India’s IT industry welcomes obama (Roundup)

November 6th, 2008 - 12:53 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaBangalore/New Delhi, Nov 5 (IANS) The Indian software industry is looking forward to work with US president-elect Barack Obama and his administration to spur innovation, foster economic growth and develop skilled workforce to create jobs in both countries for mutual benefit.Hailing Obama’s historic victory in Tuesday’s elections, the Indian software industry body NASSCOM said it was important for India and the US to find ways to partner and boost economies of the two nations in the wake of the global economic meltdown.

“Specifically, we support expanding the H1B visa programme so that skilled workers can help companies lead the way on innovation and contribute additional jobs and economic growth in the US,” Nasscom said in a statement in Bangalore Wednesday.

“We hope the economic and diplomatic goals outlined by Obama during the campaign will be achieved during his tenure as the president,” Nasscom said, but did not comment on his controversial remarks against outsourcing IT jobs to Indian firms at the expense of American workforce.

Obama has said during his election campaign the US needed to stop giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs away and instead extend incentives to those that invest in the country.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram allayed fears of the Indian IT industry over Obama’s pronounced polices on outsourcing.

“I am very confident India-US relations will only grow stronger and stronger. He will be a change agent,” Chidamabram told reporters after Obama was declared elected as the 44th president of the US.

Speaking in his personal capacity on Obama’s victory, Chidambaram maintained the Indian software and IT-related industry should not be worried over the president-elect’s views on outsourcing.

“A comment here or a comment there on outsourcing should not bother us,” he said when asked for his response to the promises by Obama to look into the issue of Americans purportedly losing jobs to countries like India due to outsourcing.

“Once he is in office, he will realise that this is an inter-connected world and countries have to work together,” Chidambaram added.

Leading IT firm Infosys Technologies Ltd chairman and chief mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy termed Obama’s win as a victory of “compassionate capitalism” over laissez-faire capitalism.

“Today is an extraordinary day. The US has voted for compassionate capitalism over laissez faire capitalism. Besides, this election has shown that meritocracy matters most,” Narayana Murthy said in a statement from India’s tech hub.

Laissez faire is an economic theory which advocates for minimum government interference in market.

“We believe president-elect Obama to be a pragmatic leader who understands that American industry needs to be competitive not just in America but in third (world) countries as well. This election has also proved that the internet is a powerful medium for raising funds,” Narayana Murthy added.

International Data Corporation (India) executive director Kapil Dev Singh said though politics and business issues were related at the policy level, they would not affect individual business decisions, especially in the US.

“America is known to advocate free market principles and individual choice. Many US corporations tap new resource or demand new markets. Off-shoring and outsourcing are a business decision for them,” Singh said in a statement.

The IDC official did not think policies of the ensuing Obama administration would have any effect on the prospects of individual business choice.

IT software services and solutions’ firm Collabera president Mohan Sekhar said Obama’s win symbolized the changing expectations of people worldwide.

“It’s been a vote for inclusive growth, economic stability and security in the US. I hope Indian voters will also vote for the same priorities during upcoming general elections,” Sekhar noted.

The head honcho, however, did not think Obama’s election would have any impact on the Indian IT industry, given the state of maturity.

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