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Nasscom

05 April, 2020, 10:12 PM IST

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NASSCOM

IT companies power critical services, can’t let all work from home, say CEOs

Tata Consultancy Services’ Rajesh Gopinathan and Infosys CEO Salil Parekh defended their companies’ move in separate posts, highlighting the need to restrict work-from-home in the case of employees who support critical functions of global clients.

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  • The industry body said the sector added 2,05,000 jobs in the ongoing fiscal year, up from the 1,85,000 jobs it added in FY19. The sector is still ‘cautiously optimistic’ about the next financial year starting April, officials said.

    Venture Highway, Global Founders Capital and angel syndicates, CloudCapital, Better Capital, 100x Entrepreneur Fund and Sequoia Scout have also participated.

    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).

    Some of the important measures demanded from the government to help the startups include rental subsidy for workspaces used by start-ups which are regulated/owned/managed by government agencies; blanket suspension of all deadlines including tax payment deadlines and filing deadlines until at least four weeks post lifting of all city lockdown.

    Through this platform, Wipro will train 10,000 students from more than 20 engineering colleges in India. This is a part of Wipro’s corporate social responsibility programme, TalentNext, which aims to enhance the quality of engineering education by preparing faculty and academic leaders to train students.

    After all, this segment has helped global corporations stay ahead of the curve and keep critical business functions running during various crises. But with Covid-19, the technology and business process management services sector is staring at a washout in travel, hospitality and aviation businesses, though it is expecting higher workflow from healthcare, pharma and insurance segments

    “There is an increasing need to not only leverage smartphones but also feature phones in accelerating the process of contact tracing and identification of hotspots in the country,” principle scientific advisor K VijayRaghavan, who is member of the empowered committee, said

    Nasscom has requested the US Department of Homeland Service (DHS), the labor department and the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) for a 90-day grace period for professionals to depart the US following expiration of their H-1B/ L-1 visas.

    BPM companies are caught between mobility curbs and client protocol that disallows work-from-home. Experts are of the view that the Indian BPO industry faces significant challenges in the short and medium term due to the Covid-19 related restrictions. Analysts say companies face challenges in organising thousands of computers and internet connections to employees at short notice, impacting work.

    Nasscom’s lobbying spends have risen significantly since 2015. It fluctuated between $40,000 and $150,000 between 2010 and 2014. But the tightening visa environment in the later years of US president Barack Obama and then Donald Trump appears to have compelled India’s IT industry to strengthen lobbying.

    The provisions — which bar companies employing over 50 people in the United States and have half of their staff working on H-1B visas from sponsoring additional work visas — have been introduced in the S-386 Bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives earlier this year but has not been able to get past the US Senate where the Republican Party has a majority.

    As part of its ongoing efforts to promote hiring across the industry and ensuring there is a well-equipped and industry ready workforce, Nasscom would showcase the conduct of Assessments and Certification on Qualification Packs and National Occupational Standards, said the industry body in a press release.

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