BANGALORE, India Indian technology services companies are reportedly poised to hire more foreign engineers as they seek to position themselves as job creators in overseas markets where they have operations.
According to a report this week in The Economic Times, Infosys Technologies and Wipro Technologies want to increase their foreign workforce to as much as 15 percent 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 percent 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 centers, 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. center after its Atlanta development center becomes fully operational in a few months. It expects to have about 750 U.S. workers at its Atlanta center. "We aim to undertake significant local hiring starting this year," Kumar said.
TCS employs the most foreign workers among the top Indian tech companies, totaling about 9 percent of its total workforce. Foreign workers make up about 5 percent 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-emphasize any specific offshore location and to emphasize 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.
KC Krishnadas is editor of EETimes sister site TechOnlineIndia.