A harsh visa Bill can impact US firms too: Som Mittal

S. Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on May 27, 2013 Published on May 27, 2013

Nasscom President, Som Mittal

While the Indian IT sector is worried over the proposed US legislation that spells out restrictions on the issue of H1-B visas, Nasscom President Som Mittal says there is no need to panic. He says anything harsh in the new Bill may impact American businesses as well. In an interview with Business Line, Mittal shares his thoughts.

Will there be any immediate impact on the Indian IT industry?

It’s a Bill introduced by senators. It is not a Bill introduced by the White House. Most of these restrictions will have severe impact on US companies; not just technology companies, but all corporations. Hence, we are confident that many of the points in the draft Bill will be changed.

How long before the new Bill gets introduced?

We are right now in the beginning of a long process. Very rarely the same Bill is taken from the Senate and put it into the house. We do not think the House will ratify the proposed restrictions.

Is India the only country to be impacted?

We are the largest services business and have 55 per cent market share in the global outsourcing business. There are other countries but they are small.

How are the businesses shaping up in the US, Europe and other countries?

Large corporations in the US are picking up well. They are adopting newer technologies like SMAC – social, mobility, analytics and cloud. All verticals like utility, healthcare and transport are picking up now. There is a deep engagement at this point in time in Europe. There are also countries like Latin America, Indonesia and West Asia, which is also getting us growth.

What is in store for freshers this year?

A new model has emerged. It is clear that there is a need for more experienced people. We will go to the campus to hire fresh people for a certain percentage of requirement. This year we believe 600,000 plus engineers were passed out from various campuses and 1.1 million seats were available. IT industry is not the only sector to absorb these people. The question is what automotive industry, chemical industry and others are doing to absorb them?

Nasscom had given estimates of hiring around 1,50,000 people this year (from 180,000 last year). Will this target be achieved?

We don’t know. But, as per the pipeline, this should happen. The way companies would scale down recruitment is is by developing some new efficiency, and thereby reduce the “bench” strength by, say, 10 per cent (which means hiring 10 per cent less). There is still some uncertainty in the market.

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Published on May 27, 2013
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