Addressing the IT major’s annual shareholder meeting, COO Pravin Rao said that Infosys has recruited more than 10,000 US nationals in the last 24 months.

Infosys says impact of H-1B visa ban minimal 60 of US employees visa-independent
Atom IT Monday, June 29, 2020 - 11:43

Infosys is mulling introducing a flexible work from home model for its employees permanently depending on client requirements and projects, the company’s COO Pravin Rao said during the company’s 39th Annual General Meeting on Saturday, which was held virtually.

95% of all 2.4 lakh employees transitioned to working from home during the pandemic and it did not impact the productivity of employees, Rao said. 

“We envisage a hybrid model in the long term. It will depend on the nature of project and client comfort,” he added. 

The company’s heads also answered questions relating to H-1B visas, impact on business due to coronavirus and more. 

In his opening address, Chairman Nandan Nilekani said that Infosys’s annual revenue grew 9.8%, and that they are declaring a dividend of Rs 9.5 per share and had paid out an interim dividend of Rs 8 in October 2019, taking their dividend pay-out to Rs 8,120 crore.

Speaking about the H-1B visa suspension till the end of the year, Pravin Rao said that the impact on Infosys would be minimal because it has reduced its dependence on them over the years as the company hired more locals.

He said that 60% of their employees in the US were “visa independent”.

“Infosys is well prepared due to the strong localisation strategy as we have significantly reduced our dependence on visa,” Pravin Rao said.

He further informed shareholders that Infosys has recruited more than 10,000 US nationals in the last 24 months.

Shareholders predictably questioned Infosys regarding the effect of the pandemic on their business, with Infosys saying that while there may be near-term effects, they could weather the storm.

“In the near term, some slowing in closure of deals is seen due to the pandemic. But we have not seen any large scale cancellations. In the near-term, our operating margin may see some headwinds due to falling utilisation. However, we will try to offset it with less travel cost and other optimisation moves,” said Chief Executive Officer Salil Parekh.

However, like many others, Infosys did not give revenue guidance for FY21, but said that business impact due to deal closures and longer decision cycles “has been less compared to what we had envisaged in April,” CEO Salil Parekh said.

He said that a second COVID-19 wave would be a key factor. “The challenge for the industry is the uncertainty of the situation, since there is no clear sense of when recovery will start. A second wave will be a risk if there are more lockdowns,” the CEO said.

He said that sectors such as retail, manufacturing and travel & hospitality have been mostly affected, travel and hospitality is a small segment for the company. “So, we don’t expect any material impact due to this,” he said. 

He further added that verticals like communications and hi-tech have been witnessing a push in these times, as companies are accelerating digital adoption.Infosys is also looking at acquisitions in areas of cloud and data in new geographies, according to Parekh. “The new areas of client interest include cloud/ digital, cost efficiency & automation, and consolidation," he said.

Watch to know what the H-1B visa suspension is about:

Also read: ‘The way it has been carried out is inhuman’: The human cost of suspending H-1B visas

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