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Infosys hires thousands more US staff as part of recruitment pledge

Indian company opens new tech centre in the US to help fulfil its promise to hire more American workers while adapting to changing IT services trends

Indian IT services company Infosys has opened a technology hub in Indianapolis with 2,500 job vacancies, as it moves to recruit 10,000 additional US staff by 2019.

In May last year, the supplier made a pledge to increase its US staff level by opening four technology hubs that will focus on emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud and big data. The latest jobs come with the unveiling of a centre in Indianapolis.

Infosys made its promise to add more US staff after US president Donald Trump called to reduce the number of jobs in the US carried out by non-US citizens or being done offshore. India’s IT services giants get a huge proportion of their revenues from US businesses, but often use lower-cost Indian staff, either based in India or moved to the US, to enable them to offer competitive prices.

The Indianapolis hub currently has about 150 employees and will expand quickly to 2,500. It will also be an innovation lab, showing new prototypes in virtual, augmented and robotic technologies.

In making the US recruitment pledge last year, Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka said it would help the company “invent and deliver the digital future for clients in the US”.

“Learning and education, along with cultivating top local and global talent, have always been at the core of what Infosys brings to clients – it is what makes us a leader in times of great change,” he added.

Infosys is not alone in pledging to increase its US workforce. Last year, Accenture said it would create 15,000 highly skilled jobs in the US. Although it is a US company, about 130,000 of Accenture’s 400,000-strong global workforce are in India, and many of them serve US clients.

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As well as political pressure, these decisions reflect changes in the outsourcing industry with low-cost labour offshore often being replaced by automation technology. The Indian suppliers have adapted their business models to enable them to move into higher-value services supporting digital transformations.

Peter Schumacher, CEO at outsourcing advisory the Value Leadership Group, said suppliers need to change their delivery in the era of digital transformation.

“IT services firms like Infosys need to do a better job at seeking, recognising and exploiting new strategic options for growth and innovation,” he said. “This investment in the US is a step in the right direction. A shift in mindset, and new organisational capabilities – at both ends – will be required if its innovation ambitions are to succeed.”

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