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Indian IT firms have over 1 lakh American employees

IT industry body Nasscom’s data on American employees – disclosed for the first time – shows that TCS has 20,000 such employees, Infosys 14,000, HCL 13,400, and Wipro 10,000. For all of them, these numbers are about 70% of their overall US employee strength (including those on visas).

Last Updated: Feb 22, 2020, 12.05 PM IST
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Indian IT’s local hiring will also serve to reduce subcontracting costs, which have been soaring in recent years.
(This story originally appeared in on Feb 21, 2020)
BENGALURU: The top four Indian IT firms have over 55,000 American employees in the US. The number is sharply up from a few years ago, and reflects the companies’ efforts to overcome visa barriers and become more global in their operations.

Including Cognizant, which is US headquartered but has an India heritage, the tally of American employees is over 1 lakh. Cognizant employs 46,400 people in North America.

IT industry body Nasscom’s data on American employees – disclosed for the first time – shows that TCS has 20,000 such employees, Infosys 14,000, HCL 13,400, and Wipro 10,000. For all of them, these numbers are about 70% of their overall US employee strength (including those on visas).

Infosys had committed in 2017 to hire 10,000 American workers at its US operations. The data shows it is now well over that target.

TCS HR head Milind Lakkad recently told TOI that the company is hiring 1,500 freshers from campuses in the US and Europe this year, one of the highest in recent times.

Including those on visas, the Indian IT industry had 1.7 lakh employees in the US in fiscal 2018, as per estimates by research firm IHS Markit Research. This is up from 1.5 lakh in fiscal 2015.


TOI reported recently that Indian IT firms are estimated to have paid an average compensation of $96,300 to its US employees in 2018, higher than the average wage of $94,800 that IT professionals get in the country. This is also data from IHS Markit Research.

While visas is one reason to have local hires, the other is the newer kinds of digital and outcome-based work that IT companies are now doing, and which require client proximity. Infosys, for instance, has set up half a dozen technology centres across Indiana, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Texas, North Carolina and Arizona.

Indian IT’s local hiring will also serve to reduce subcontracting costs, which have been soaring in recent years. To meet people requirements quickly, the companies depend on subcontractors who supply staff. But these expenses can be prohibitive. For Infosys, this expense rose by 40% to Rs 6,031 crore in 2018-19, compared to Rs 4,298 crore in the year before. For TCS, subcontracting expenses rose by 26% to Rs 11,330 crore in 2018-19.

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