Grappling with the likely fallout of the US government’s proposed H-1B visa reform bill in the US House of Representatives, C.P. Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra, hopes that things will become better once Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets US President Donald Trump, most likely in June. A legislation that calls for doubling the minimum salary of H-1B visa holders to $130,000 from the current minimum wage of $60,000, has been introduced in US House of Representatives — a move that could badly impact Indian techies in the US.
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“President Trump (already) had a conversation with Prime Minister Modi. I am sure they will meet very soon. Both of them have a background (Trump has a background of running businesses and Modi is clearly a pro-business prime minister) and both will definitely find a meeting ground,” Gurnani told BTVi in an interview. “Prime Minister Modi is not shy of raising issues or putting issues on the table and neither is Trump. So I do believe that this meeting can happen as early as June and if this meeting happens in June there should be a positive outcome,” he added.
Asserting the position of Indian IT companies in the US, Gurnani said: “In the US a few senators can sponsor a Bill but it is for the Congress to decide it’s the right Bill or not. The viewpoint of Indian industry is very loud and clear.”
He said Indian companies have been a net investor in America. India-incorporated IT companies investments is close to $2 billion in the US and India incorporated IT companies are able to create about 100,000 jobs a year in America.
“Similarly we believe that we contribute to America with very high skilled work force because we are reacting to a demand-supply. The reality is that in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the US needs that smart capital. So it’s a win-win for both India and America,” Gurnani added.
Expressing his faith on Trump’s decisiveness, Gurnani said: “My belief is that India and America both can be great because an American corporation needs the rest of the world (the world outside of America) as much as they need internal America.”
He said in an average American company 30 per cent of their business is within the US and 70 per cent is outside the US.
On Tech Mahindra’s operations in the US, Gurnani said: “Even before the Trump administration, we had six development centers, two engineering centers, two data centers and one device testing lab in the US. And we were running it, localising it because it was the right thing to do both for Tech Mahindra and our American customers.”