Top officials of Wipro articulated concerns over the draft U.S. immigration bill that was unveiled on Thursday. Wipro Chairman Azim Premji said the bill, which has been piloted by a bipartisan group of Senators termed the “Gang of Eight,” might restrict Indian IT companies’ access to H-1B and L1 visas required by Indians to work in the United States.
“We are still studying the provisions of the bill that run into more than 800 pages,” Mr. Premji said, observing that “active lobbying” would determine the shape of the bill, which would be applicable only in 2014.
However, he said Indian IT companies were worried that the provisions might impose additional costs on Indian companies operating in the U.S.
However, Mr. Premji said Wipro was committed to its objective of ensuring that Americans employed on its work sites in the U.S. account for at least half the workforce employed by the company in that country.
“Local employment accounts for about 36 per cent of the personnel employed by the company in the U.S. now,” said T. K. Kurien. “In the long-term, we have to culturally align ourselves to the country we operate in,” he added.
Mr. Kurien said the increased employment of locals in the U.S. would impact margins, but said the company was confident of ensuring better prices to offset this.