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Indian tech cos to hire more foreign engineers

Posted: 05 May 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:outsourcers  engineering workforce  development centre 

Indian technology services companies are reportedly set to employ more foreign engineers as they seek to position themselves as job creators in overseas markets where they have operations.

According to a report in The Economic Times, Infosys Technologies and Wipro Technologies want to increase their foreign workforce to as much as 15 per cent of their total workforce. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) reportedly wants to double its foreign engineering workforce from the current 10,000 in five years.

"How can you justify the fact that despite significant revenues coming from overseas, we still have over 95 per cent Indians on [its] payroll?" the Times quoted Pratik Kumar, Wipro's human resources head and corporate vice president as saying.

A Wipro spokesman reached this week said the company would not discuss its hiring plans or elaborate on the Times report. However, Wipro Chairman Azim Premji has said the company has been "investing in near-shore centres, including in the U.S. and U.K., and we have plans of scaling them. There is a strong push to hire and deploy locally where competitive local talent is available."

Wipro said it will launch a second U.S. centre after its Atlanta development centre becomes fully operational in a few months. It expects to have about 750 U.S. workers at its Atlanta centre. "We aim to undertake significant local hiring starting this year," Kumar said.

TCS employs the most foreign workers among the top Indian tech companies, totalling about 9 per cent of its total workforce. Foreign workers make up about 5 per cent of the workforce at Wipro and Infosys, the report said.

Infosys human resources director, T.V. Mohandas Pai, downplayed moves to hire more foreign engineers, asserting that it has been difficult to find U.S. or U.K. engineers with adequate programming skills. "We want to double our foreign workforce, but we don't find people with adequate skills in those markets," Pai said.

The report quoted experts as saying that Indian tech companies must shed their strategy as a landing spot for jobs shipped overseas by U.S. and European companies. "One of the chief recommendations we might make is for offshore outsourcers to de-emphasise any specific offshore location and to emphasise the fact that [most] of them are really global companies with locations in many places, including having workers in the U.S.," one expert was quoted as saying.

- K.C. Krishnadas
EE Times

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