Showing posts with label NRIs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NRIs. Show all posts

Monday, December 28, 2009


Visa reforms on cards in the US?

Another Immigration reform seems to be on cards in the US. According to InformationWeek, a 600-page Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 proposes changes to visas provided to foreign students who get advanced tech degrees in the United States.

It aims to make it easier for foreigners with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics from the US universities and who have worked in their field in the US for three years to get green card employment visas.

According to the news report, they would be fast-tracked to green cards, which provide foreigners with permanent residency status, rather than lingering in H-1B visa limbo.

The legislation would also require employers applying for H-1B visas to prove that no US workers are available to fill the positions. It may also bar companies that have recently laid off US workers from engaging in the visa programme.

Foreign students with advanced technology degrees are required to leave the US shortly after graduating from a US university if they're unable to obtain or renew an H-1B visa or get a green card. The annual cap on H-1B visas is 85,000. This includes 65,000 general H-1B visas and 20,000 H-1Bs set aside for foreigners with advanced degrees.

Friday, December 4, 2009

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Demand for US H-1B visas on the rise

Applications for H-1B visas increased rapidly since October, indicating growing demand for skilled foreign staff from US companies

Demand for US H-1B visas has grown dramatically in the past month and a half, according to a report on

Figures released by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service showed a spike in applications, after a quiet summer, indicating that US companies are again looking for foreign workers to fill skilled positions.

The demand seen in the past six to eight weeks has driven up the number of visa petitions to 58,900, approaching the 65,000 cap for financial year 2010.

The demand spike may also be down to companies switching existing foreign temporary workers on L-1B visas to the more stable H-1B visa, and demand for visas for students who have recently graduated with technical qualifications.

If the level cap is reached, which is expected to happen possibly by the start of next year, visas would then be allocated on a lottery basis, which is also fuelling the rush for visas as companies push through applications for staff.

The H-1B visa allows US employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations, and has been widely used by the IT and technology sectors to secure skilled employees.

Many non-US offshoring companies also rely on H-1B to be able to place their staff with customers in the US.

The system is controversial however, with opponents saying that jobs should go to American citizens first. There is currently legislation proposed to the US Senate which would prevent any company that has already laid off 50 or more workers from hiring guest workers, which could potentially affect a large number of technology firms that have laid off large numbers of workers but continue hiring to fill other roles.
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Infosys to double US headcount

Indian IT majors seem to be in a hurry to shed their `job stealer' tag. Country's IT bellwether is all set to double its workforce in the US.

According to a news report in Walls Street Journal (WSJ), India's second-largest software exporter by revenue is planning to hire 1,000 employees in the US. The report quotes a recent interview of the company's Chief Executive S Gopalkrishnan to Dow Jones Newswires.

The news comes close on the heels of TCS CEO saying that the company wants to become global not just in terms of "sales but from a people perspective". The country's numero uno IT company recently expanded its strategic business alliance with US-based Dow Chemicals. The alliance will create new jobs in Midland-Michigan.

As part of the alliance, Dow and TCS are planning to build a new service centre at a site near Dow's global headquarters in Midland Michigan, the US.

Recently the country's third largest IT company Wipro Technologies too announced that it is expanding its US operations and will hire about 1,000 people, including more locals.

Indian IT companies, who have traditionally been earning over 50% of their profits from the US markets, are often derided for stealing local jobs. The recent recession and spiralling unemployment in the US seems has only further fueled the sentiment.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Legislation to make H-1B hiring tough

There seems stricter H-1B restrictions are in the offing for IT firms. According to a report, two senators Bernie Sanders and Charles Grassley, have introduced legislation that would bar any company that lays off 50 or more workers from hiring guest workers.

The legislation could potentially affect a large number of technology firms that have laid off large numbers of workers but continue hiring, says the report in ComputerWorld.

The high-tech industry overall has laid off more than 345,000 workers since August 2008, according to the two senators. In a statement released last week, Grassley said "With the unemployment rate over 10%, companies that undertake mass layoffs shouldn't need to hire foreign guest workers when there are plenty of qualified Americans looking for jobs."

Earlier this year, the duo successfully got H-1B hiring restrictions added to the financial bailout bill. In February 2009, US Senate agreed to set restrictions on the hiring of H-1B workers by financial services firms that receive federal bailout funds.

The amendment passed though didn't include a blanket restriction on H-1B use, it did set a series of strict standards on H-1B hiring. Any company receiving TARP funds is automatically considered H-1B-dependent, regardless of the percentage of H-1B workers on its payroll.

The H-1B-dependent designation subjects employers to a number of requirements, including a good-faith effort to hire US workers first.
Source: IndiaTimes
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25,000 onsite H-1B inspections

US immigration officials are taking H-1B enforcement plan to conduct 25,000 on-site inspections of companies hiring foreign workers over this fiscal year, according to a report in ComputerWorld.

According to the report, the move marks a nearly five-fold increase in inspections over last fiscal year, when the agency conducted 5,191 site visits. The new federal fiscal year began Oct. 1.

Tougher enforcement comes in response to a US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) study (in October 2008), titled H1-B Benefit Fraud & Compliance Assessment, which found a 27% rate of fraud in the H1-B visa programme.

According to the study, there were a total of 51 cases from the sample of 246 H1-B petitions that were fraud or a technical violation of the regulations. The research primarily found two types of fraud, one, where there was 'willful misrepresentation, falsification, or omission of a material fact'; and two, where there was no willful fraud, but `there was evidence that the employer or alien beneficiary failed to comply with applicable laws and regulations.'

Some of the fraudulent activities included cases where either the business did not exist or the degrees and supporting documentation were found forged. In several cases, signatures too were found forged. USCIS study also found that 27 percent of the workers surveyed were being paid less than the prevailing wage for a particular job description and location.

According to US immigration authorities, over 11,000 H-1B visa slots are still vacant against the Congress-mandated cap of 65,000 for the fiscal 2010.

This is for the first time in several years that thousands of H-1B visas are still to be filled up. In previous years, the entire visa slots used to be grabbed on day one.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

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TCS wants a global workforce

India's largest software services exporter, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), is aiming to move beyond its traditional Western market to serve new transnational companies in the emerging markets to become a truly global company.

"We want to become global not just in terms of sales but from a people perspective," TCS Head Natarajan Chandrasekaran told the Financial Times in an interview.

Multinationals in emerging markets now account for about one-fifth of the company's sales. TCS has operations in about 42 countries and about nine per cent of its workforce is foreign. At present, it contributes nearly 10 per cent of the revenue of the Tata conglomerate.

Besides diversifying its client base, TCS is pursuing an "integrated full service" business model to garner higher revenue.

Under this model, TCS would design, develop and manage a given client's software as well as maintain its hardware systems and handle its business processes.

After years of double-digit - sometimes even triple-digit-growth, India' outsourcing companies got battered pursuant to the global economic slowdown as their largest clients, the global financial services groups, faltered under the pressure.

Accordingly, TCS' Chandrasekaran told FT that the company has to restore growth first as the past six quarters were challenging as revenue grew just 7 per cent for the year ended March, down more than 30 per cent previously.

However, Chandrasekaran was optimistic about a recovery and said that whether the global recovery is "V-shaped, W-shaped or 'square root'-shaped", clients will look to the offshore outsourcing industry to cut costs.

The Indian Information Technology industry including -- TCS and its peers such as Infosys Technologies and Wipro -- played a major part in "the country's transformation from ox-cart economy to fast-growing, sophisticated Asian giant."

The IT industry generated $47 billion in exports in the fiscal year ending in March and claims it has created nearly half of India's urban jobs directly and indirectly.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

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TCS employing local talent in U.S.

To expand its U.S. operation, TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) plans to hire 1,000 local workers at its new facility near Cincinnati, Ohio, by the end of 2010, reports DNA.

The company opened a $20 million delivery and software development centre in Milford, Cincinnati in Ohio, in March last year - in a bid to win federal contracts and be closer to the headquarters of its U.S. clients. Suryakant, President of TCS North America said, "The Cincinnati region is a great place for U.S. to recruit local talent to meet the demands of our customers as they grow out of the downturn."

The ohio facility is also aimed at securing what some major Indian service providrs are chasing - defence and avionics work. TCS is reportedly in talks with Boeing and Lockheed Martin for defence and aerospace contracts. This work can only be done by American citizens or green card holders.

Recently, the company bagged projects related to unemployment insurance for the states of Nebraska, New Mexico and Mississippi. "The U.S. by far our largest market and the seven hills park facility in Ohio plays an integral role in our strategy of putting our customers first," said Suryakant.

Currently, TCS employs 15,000 people in the U.S. The company has been shipping quite a bit of work to U.S, ignoring India's popular IT hubs.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

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H-1B visa applications lowest since 2003

More than six months after the federal government began accepting petitions for work visas popular with Silicon Valley companies, thousands of spots remain open, a reflection of the nation's high unemployment and the political pressure to hire citizens, experts say.

As of last week, 46,700 H-1B visa applications had been submitted, thousands less than the 65,000 allocated for fiscal year 2010 and the lowest number since 2003. The cap for 20,000 additional H-1B visas reserved for foreign graduates of U.S. colleges with at least a master's degree was met, though applications are still being accepted.

Tech industry insiders say the recession is primarily responsible for the dearth of applications. "There is definitely a sense that there is a growing hostility toward some of the (visa) programs, but I don't think that is related to the downturn" in petitions, said Jenifer Verdery, Intel's director of work force policy. "You are not going to see big ramp-ups in hiring during the downturn."

But political pressure did affect hiring in other industries. The federal stimulus law includes provisions making it difficult for financial companies receiving money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, to hire H-1B workers. The requirement forced companies
like Bank of America to rescind job offers to foreign professionals.

Julie Pearl, a San Francisco-based corporate immigration lawyer who works with valley companies, says her firm's caseload for visa work has been cut in half. "In the financial industry, H-1B (applications) are down almost 75 percent," she added.

Sen. Charles Grassley has criticized tech companies for not protecting jobs of U.S. citizens over those of foreigners as they lay off thousands of employees at a clip. The Iowa Republican and Sen. Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, in April reintroduced a bill that would require companies to do everything they can to hire Americans before seeking H-1B visas.

One technology corporate client of Pearl's declined to file petitions out of a sense of patriotism. "They felt, 'How do you hire a foreigner' " with 12 percent unemployment in California, she said.

Samta Kapoor, who will complete her master's degree in engineering management at Duke University in December, said she and other foreign-born classmates have been told by prospective employers that they are not hiring international students this year. "There are times when we are not even looked at. They say, 'We are not hiring international students this year. It's a companywide policy. Sorry,' " she said.

Silicon Valley companies, where immigrants have played prominent roles in creating startups and new technology inventions, view the H-1B visa program as a way to grab the best talent from around the world. "For most of our clients, their mantra is: Hire the best person you can," Pearl added.

Companies can spend thousands of dollars per applicant. "It's such a hard process," Verdery of Intel said. "It's a laborious, difficult, expensive endeavor to bring someone on board."

Despite the challenges, Intel has continued about the same level of H-1B hiring as in the past, she said.

In recent years, there has been some support from both parties in Congress for more H-1B visas and green cards for foreign professionals, a major goal of tech companies that has been caught up in the highly charged debate over immigration.

During the dot-com boom a decade ago, the H-1B visa cap was 195,000 a year, a reflection of the frenzied hiring of tech workers in Silicon Valley and elsewhere around the nation. That number dropped dramatically during the recession that followed.

Les French, president of WashTech, a Seattle-based union for tech professionals, which is critical of the visa program, predicts application levels will eventually rise again. "Once the economy picks up, you'll see a pickup in the applications," he said. "I think it will be lock-step with the economy."

Others, though, say the difficulties faced by foreign-born potential workers as well as the recession will deter some overseas professionals from pursuing careers here.
"The problem is, you lose the cream-of-the-crop," said Vivek Wadhwa, a researcher on immigration and labor issues at the University of California-Berkeley. "The cream of the crop can get jobs elsewhere. Before, they had to come here."

Nonetheless, students such as Kapoor say the United States is still their first choice.

"There are a lot of things happening back home," said Kapoor, who is from Mumbai, India. "There would be no lack of opportunity for me if I went back. But I've been educated here. I want to give back to the United States."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

HSBC bank says it will cut 1,700 jobs in Britain

HSBC is to cut more than 1,700 jobs across Britain, a spokesman for the global banking group said on Tuesday.

HSBC will axe "just over 1,700" jobs, a spokesman told media, confirming media reports. An official statement from HSBC explaining the cuts was due later Tuesday.

The announcement came as the British government unveiled a major shake-up of the country's banking sector and one day after state-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) said it would eliminate about 3,700 jobs across its British retail operations.

The government on Tuesday said it would force RBS and another state-controlled bank, Lloyds Banking Group, to sell assets to promote competition but would support them with 30 billion pounds (33 billion euros, 49 billion dollars).

Britain's government expects new banks to be born as a result of the break-ups, which are the result of pressure from EU competition authorities.

The parts being separated from the parent groups add up to about 10 percent of Britain's troubled retail banking market.

In return for more state aid, RBS and Lloyds will have to cut bonuses paid to top staff and increase lending to recession-struck businesses and individuals.

Lloyds meanwhile announced that it would launch a record 13.5-billion-pound rights issue, the biggest-ever sale in Britain of new shares to existing shareholders.

Tuesday's announcements come one week after the European Commission approved the state aid in plans to break up and sell Britain's nationalised bank Northern Rock.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Premji assures support for affected staff in France

Wipro Chairman Azim Premji today assured the French government that the 60-odd employees working with the company’s wireless IT division in Sophia Antipolis would receive support, even as it plans to exit the wireless intelllectual property (IP) product business.

During his discussion with Christian Estrosi, ministry of industry (Paris), Premji said: “We reiterate our commitment to France, a key growth market for Wipro. We look forward to growing our presence, serving our customers effectively and creating employment opportunities in the country.”

He explained that his company had implemented exemplary social measures to support the employees at the Sophia Antipolis centre who were affected due to Wipro’s worldwide exit from the IP connectivity business. These measures include support to encourage employment and entrepreneurship, as well as financial benefits.

During the discussion, Estrosi reiterated a “strong attachment to the fact that all the employees of Sophia’s centre can find again a professional future as quickly as possible, through solutions of employee take over and/or of company creation carried by employees”.

Talking to mediapersons during the company’s quarterly results announcement this week, Wipro officials had stated that the company had come to an amicable settlement with the affected employees in France. As a part of this, Wipro had offered the IP developed at the centre to the affected employees at Sophia Antipolis free of charge. Besides, the company had offered its office space and equipment free for charge to those employees for one year.

Since the last three years, Wipro has implemented its development plan for its IT services in the French market. Christophe Martinoli, head of France, Wipro Technologies, said the company intended to double its staff base and revenues in France in the next 18 months.

India asks UK to open doors to its IT professionals

Britain has promised to look into suggestions to allow more Indian IT professionals into UK to build up a strategic partnership in the information technology field.

The suggestion was made by President Pratibha Patil to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown during a meeting here at the 10, Downing Street last night.

Patil stressed on the need for greater participation of Indian IT professionals in UK, which Brown assured to look into, Foreign Ministry Officials accompanying the President told reporters.

The US and other major EU nations have allowed greater flow of Indian IT professionals, which has led to a boom in the sector in these countries and apparently Patil's suggestion was to ensure that Britain did not lag behind.

Brown said India-UK cooperation in IT was a very important area for the growing bilateral strategic partnership, officials said.

The 30-minute long meeting between the two leaders also focused on issues of bilateral cooperation in economy and education.

Brown told the President that business ties between the two countries were flourishing with a large number of Indian companies now listed on London Stock Exchange.

Britian is also one of the largest foreign direct investors in India.

During the meeting, Brown also expressed keenness in further boosting India-UK cooperation in the field of education, the officials said.

The UK has recently opened the doors of most of its varsities to Indian students, and in this regard the discussion between two leaders covered expanding the cooperation to premium institutions of higher education in India, including IIT and a Central University.

Brown said that the UK was again becoming a large destination for Indian students, a fact pointed out by Patil and Queen Elizabeth during the State Banquet hosted at Windsor Castle.

Patil is the first Indian head of state to visit United Kingdom in last 20 years.

The two leaders exchanged their views on various issues pertaining to social spectrum, Millennium Development Goals and various aspects of women empowerment and dwelt on the role of women in contributing to democracy and development, the officials said.

The Prime Minister said that UK was very keen to partner India in socio-economic sector, the officials said.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

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U.S. no longer the dream destination for Indian students

The U.S. is no longer the dream destination for Indian students. Data released by the U.S. embassy has shown a sharp decrease in the number of students opting to study in the U.S. according to analysts, Indian students are seeking other destinations because of the global slowdown and tight visa procedures, reports IBN Live.

The U.S. embassy data reveals there is a 25 percent decrease in F1 student visas over the past one year, which means only 25,680 U.S. visas were issued for Indian students between October 2008 and September 2009 as compared to 34,510 visas last year.

"A large number of students wanted to stay on and work after the studies so as to cover the cost of the education. This is not happening because of the recession and the lack of jobs available in the U.S.," said, Director of Career Smart, Usha Albuquerque.

The loss of U.S. is naturally a gain for other countries like Canada, Australia, Germany, New Zealand and France. Human Resource analysts like Career Smart say that these countries are proving to be better student destinations, both in terms of affordability and easy visa procedure. "Because of the recession a large number of universities have cut back on their funding. Also, in the U.S. it is far more expensive than any other country and I think students have started realizing the good courses in other countries," Albuquerque explained.

Many of the students also apparently realize that India now offers more job opportunities as compared to foreign countries where they will have to spend much more.

Number of Indian students to Australia may fall by 50%

In the backdrop of a spate of racial attacks in Australia, Down Under could witness about a 50 per cent drop in Indian students in the next session, according to an international educational recruiter.

"In our India offices we're expecting our 2010 February intake to be down by about 50 per cent," IDP Education chief executive Tony Pollock said, according to an ABC report.

IDP which works with 400 institutions across Australia and takes in 35,000 students released a survey today conducted on over 6,000 students from eight countries including 1,100 students from India.

Pollock felt that the fall in numbers might be entirely due to safety and security issues, global slowdown could also play a part in it.

"We have the GFC [global financial crisis], which has obviously impacted upon families in India and that's evident by the fact that the applications for
other countries are way down, particularly the United States."

The survey was to find out what foreign students thought about Australia in comparison to other English speaking destination, he said.

"The somewhat surprising result and indeed promising result is that they believe Australia to be the safest destination of all the English speaking destinations - and by quite a margin.

While, Sydney and Melbourne have been voted as the "most unfriendly and unsafe" places to live in by over 6,000 overseas students, according to the survey.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

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US facing dearth of skilled workforce: Survey

In what could be signs of prolonged trouble for employees and businesses even after the economic recovery, the lack of better educated and trained workforce in the US is intensifying the unemployment problem, says a study.

The study by an independent commission, The Springboard Project, said the US is at risk of losing its "competitive edge" and its workers' economic potential by not addressing business' growing demand for a better educated and better trained workforce.

"American workers' unmet need for further education and training is exacerbating today's unemployment problem and portending long-term trouble for workers and businesses - even after the economy recovers," the report stated.

The project is an independent commission started by Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers, is creating innovative approaches to help US workers to develop the skills they need to remain competitive in the global marketplace.

Indicating increased need for a better skilled workforce as much as 65 per cent of employers surveyed said they would require an associate's degree or higher for most positions.

The survey found a glaring need for workers with higher levels of skills and credentials, which was in sharp contrast with employers' modest efforts to provide training.

The survey revealed half of employers currently have such a serious gap between their needs and employees' skills that it affects their productivity.

But, though they see a need for highly skilled workers, nearly half (48 per cent) of employers do not provide or require ongoing education or skills training for their employees, primarily because of cost, it added.

On the other hand, workers also understand the value of training, but are being confronted by obstacles to making it a reality.

About 62 per cent of workers said a convincing reason to pursue training is that the future economy would be extremely demanding and if their skills are not up to date, someone would pass them by, The Springboard Project survey said.

However, a large proportion of workers are not pursuing training and education because of practical obstacles. Workers cite cost, convenience and lack of reliable information on trainings which would lead to a job or higher salaries as the top three factors preventing them from enhancing their skills and improving their education.

"The survey findings underscore the fact that we can and must do a better job of training and developing talent in the US," The Springboard Project Chairman William D Green said.

"With these findings, we can better understand challenges facing our workforce and developing and implementing solutions to overcome them is critical to ensuring US' future," Green added.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

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Mahindra Satyam to reshuffle US team

Having effected changes to its top deck in Australia and New Zealand earlier, and in Europe just last week, Mahindra Satyam is now planning a reallocation of responsibilities at its bread-and-butter US operations that accounts for a major portion of its revenue.

Mahindra Satyam CEO C P Gurnani said a "reshuffle" in the United States is likely to be announced "in the next 7-10 days", while remaining hazy on what the proposed modifications would entail.
While it was under Ramalinga Raju, the US accounted for 59-60% of the firm's revenue, a scenario that, Gurnani said, might not have changed much.

However, Gurnani (an ex-Tech Mahindra honcho) was quick to clarify that it would be incorrect to presume that the likely re-arrangement would necessarily result in a Tech Mahindra person being asked to head Mahindra Satyam's US operations.

Incidentally, the new head of Mahindra Satyam's Europe operations, Vikram Nair, used to enjoy the same position at Tech Mahindra before. Last month, GE -- Mahindra Satyam's key client in the US and also one of its top 5 customers worldwide -- announced that it was extending its multi-million dollar contract with the Indian company for three years, starting January 2010.

In September, another important US customer O C Tanner reaffirmed its commitment to Mahindra Satyam. "Clearly, we will get to handle the enterprise applications side of the order that Tech Mahindra has bagged from Etisalat," Gurnani said.

Friday, October 2, 2009

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More than 18,000 H-1B visas yet to be grabbed

Reflecting the dire straits of the US job market and strict regulations imposed by the Congress, over 18,000 of the H-1B visas, once the most sought after by Indian professionals, is yet to be grabbed.

According to the latest figure update by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), approximately 46,700 of the H-1B visas in the general category were filled up by September 25; against a Congressional mandated figure of 65,000.

Thus, more than 18,000 H-1B visas or over one-fourth of the slot are still to be filled up, even as the financial year began today.

Primarily meant for professionals from computers and information technology sectors, the H-1B visas have been one of the most sought after visas for foreign professionals in previous years. The US Citizenship and immigration Service (USCIS) have been receiving several times the number of the allocated quota.

However, this is for the first time in several years that thousands of H-1B visas are still to be filled up even at the start of the financial year.

This is unlike the previous years when the entire 65,000 visas were grabbed on day one. Many a times, the USCIS had to resort to a computerised lottery to determine the successful candidates.
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Over 2000 IITians to unleash skilled India through PanIIT

More than 2000 IITians are expected to attend the largest entrepreneurship conference of PanIIT, to be held in Chicago from October 9 to October 11, 2009. PanIIT aims to be a platform to provide networking opportunities for IITians, contribute proactively to nation building and enhance the IIT brand.

The importance of PAN IIT, which represents alumni from all IIT campuses, in the U.S. can be seen as around 60 percent of Silicon Valley startups have at least one IIT graduate in the founder's rank. "In 2007, CBS 60 minutes brought the IIT brand front and center, and in 2005, the U.S. Congress had honoured the alumni for their contributions to the U.S. economy," says Piyush Agrawal, Spokesperson, PanIIT.

The worthy names of the industry will gather at this conference to discuss the different issues, the world is facing today. To add value to the conference and reflecting IIT's status across the world, former U.S. President Bill Clinton will join the IITians to share his views. The former president will address the gathering about challenges and opportunities in today's key global issues such as public health, education, and climate change with a focus on transforming ideas into action.

This seventh Global Alumni conference of PanIIT, will acknowledge the importance of 'Entrepreneurship and Innovation in a Global Economy'. The event will see business leaders from leading corporations delivering their experiences in the line of entrepreneurship. The Indian origin, U.S. Federal Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Aneesh Chopra, will deliver the keynote address at the conference which will be opened by India's Minister for Human Resource Development, Kapil Sibal. The other keynote speakers will include Nathan Myhrvold, CEO, Intellectual Ventures and Founder of Microsoft Research, Carl Schramm, President and CEO, Kauffman Foundation, Jim Owens, Chairman and CEO, Caterpillar and Jim Rogers, Chairman and CEO, Duke Energy.

The winners of 2009 PanIIT award have been selected from over 200 nominees by a panel of luminary judges. The Lifetime Achievement Award will be awarded to Dr. (Late) Rajeev Motwani, who was an advisor to Google founders Sergery Brin, Larry Page and many more. The Academic Excellence Award will be given to Dr. Pradeep Khosla, Dean, College of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon, the Corporate Excellence Award to Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology Officer, Cisco. Dr. Suhas Patil, Chairman, Emeritus Cirrus Logicand Chairman, Digite and Cradle Technologies will be awarded the Entrepreneurial Achievement Award and the Technology Leadership Award will be given to Dr. Ravi Sethi, President, Avaya Labs. "These individuals have helped to make the IITs in India one of the most elite educational institutions in the world today," said Umang Gupta, Co-Chairman, Board of Directors, PanIIT and CEO, Keynote Systems.

Mahindra Satyam gives new structure to Europe operations

Mahindra Satyam, the information technology services company, has reorganised its structure after its acquisition by Tech Mahindra and combined sales and delivery functions into a single business unit.

“In the new structure, Vikram Nair, who since August 2005 headed European operations for Tech Mahindra, will head the business operations of Europe and will be responsible for the growth and expansion of Mahindra Satyam in the region. He will focus on driving synergies between Tech Mahindra and Mahindra Satyam in Europe, to leverage mutual business strengths and increase revenue from the region,” Mahindra Satyam said in a filing to the BSE on Thursday.

Nair joined Tech Mahindra to establish and grow business across Europe outside of the British Telecom business. “Vikram has extensive expertise in the IT services industry in Europe. He understands the pulse of the market and has successfully led companies to grow their business in the region. We are confident that he will be able to add value to Mahindra Satyam’s presence in Europe,” Mahindra Satyam chief executive, C P Gurnani, said in a statement.

Aloke Palsikar, who worked as head of marketing for the European Region with Larsen and Toubro Infotech prior to joining Mahindra Satyam in 2003, will now head the Central European and Nordic operations and manage client relationships in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Nordic countries and Eastern Europe, and is based in Germany.

Besides, Suneel Unni, who has been with Mahindra Satyam in southern Europe since 2005, will head the South Europe and Benelux region for the company, while Guita Blake, who served blue-chip banking, financial services and insurance organisations like Barclays, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Lloyds TSB Insurance prior to joining Satyam in 2008, will head the financial services, retail and public sector business in the UK and Ireland for Mahindra Satyam.

“Roger Newman will head the manufacturing and digital convergence relationship management in the UK. He will be responsible for Satyam’s business development and relationship management for the manufacturing, energy and utilities and digital convergence verticals in the UK,” the company said.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

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TCS: We need more time

The new head of India's top outsourcing firm, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, said that it would take another few months to tell whether business spending was recovering, as customers were still working on their IT budgets for 2010.

"We'll have to wait for the next three months. All the customers are going through their cycles now," N Chandrasekaran, who takes over as chief executive when S Ramadorai retires on October 5, said in an interview.

TCS, which provides consulting, system integration and call center management, competes with India's Infosys Technologies Ltd and Wipro Ltd as well as big global players such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard Co and Accenture which offer similar services to multinational corporate clients.

Ramadorai, in the same interview, said the company was seeing more stability but that a more substantial recovery would take time.

"When is there going to be growth? I think it's going to take a while," he said.

Despite the cautious outlook and a recently announced plan by Dell Inc to buy technology services company Perot Systems, Chandrasekaran said he did not see a need for TCS to consolidate through mergers and acquisitions.

"It's not a question of ... getting squeezed" by US companies beefing up their services offerings, Chandrasekaran, currently chief operating officer, said.

"There is a lot of room for organic growth. We're expanding our footprint, we're expanding our portfolio of services that we offer," he said. But he added that TCS would consider acquisitions that bolster the company's portfolio of services.

He also said the company plans to add 1,000 jobs in the United States in the next year to boost its presence in a market TCS sees recovering ahead of other regions like Europe. The company currently has around 13,000 workers in the US.

Friday, September 25, 2009

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US tech industry lost 115K jobs in H1

Seems Indian techies have been luckier than their counterparts in the US. According to a study by TechAmerica Foundation, US technology industry cut 115,000 jobs in the first half of 2009, compared to the 72,900 tech jobs added in the same period in 2008.

However, in the US too, the tech sector seems better than other industry verticals. While between June 2008 to June 2009, tech lost 224,100 jobs, a 3.7% decline; the US private sector shed jobs at a higher pace of 5.1%.

The Washington-based non-profit foundation also said that high-tech manufacturing in the US continues to shed jobs, having lost 69,500 from January to June 2009. The high-tech services sectors shed 45,500 jobs from January to June 2009, a 1% drop.

The report also said that for the first time in its 5-year history, all three services sectors saw losses: engineering and tech services lost 21,500 jobs, while communications services shed 13,600 jobs. In software services the job cuts stood at 10,400.