will come up in existing centres such as Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune.

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