Wipro recruits Iraq veterans to fight protectionism

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by SpArK, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

    Oct 24, 2010
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    Wipro recruits Iraq veterans to fight protectionism

    Bangalore: In an attempt to tackle growing protectionism in the US against outsourcing, IT firm Wipro is hiring Iraq war veterans as software engineers. The firm wants to be perceived as a job creator in the US at a time when that country’s unemployment rate hovers around 9%.

    Wipro has been beefing up its onsite presence across the developed world in the past few quarters. The firm will open its second delivery centre in the US in the next six months and its first in Portugal.

    CEO TK Kurien said the discipline that former US defence personnel bring to the company is an added attraction.

    “We are very clearly going after ex-defence personnel. One of the things we have done in the US is to recruit veterans from the Iraq war,” Kurien told FE.

    We train the soldiers before employing them as software engineers,” the CEO noted during an interaction with FE.

    Kurien did not reveal the number of Iraq war veterans that the company has hired.

    “There is the GI Bill in the US. When you go and fight a war, the government sponsors college education for soldiers. We give them offers as soon as they leave the army,” Kurien added.

    The Bill originally provided college or vocational education for returning World War II veterans. Now, it also includes other benefit programmes to assist veterans of subsequent wars.

    “We hire them as a matter of giving back to the society. Second, these guys come from the army. They have seen situations that have made them extremely disciplined,” Kurien said. Wipro’s efforts at employing ex-army veterans haven’t gone unnoticed. It was recently awarded a patriot’s award by the governor of Georgia.

    “Jobs are becoming a big, fundamental issue in the US. And we are underestimating the impact it will have on our business. We have to be seen as job creators in the US. We will look to build the architecture and the programme management level in the country,” Kurien said.

    Wipro said it is looking at starting a second delivery centre with at least 1,000 people in the US. “Without this number, it will not be viable. We have already filled up our Atlanta centre, with over 1,000 people. We are out of space there,” the CEO added. The firm is negotiating with various states and is yet to pick a location.

    Kurien said the firm is now adequately protected for the year as far as the number of H-1B visas are concerned. “There is no point in increasing our H-1B visa applications since we plan to hire more onsite,” Kurien said.

    Market analysts had, of late, warned that visa and regulatory troubles need some watching. CLSA recently said that an increasingly tough visa regime is worrying Indian companies. While procedural hurdles are manageable, select regulations being discussed are harmful for the longer-term competitiveness of the offshore IT industry, it said.

    Wipro recruits Iraq vets to fight protectionism

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