India Inc happy with Obama's win; outsourcing still a concern

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 19:47

Gurgaon/New Delhi/Bangalore: Business leaders Wednesday said that re-election of Barack Obama as the US President will be good for global economic recovery and expressed the hope that issues on outsourcing to India will be resolved.

Industry body Ficci said it "expects the new administration to set the US economy firmly on the path of revival and robust growth. This would be of great significance for the world economy and Indian exporters should be looking at a sustained rise in demand in the US".

Nasscom, the industry body of software services companies which earn up to 85 percent of revenue from the US and European markets, said opposition to outsourcing in the US is actually targetted at the manufacturing sector and not IT services.

"Every time there is anti-outsourcing topic, we always take it as it's for our industry " Nasscom President Som Mittal said, adding that "many of the jobs (in the manufacturing sector in the US) have moved (to China)".

"We are solution to many of the problems that US faces. There is a realisation (in the US) that we are part of the solution," he added.

Software major iGATE's CEO Phaneesh Murthy, however, cautioned by saying that it is not the best news for IT outsourcing industry. "Not the best news for India or the IT outsourcing industry. However, we need to understand how much of the election rhetoric continues into 2013 and that will determine the full implications to us," Murthy said.

Biocon chief Kiran Majumdar Shaw expressed the hope that "outsourcing rhetoric will die (down)" and said it is good for the Indian pharmaceutical sector.

There have been heated discussion on how Indian business interest, especially IT outsourcing, will be impacted if Obama's is re-elected,segment.

Obama in his first term as the US President had ended years of tax incentives to those US companies which created jobs overseas in places like Bangalore. His comments like "Say no to Bangalore and yes to Buffalo," had also set alarm bells ringing in the Indian IT outsourcing industry.

Som Mittal said that the US continues to face shortage of IT skills, and expressed hope that there would be comprehensive changes in the immigration policy.

He said the Indian IT services industry actually works for the US economy in many ways, adding: "We are solution to many of the problems that US faces. There is a realisation (in the US) that we are part of the solution."

BPO industry veteran and former CEO of Genpact Pramod Bhasin said the issue of outsourcing was more than a plain election rhetoric. "I think there will be greater implications as he (Obama) focuses on issues like unemployment. I just hope he remains true to free trade and all the other things that he talks about so well," he said.

Assocham President Rajkumar Dhoot said with Obama's re-election the untapped trade opportunities between India and US will be tapped and US companies will hugely invest in the infrastructure development opportunities that India provides.

Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej said, "This is a good development for India. Between two large economies there will be issues and concerns. Outsourcing is also a concern and I hope it will be addressed soon."

Bharti Group Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said: "It is on expected lines but there was some heat reported in the last few days. I think it will be good for India. There will be continuity."

NIIT Chairman Rajendra S Pawar said with the election, the rhetoric is also over and "we are back to business. It is good for America and Indian IT sector."

Offering a different perspective Bajaj Auto Chairman Rahul Bajaj said: "Mitt Romney would have been better for India as they are little bit open. Obama is more protectionist and we hope that it will change."

Jindal Steel and Power Ltd Chairman Naveen Jindal said outsourcing issues will take time to settle down. "They have reason to oppose against outsourcing and that will take time to rectify. I am optimistic about India-US relationship. Both the countries have respect for each other."

Infosys Executive Co-Chairman S Gopalakrishnan expressed the hope that normal business course would resume with Obama's re-election, which provides continuity.

Meanwhile, Federation of Indian Exports organisation welcomed the re-election of Barack Obama as US President saying, it would help in restoring "confidence" and ensure "recovery" of European Union.

Obama's return to the White House will help in restoring confidence in the US and help in recovery in EU, FIEO President M Rafeeque Ahmed said in a statement.

Hailing the re-election of Barack Obama as US President, Indo-American Chamber of Commerce said the US administration's new initiatives should be heightened economic engagement with India, which has helped both countries in grappling with the slowdown.


First Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 12:39

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