Indian Outsourcer Infosys to Hire 10,000 Workers in U.S.

By Newley PurnellFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

A prominent Indian outsourcer said Tuesday it plans to hire some 10,000 American workers in the U.S. over the next two years, a move that comes amid increased scrutiny of Indian tech firms for their heavy use of the H-1B visa program for high-skilled foreign workers.

Bangalore-based Infosys Ltd., India's second-largest outsourcer by sales, said it would open four work centers in the U.S., the first of which will open in August in Indiana, where Vice President Mike Pence was formerly governor. The company said it wants to hire 2,000 workers there by 2021.

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Infosys said it wants to help serve clients in the financial services, manufacturing, retail and other sectors, and that it would hire both seasoned information-technology professionals and recent graduates, providing training in new technologies such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

"It's so good to welcome Infosys to Indiana," Gov. Eric J. Holcomb said in a statement.

Indian firms like Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., the country's largest IT services firm by revenues, depend on the H-1B program to send tens of thousands of workers every year to the U.S., their biggest market. Eighty-five thousand of the visas are awarded every year, many to Indians, and an estimated 500,000 such visa holders are now in the U.S.

Critics, like President Donald Trump, say the practice takes jobs away from Americans. Outsourcing firms say they can't find enough workers with the right technical chops in the U.S.

Large U.S. tech firms also make use of the visas, though they typically pay higher wages than those offered by Indian outsourcers.

Infosys didn't disclose where the three additional centers would be located.

In January Toyota Motor Corp., in the wake of criticism from President-elect Trump, highlighted a long-planned investment of $10 billion in the U.S. over the next five years.

Write to Newley Purnell at newley.purnell

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 02, 2017 12:03 ET (16:03 GMT)