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I’m not a great fan of running a co based on visas: Murthy

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N R Narayana Murthy
N R Narayana Murthy

Amidst concerns over the visa curbs set out in the US Immigration Reform Bill, Infosys Chairman N R Narayana Murthy said Indian IT firms need to hire more locals for their onsite operations and that he is not a great fan of running a company based on visas.

“Whenever the economy is not doing well in a country, it is inevitable that the unemployment levels go up. Therefore, the legislators would be concerned about jobs and therefore the countries will automatically take such decisions that may discourage outsiders from impacting the jobs in the country,” he said at the ninth Motilal Oswal Global Investor Conference.

He said the “correct model” for the Indian software industry is to have the US citizens and permanent residents selling the company or doing whatever is required for interfacing with customers there.

Indian IT industry had expressed concerns over the visa restrictions set out in the US Immigration Reform Bill that could hit their business hard.

“Indians should add value from within India by demonstrating their wonderful competence in software technology,” Murthy said.

He added that he is “not a great fan of running any company based on visas”.

Infosys has already faced lawsuits on three separate occasions by its employees in the US alleging discrimination of US job applicants in favour of South Asians.

The first lawsuit was by one of Infosys’ American employee Jack ‘Jay’ Palmer who claimed he was harassed after he refused requests by the company to circumvent US visa laws.

He accused Infosys of using short-term business visas instead of work visas meant for high-skilled labour.

In August last year, a US court dismissed harassment charges, ruling in favour of Infosys.

The second lawsuit was by Satya Dev Tripuraneni, a US citizen, who alleged harassment for blowing the whistle on the alleged visa and tax fraud issue.

The latest lawsuit, filed in the US District Court in Eastern Wisconsin by Brenda Koehler on August 1, 2013, charges Infosys of engaging in “systematic, company-wide discrimination against individuals based upon their national origin”.

(This article was published on September 6, 2013)
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