New Delhi: Nasscom on Sunday welcomed Joe Biden’s win in the US Presidential election, and said the Indian IT industry looks forward to working with the new administration in pivoting technology, skills, and digital transformation for the US. The US is the biggest market for the Indian IT sector, accounting for a lion’s share of the industry’s revenue.
“NASSCOM congratulates US #PresidentElect @JoeBiden on his win. We look forward to working with him and his administration in pivoting technology, skills and digital transformation for the United States,” it said in a tweet.
Nasscom has projected revenue growth of 7.7 percent at USD 191 billion for the IT sector in the ongoing fiscal. The industry has added a net 2 lakh jobs, taking the overall workforce to 4.36 million.
Indian IT players will keep a close watch on Biden’s approach and policies related to H-1B work visas that are used by a large number of Indian technology professionals.
In June, during the COVID-19 pandemic, US President Donald Trump banned entry into the US of workers in several key non-immigrant visa categories, including H-1B, until the end of the year, arguing that they eat into American jobs.
Those affected include the family members of the H-1B, L-1, and certain categories of J1 visas.
Later, the Trump Administration announced certain exemptions in H-1B and L-1 travel bans for those continuing employment with the same employer, a move that could help Indian IT professionals and those working in the healthcare sector.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
In a statement, Nasscom said its member companies have an important history in the US.
“… they work with over three-quarters of the Fortune 500 companies in the US, providing them vital technology services and helping them innovate, compete, and grow,” it said.
The industry body also noted that India-US bilateral trade increased by over 400 percent since 2005, with the total increase in value from USD 37 billion in 2005, to USD 149 billion in 2019, and that technology sectors of both countries have played a critical role in driving this.
“The Indian technology industry makes critical contributions to the US economy and workforce, including local investments and job-creation, workforce development and upskilling their US employees, CSR and community services,” Nasscom said.
Nasscom said a key challenge that the sector faces is the lack of required Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) talent in the US clearly highlighted by the high degree of overall unemployment on one hand, and more than half a million job vacancies in computer occupation on the other.
“Nasscom looks forward to working together with the new US Administration, to find solutions to the STEM skills gap, and enable America to be more competitive, to grow and create more jobs,” it added.
Tech Mahindra Managing Director and CEO C P Gurnani tweeted “Democracy wins” and extended wishes to Biden and Harris on their win.
“Congratulations @JoeBiden @KamalaHarris from the largest democracy to the world’s oldest democracy… Wishing a term of prosperity and peace for not just America but the world,” he said.
A Democrat, 77-year-old Biden became the oldest man ever to be elected to the White House. He will be the 46th president of the United States.
Along with Biden, Kamala Harris, 56, would be sworn in as the vice president of the United States on January 20, 2021. She will also be the first-ever Indian-origin, first-ever Black, and first-ever African-American vice president of the US.
Nasscom President Debjani Ghosh shared Harris’s message where she said “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last – because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities”.
Ghosh said: “This….should be a solemn promise we all make”.
The IT sector globally has been working on increasing the participation of women in the workforce as well as expanding the diversity of teams.
Cyient Executive Chairman BVR Mohan Reddy termed it as a “historical day”. “I feel proud to see the glass ceiling shattered and many barriers are broken. Here is too many new paradigms of collaboration, inclusion, and unity,” he tweeted.