We support open, unhindered business both in India and the US, says Nasscom

We spoke to Shivendra Singh, vice president, Global Trade development at Nasscom to clear some doubts that many people may have.


Over the weekend, US President Donald Trump passed an executive order halting the arrival of all refugees into the US for 120 days. He also banned the citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, from entering the country for 90 days.

This order was naturally criticised by the tech movers and shakers from Silicon Valley. Google co-founder Sergey Brin, participated in the protests at the San Francisco international airport in his personal capacity. Companies such as Airbnb, Google, Uber have also announced measures and funds to help out people.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the organisation that challenged Trump’s order in a federal court and won, has received funds from investor Chris Sacca, Stripe CEO Patrick Collision, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, Xamarin CEO Nat Friedman and many more. Teams of volunteer ACLU lawyers have also been helping out immigrants for free at various airports in the US.

India has a lot of high skilled professionals working in the US. And although India is not on the list of countries banned from entering the US, the executive order does raise some fears among the Indian IT community, as have been expressed by some friends working in the US.

We spoke to Shivendra Singh, vice president, Global Trade development at Nasscom to clear some doubts that many people may have. He mentioned that Nasscom has always been talking about the importance of a diverse and inclusive work force, not just in the US but also UK and other countries. "We feel that diversity and inclusion are necessary grounds for breeding innovation. From the US perspective, this is what makes the Silicon Valley the talent magnet that it is," said Singh

Stressing on the importance of highly skilled Indian professionals in the technology sector, Singh said that India is on very good terms with the US.

"We support the thought that India is a friend, which Trump has mentioned in the past. Our prime minister was among the first leaders to call Trump on his victory. India is one of the world's fastest growing economy. There are 10 out of 15 top tech companies in the US which have a huge stake in India. There is bilateral trade of upto $100bn with the role of IT companies being important. Indian IT industry is the largest export market in the US. We continue to bring value to corporate America," said Singh.

On the Trump executive order, Singh said that Nasscom supports skilled migration and we should look at that as skilled worker mobility, whereas the order encompasses a lot many people apart from those in the workforce.

"We do acknowledge the issues which have been raised by our US company CEOs, it supports our arguments that any kind of diversity and inclusion, which has been talked about, definitely breeds innovation. We support open, unhindered business both in India and the US," said Singh.

Recently, R Chandrasekhar, president of Nasscom had said that the industry requires high-skilled workers which are not available in the US. He said that according to data available, Indian IT companies have created 4.11 lakh jobs in the US of which 1.5 lakh are direct employment. Besides job creation, Indian IT industry has also contributed to the US economy in terms of tax payment, social security outgo and CSR activities.

Speaking about the Nasscom delegation which is set to visit the US next month, Singh said that this was a routine ongoing activity. "For a number of years, we have gone to the US, met members of the administration, met members of the Congress and highlighted the value contribution India gives to the US. We will continue to address the issues pertaining to visas if any. For instance, in December 2015 also there was an issue with the visa where there were supplementary visa fees levied on the H1B's. We will bring these to the notice of the authorities," said Singh.


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