US Protectionism Worrying: Infosys CEO

by Balakrishnan, UTVi    Mar 17, 2009

Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan said increasing protectionism by the US government is a worrying sign for the Indian IT industry.

In an exclusive interview, he said unemployment in the US is rising not due to outsourcing but due to job losses in the manufacturing and financial services industries.

"It is a worrying sign, I am hoping that ultimately people will look at the right reasons for unemployment going up and not go after the wrong ones," Gopalakrishnan said.

But the latest round of H1B visas issued by the US government saw Indian IT companies being the biggest beneficiaries bagging over 10,000 out of the 65,000 visas issued. IT industry body Nasscom also met US senators to explain their stance on how outsourcing is benefiting US companies.

Gopalakrishnan said outsourcing is not responsible for higher unemployment rate in the US but it is due to the massive job losses in non-IT related sectors.

In the US, unemployment is going up but the reason for that is not outsourcing. It is because of jobs lost in construction, manufacturing and financial and not because of IT services or outsourcing. We have to put the data in front of the relevant people and work with them to help each other in this environment, the Infosys CEO opined.

The US has lost nearly four and a half million jobs since December 2007 with nearly half lost in the last three months. But experts feel existing outsourcing contracts with Indian IT vendors might be safe but new deals will feel the heat of the protectionist measures. The challenging business environment has just got tougher for Indian IT.

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