At an event organised by Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, Narayana Murthy, the co-founder and emeritus Infosys, who was conferred an honorary doctorate at the premium management school, has made a rather controversial statement.
The Infosys founder was reported as saying that Indian IT companies act as “Immigration agents”, referring to the huge onslaught of employees that are sent abroad every year to work onsite in US companies.
“My belief was that a corporation that has global aspiration has to be fair to its global employees. All Indian companies guarantee visas, they guarantee green cards. The whole exercise has become as if they are immigration agents. I am sorry to say that. Indian companies behave as if they are agents for their employees to cross the Atlantic.” Murthy was quoted in the report.
The statement coming from Murthy borders on rather ironic as Infosys, the company he founded, is not only the largest IT employer in the country, but also sends the maximum number of IT consultants abroad on offshore projects. As many as 50,000 infosys software engineers and consultants are shipped to the US, UK and other western countries. In fact a majority of Infosys’ revenues come from the business abroad. Right from securing the projects to ensuring the immigration process, Infosys takes care of all formalities to send these employees. While most of them work there on projects spanning from 6 months to 3 years, a number of employees end up becoming permanent citizens, and US Green Cards are also taken care of by the company. In fact when Murthy returned to Infosys in 2013 after a hiatus, one of the initiatives he’d undertaken to boost employee morale, was amongst other things, make the process of immigration and securing Green Cards easier for high achievers.
Murthy believes that Indian companies should become local giants before trying to get a foot in the door in foreign lands. Murthy’s statement however may not all be empty talk as the software giant has been taking strides in the home country to widen its footprint and become a truly global company in home turf . The company boasts of a swanky campus in Bangalore, its home town, and a world class training and development centre in Mysore. It also recently opened a 50 acre centre in Hyderabad. The company also recently announced a new campus in Bangalore which would purportedly create 27,000 jobs.
Narayan Murthys’ anti-immigration stance, however ironical, would resonate with a number of Americans, especially presidential frontrunner Donald Trump who’s been famously calling out immigrants who ‘steal their jobs.’ “They are taking our jobs. China is taking our jobs. Japan is taking our jobs. India is taking our jobs. It is not going to happen anymore, folks,” Trump had said in a campaign.