Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani. (Photo: Reuters)
Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani has said he hopes the US government will revoke its order of suspending H1B visas once the US Presidential elections are over later this year.
Nilekani said at present, Indian firms like Infosys have handled the situation arising out of the Trump administration’s recent decision to suspend H1B visas, and have mitigated the risk factor, but he is hopeful the situation will normalise after the US Presidential elections.
In an exclusive interview to India Today TV’s Consulting Editor Rajdeep Sardesai, Nandan Nilekani said, “I am of the view that there should be a free-flow of talent. I certainly hope that suspension of H1B visas in the US will be revoked after the elections.”
“You must understand that in the US, an election year is also a visa year,” he said.
Speaking about the impact the Trump administration’s move has had on Indian IT companies, Nandan Nilekani said in the US, nearly 10,000 Infosys employees are locals. “This is significant part of our workforce in the US so we are not much affected by the recent decision. Indian firms like Infosys have mitigated the risk.”
‘IT sector fared better than others in lockdown’
Meanwhile, commenting on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on businesses in general, Nilekani said businesses that involve face-to-face interaction or any form of travel, like restaurant, bars, saloon, airlines, tourism etc., have all been hit badly in the last three months.
“But on the other hand, businesses that are technology-dependent and where work from home is possible, have fared better because they haven’t faced the same disruption. In Infosys, 240,000 employees in 46 countries were able to work from home in a matter of few weeks. This is 93 per cent of our workforce,” he said.
‘Firms should rethink their operations’
Nandan Nelakani said the pandemic and lockdown have made the whole world adopt new ways of working. “Even the Supreme Court is hearing cases online now. All business are looking for ways to become more digital and deliver product and services in a safe manner.”
This, Nilekani said, is leading to a lot of “rethinking on the matter how business should be reorganised”.
“While the pandemic has come as a tragedy, this is also an opportunity for firms to transform themselves,” he said.
Asked about what he thinks will be the new normal, Nilekani said it is likely to be a “hybrid of digital and physical”.
“The current situation is not the new normal. We are just coping up with the situation. The new normal will be a hybrid. I do believe that while this is a terrible crisis that we face, we will also be able to push the digital transformation,” Nilekani said.
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