Obama’s oppn to outsourcing targetted at manufacturing, not IT: NASSCOM

As Barack Obama was re-elected US President, India's IT industry body NASSCOM said opposition to outsourcing in the US is actually targetted at the manufacturing sector and not IT services.

Bangalore: As Barack Obama was re-elected US President, India's IT industry body NASSCOM 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 (Indian IT services industry)", NASSCOM President Som Mittal told reporters.

Actually, it's targetted at manufacturing sector, he added. "Many of the jobs (in the manufacturing sector in the US) have moved (to China)", he said, adding, the election dynamics (anti-outsourcing rhetoric) is different from ground reality (in the US).

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

He said the Indian IT services industry actually works for the US economy in many ways, adding that "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".

Meanwhile, NASSCOM Wednesday said India and the US need to partner together to foster economic growth, develop an educated and skilled workforce and create jobs in order to find solutions to balance the current global situation.

"Rapid recovery in the US will benefit the entire global economy and consequently, our (India IT services) sector," the industry boday said in a release.

"NASSCOM shares many of the same economic and diplomatic goals outlined by President Obama and specifically, we agree on the shortage of STEM professionals in the US and support expanding the visa program so that highly skilled workers can help companies lead the way on innovation and contribute additional jobs and economic growth in the United States," it added.

The US is the biggest market for domestic IT companies, contibuting over 60 percent to their revenues.

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

"It continues to provide an opportunity for us to work with the new administration. So, as a country, we should look forward... There is a shortage of skilled people (in the US). So the normal course of business would revert," he added.

Country's largest software services firm TCS's Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director N Chandrasekaran said, "Now the focus will be on driving economic growth, which will lead to increased prosperity and greater job creation in the US, as well as act as a catalyst for growth across the world."

Technology will play a strong role in driving the next phase of growth and Indian IT companies will have opportunity to play a significant role to partner with US companies to achieve this. This will lead to further job creation in the US and other parts of the world, he added.

Obama has won a second term in office overcoming a stiff initial challenge from his Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

During the presidential campaign, Obama had criticised outsourcing of jobs to countries like India saying that US needs to create jobs locally.

Obama's first term also saw several protectionist measures in the US, including hike in visa fee which has affected companies like Infosys and TCS. Indian IT firms are now ramping up their onshore presence to counter such situations.

When asked about concerns over outsourcing, Bharti Group Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said, "I have heard this in the previous election. We saw Clinton going very heavy on outsourcing and we did not see anyone of these impacting our outsourcing business or relationships."

IT comapny iGATE's CEO Phaneesh Murthy said Obama's re-election is "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. The concern over the deficit and jobs will continue and in my mind, will force the sluggishness to remain in the economy."

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."

BPO industry veteran and former CEO of Genpact Pramod Bhasin, however, said the issue of outsourcing was more than a plain election rhetoric.

"I think there will be of greater implications as he (Obama) focusses 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.