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India's Infosys touts plan to hire Americans in face of visa pressures
May 25, 2017 / 4:34 AM / in 2 months

India's Infosys touts plan to hire Americans in face of visa pressures

The logo of Infosys is pictured inside the company's headquarters in Bengaluru, India, April 13, 2017.Abhishek N. Chinnappa

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Infosys Ltd, the India-based computer services giant, on Wednesday touted its new strategy to hire and train 10,000 American workers over the next two years at the company's annual leadership meeting in San Francisco.

Infosys is the largest employer of workers under the U.S. H1-B visa programme for skilled workers, which has been under fire as the Trump Administration moves to tighten a range of immigration laws. Many large companies hire so-called outsourcing firms such as Infosys to manage their computer operations.

Infosys announced three weeks ago that it would hire 10,000 Americans, and said on Monday that it had leased 35,000 square feet of office space in downtown Indianapolis.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, who succeeded Vice President Mike Pence in the state's top office, and Indiana University President Michael McRobbie appeared at the San Francisco event to voice their support.

Ravi Kumar, Infosys's deputy chief operating officer, said the company will be looking to hire both experienced professionals and recent college graduates at a range of skill levels.

Each month, Kumar said, the company plans to put large batches of prospective employees through training courses of eight to 10 weeks that will prepare them for positions in fields like data analytics, enterprise cloud applications and cybersecurity.

Kumar said the new moves did not reflect any major change in the company's business model, with U.S. workers being compensated at the same level as H1-B visa professionals.

The company also used the meeting to highlight the launch of Infosys Nia, a new artificially intelligent service that is designed to allow IT professionals to automate more of their tasks. Infosys stressed that AI and automation are the future of technology, and that innovations in these areas will allow enterprises to be more productive without having to hire more people.

"If problem solving is going to be done by machines, then problem finding is the human frontier," said Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka in his keynote.

Reporting by Salvador Rodriguez; Editing by Jonathan Weber

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