Is Indian IT Sector prepared to fade its addiction for H-1B visas?

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Vivek Kumar Jha, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Having worked with an IT giant for around 2 years, one fact that became quite evident to me was the affection or rather an infatuation of IT employees with the word “Onsite deployment”. I have seen people going to any length to get an opportunity for Onsite experience, especially for the USA, as it seemed to be one of the most viable options to save considerable money (considering the value of Indian Rupee against US Dollars) in a short span of time. But, with the latest news of “Donald Trump overhauling the rules for H-1B visas” coming into the picture, it seems clouds are starting to gather around dreams of many.

H-1B visa falls into a non-immigrant category where the employer applies for H-1B visa petition with the US Immigration Department. It allows a person to work up to a maximum of 6 years in the US. Indian IT sector has always secured the top positions for application of H-1Bs, Infosys leading the herd by miles. The $150-Billion technology sector relies on projects from the USA to get more than 50% of its revenue. This clearly suggests the kind of effect IT firms can have if the changes are done. While several changes have been proposed, the major ones talk about increasing minimum wage for H-1B visa holders to $130,000 (almost double of the current requirement), setting 20% of total H-1B visas allocation aside to start-ups with less than 50 employees and wanting firms to try harder to get local employees for the same role.

Clearly, the idea is to restrict inflows from other countries and retain those jobs for the residents. Companies like Infosys and Tech Mahindra has already pointed out that they are working in the direction to reduce dependencies on the H-1B visas by preferring local workers. Undoubtedly, these companies will be ready when the moment comes, but what intrigues me is how those “Die-Hard US Onsite lovers” of IT companies are going to prepare themselves as their aspiration to gain those big bucks stands still!

References:

 

 

H-1B visa impact on IT Sector

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Shivani Manchanda, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Information Technology Sector in India slumped by 4% after the U.S. administration proposed to renovate the H-1B work visa programme. This programme is widely used by all the Indian IT firms to send thousands of their employees to U.S. every year, now all the IT companies may have to change their business strategies as the new policy also include to double the minimum wage to $130,000 of the H-1B visa holder.

The wages are increased and it is being said that it is for the efficient hiring of talented and skilled people but as the Indian IT companies would not be able to pay this higher amount to their employees so this shows the inclination on the Trump’s campaign in one line “American jobs Americans only”. Now most of the Indian employees will be left with the offshore working and the opportunities to work onsite will reduce.

Tech centers established in U.S. are now planning to shift these in other countries as it will be difficult for them to hire people from other countries and they are also aware of the shortage of skilled workforce in U.S. like the shortage of data scientists.

Obviously this is not the best solution if the focus is really on hiring the skillful and capable employees for American companies because it is tumbling international opportunities and directly impacting the Information Technology sector of India.

The New POTUS

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Irfan M A, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Trump’s entry into the mainstream politics as the president of the United States, the most powerful chair in the world, has been the most talked about topic these days. Holding a real estate conglomerate, Trump contested the elections through a Republican ticket and his run to the post was full of controversies. His statements regarding religious minorities, ethnic groups and women had irked many. These could be seen as a part of a well defined strategy to instil nationalism in the minds of the American people and has worked extremely well for his campaign. Although there were allegations that Russia has intervened in the election process aiding Trump, a couple of things which worked in his favour were his opponent Hilary Clinton’s leaked email controversy and the fact that she had nothing different from the usual set of politicians whom the people were fed up with. His maiden speech got many by the nerves, mainly Indian IT firms and businesses relying on export to US.

As the new president has taken over, there are many who are looking forward to his reigns favoring the American people on one side and the whole gamble of media and entrepreneurs keenly watching and adapting to his new policies on the other side. At this point in time, the only thing that we can say is that the show has just begun.

 

Estonia launches e-residency program for Indian entrepreneurs

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Abhishek Shringi, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


http://indiatoday.intoday.in/technology/story/four-indian-startups--asias-top/1/430028.html

The brand new entrepreneurship spirit in India is challenging the conventional wisdom and rewriting the rules for the next generation of entrepreneurs, entertainers, educators and more. They are a passionate and formidable bunch and the goal is nothing short of breaking the status quo and transforming the world.

In a recent event a small country in Northern Europe, including more than 1,500 islands, the Republic of Estonia has launched an e-residency programme for India, a digital identity, available to anyone in India interested in operating a location-independent business online.

What is e-residency?

It is a virtual residency in which the program gives the e-Resident a smart card which he/she can use to sign documents and complete all public and private formalities related to company online. But, e-Residency is not related to citizenship and does not give the right to enter or reside in Estonia.

Benefits and limitations of e-Residency

E-residents will have their financial footprint monitored digitally, in a manner stated to be transparent. Residents pay tax in their home countries, which provide them with the everyday services they use and not Estonia.

e-Residency allows: company registration, document signing, encrypted document exchange, online banking, tax declaration, fulfillment of medical prescriptions. Other services become available as the scheme is expanded. A smart card issued by the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board in Estonia or at an embassy is used for access to services.

How will this affect Indian Start-ups?

India stands ranks third globally with over 4200 startups and growing at a rapid pace with a projection of over 11500 startups by year 2020. The fast growing world of entrepreneurship and their success in India has led several countries to focus some part of their economy on the Indian market and its potential to generate revenue for their country.

When the world is moving fast from being local to global and now Glocal (Globally Local) this programme, which is available to any business, startup or freelancer based in India, will help E-residents to establish an Estonian company online within a day, administer the company from anywhere in the world, manage accounting records and declare Estonian taxes online, digitally sign and transmit documents and contracts, have access to international payment service providers and conduct e-banking and remote money transfer, all this from India. Thereby not only helping Indian companies to expand and compete globally but also in reducing the cost of trading across the globe. This will also help local firms by being an entry door for Europe and maximize the benefits of the EU Single Market’s harmonized rules, further helping them to showcase their talent, resulting in increase in credit rating, market share, revenue and profit for the companies as well as both the countries.

reference: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/entrepreneurship/estonia-launches-e-residency-program-for-indian-entrepreneurs/articleshow/56663160.cms

Crisis Communication Platform in India- AtHoc

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

T Prashanth, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Blackberry is all set to bring the Crisis communication platform to India using Athoc.This is a secured network technology that can help in situations like the Chennai Cyclone when the entire communication network was disrupted. AtHoc was used by Microsoft to warn its employees to not come to office during the cyclone.

The awareness about employee safety and business continuity plan is rising making the time ripe for the introduction of this technology. It provides a unified platform to send out a common message in terms of crisis / natural disasters when all network communciations fail . The service is delivered through on campus infrastructure for sensitive sectors like Defense to ensure critical information is safely delivered without being intercepted  and through Cloud for commercial customers.

Blackberry is targeting markets such as defense, government agencies, airport authorities and various metro rail corporations apart from the Corporate sector. The suite can be used through various channels such as text, phone call, email and voicemail. Athoc expects to get as much as 15-20% of its revenue through India in the coming years.

Warburg’s trust invested in PVR

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Sourav Kumar, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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From a mere start as a single screen theater in South Delhi in 1978, PVR has tread a long journey  making its way to the exalting segment of multiplexes. From its humble beginning, to getting a national footprint, PVR has augmented with many acquisitions as well as Greenfield assets.

Witnessing the assurance of a prospering future ahead, Private equity giant Warburg Pincus has acquired around 14% stake in PVR for around Rs 820 crore. The stake acquisition concluded valuing India’s largest film and retail entertainment company at around Rs 6,000 Crore. The stake is being acquired from affiliates of private equity firm Renuka Ramnath Founded Multiples, which will remain as a long term investor with a 14% equity stake. Ahead of which it stands evident that the business will still be driven by current promoters holding the largest chunk of stake with over 25% holding.

The acquiring stint has been greeted with warm welcome, keeping in view the fact that Indian multiplex industry is at a cusp of thriving possibilities, of growth accompanied with driving forces derived from consumer demand and experience, convenience and technology. Also, the firm’s Global Network and experience will be invaluable for it’s way forward.

Of all the seemingly promising factors, it seems that Warburg Pincus counts the most upon the PVR authority’s passion and commitment to the business.

“YAHOO”to “ALTABA”-End Of An Era

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Ravi Shankar, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


On January 9, 2017, Yahoo completed its deal with Verizon Communications Ltd. for $4.8 Billion thus completing complete acquisition of the remaining share of Yahoo by Verizon. It has also decided that once the deal of acquisition is completed, Yahoo is going to be renamed as Altaba Inc. with reference to its majority shareholder company Alibaba. This set of events have not only ended Yahoo’s 22 years of being independent company but also illustrate beginning of new era for many internet users who have been loyal to Yahoo for very long.

The script for the acquisition was written when Yahoo had to shut down many of its products like Yahoo games, Yahoo Livetext etc. back in March, 2016 declaring decline in revenue earned by Yahoo. Revelation of almost 500 million account hacking in Yahoo in December, 2016 compounded the situation further. But contemplating the fact that the situation has reached to such a level that the company would have to go for the deal, even with 1 billion active users, still comes hard for many millennials who started using internet in the era dominated by Yahoo.

Millennials who started using computers and internet in early parts of 21st Century can very easily correlate themselves to Google and Yahoo. These names itself symbolized as internet for any new users who had started using internet in those time. While Google evolved itself continuously to match the rapid pace of technological development, Yahoo was not able to make any substantial evolution as against its conventional competitors and new disrupters. Further dent to its reputation was made by account hacking claims of its 500 million users. Intense competition and its failure to continuously progress with new wave of technological changes passing it by has finally led to downfall of a massive empire created by once the king of Internet world Yahoo.

Being a millennial, who started using internet when Yahoo was at its prime, this comes as a sad news. Yahoo has been a part of our day to day internet usage for so long that it has become synonyms of many of our internet activities. Yahoo, signifies for most of us, as evolution of internet to what it is today. Yahoo is a symbol of the dot-com boom which changed the world forever. With new player already investing heavily in the Internet market, it had become a race of survival for Yahoo and eventually it lost the battle and even though the deal for acquisition is still in very early phase, this set of events does signify an end of an era for many internet users.

Reference:

  1. http://www.wsj.com/articles/after-sale-marissa-mayer-to-leave-yahoo-board-yahoo-to-change-name-to-altaba-1484002787
  2. http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-news-technology/yahoo-will-be-renamed-altaba-marissa-mayer-to-resign-top-five-things-to-know/
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/technology/yahoo-sale.html?_r=0
  4. http://www.forbes.com/sites/briansolomon/2016/07/25/yahoo-sells-to-verizon-for-5-billion-marissa-mayer/#18909b4571b4

 

Trump Regime impact on Indian IT Industry

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

K Rohit Rao, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


Donald trump has finally taken the presidency oath to take charge of the world’s oldest democracy. From managing a multi-billion dollar business, Trump now sits in the seat of the world’s most powerful person. The 45th President of the United States, Trump is described as a crazy protectionist and strong nationalist. Trump has been fiercely pitching for protecting the American jobs against outsourcing.

Trump is strongly advocating against outsourcing and bring reforms in H1B visa system. This would have a direct impact on the Indian IT industry which depends on the US for almost 60% of its revenues. Outsourcing to Indian IT firms saves millions for the US companies and benefits the Indian IT industry. It is a win-win business but this has impacted the American job market for locals. Stricter H1B policies and reforms may force Indian companies to hire more locals which would trim their margins.

Trump considers himself as India’s fan and a true friend. Given the large contribution of the Indian IT industry to the US economy, most of Trump’s extreme thoughts are unlikely to see light of the day. Even Indian companies have moved forward to insulate themselves from any future uncertainties. Indian IT giants TCS, HCL, Infosys and Wipro have started building a strong brand image in the US and have involved themselves in a number of CSR initiatives. Only time will say, whether the way forward is tough for IT companies. But there is a dire need for Indian IT giants to reduce their over dependency on the US and chalk out strategies in the face of technological and political shifts.

 

Europe vs. ISIS

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Versha Mishra, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Terrorism has always been the biggest threat to the society. Recent attacks in Europe have shown the ugly intentions of the terrorism again. In the light of future attacks, Europe needs to respond to the crisis strongly and vehemently.

These acts targeted not just Europe’s people, but also its fundamental values and they are part of a broader pattern of aggression that will not simply fade away. Indeed, though the Islamic State’s territory may be shrinking in Syria and Iraq, it is expanding in Libya. And who knows which countries ISIS may seize tomorrow? Parts of Algeria, for example, could be vulnerable.

It is time for the European Union to recognize the reality – it is at war, whether it likes it or not – and respond accordingly. If there was ever a moment since the end of World War II when Europe needed to take charge of its security, it is now. This means both managing the threat at home and taking a leading role in the fight against ISIS, not only because of Europe’s geographical proximity, but because of the past contributions some of its member states, such as France, Italy, and the United Kingdom, has made to destabilize the region.

In this endeavour, it is critical that the terrorists are not conflated with the refugees flowing into Europe. The refugees, who are being driven out of their homes largely by the actions of ISIS and other violent actors, represent an important opportunity for Europe. Today’s surging European populists, who hold European values in contempt, cannot be allowed to cause us to miss that opportunity through bigotry and fear mongering.

Of course, terrorism is not the only security threat that the EU currently faces. With the United States focused on Asia and the Middle East (not to mention itself), it is up to EU leaders to grasp the nettle of limiting Russia’s ambitions in the eastern part of Europe.

At a time when the EU – which, if given the choice, would tend to focus its attention inward – must confront such daunting external challenges, the last thing it needs is a destabilizing internal challenge. Yet that is precisely what it is facing, thanks to Prime Minister David Cameron’s feckless attempt to appease the rabid anti-Europeans in his Conservative Party by planning a referendum on whether the UK should remain a member. When your shared house is in danger of burning down, you work with the other tenants to put out the fire; you don’t fuss over who should carry the hose.

The discrepancy between what Europe needs and what it is ready to do reflects a gap between reason and emotion. Rationally, the need for greater European cooperation on security and defence, as Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has noted, is obvious. Emotionally, however, the reverse appears to be true, as illustrated by the EU’s failure to formulate a common policy toward the arriving refugees.

The challenge is so overwhelming, in fact, that EU countries have been unable even to share information effectively. A similar problem arose after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks in the US, which then withheld information even from its closest allies, Canada and the UK. I saw the frustration this caused first-hand in January 2002 at the World Economic Forum, where I co-chaired a private session among Western security chiefs.

If terrorists are targeting Europe, it is because they believe Europe is the West’s weak link. For its own sake, Europe must prove them wrong. The only way to do that is to stop allowing the emotional desire to hide behind nationalist claims to overwhelm the rational recognition that united action is the only way to be safer.