Colombo, Feb 13 – VirtusaPolaris, a US-heaquartered information technology firm with development hubs in Sri Lanka and India says more work will shift out of America if planned visa restrictions become law.
“The demand for technology services in the US cannot be fulfilled by the labour and the industry within the United States,” Virtusa Chairman Kris Canekeratne told reporters in Colombo.
“The US has to look at access to talented technology professionals globally.”
“If some of the legislation, like some of the visa regulations were enacted we believe that the work still has to happen and that then will result in more work potentially being done outside the shores of the United States as opposed to the Inside of the United States.”
Virtusa, followings its acquisition of Polaris, a Chennai based IT firm has a head count of about 18,500 people, of which about 16,000 may be working directly in technology engineering.
About 25 percent of the staff work onsite, Canekeratne said, with the US brining about 60 percent of the firm’s business. Of that typically about half move in and out of the countries they work in.
If visas are restricted, more work will have to be done abroad to keep costs down, Canekeratne said.
Virtusa says quarter on quarter revenues grew 4.2 percent to 217 million dollars and expects to end the year with revenues of about 850 million dollars while some of its competitors in consulting and IT services are seeing flat revenues.
The firm has about 3,500 people working in Sri Lanka and may hire about a 500 people more.
Canekeratne said in the past protectionist proposals in the US have become diluted by the time they became law.
The ‘Silicon Valley’ tech industry has in general opposed Trump’s protectionism.
US firms are innovative and are quick to satisfy customers in the style of true capitalists, allowing them to lead change and gain customers worldwide.
Their constant search for innovation and cost savings gave birth to the outsourced IT enabled services industry.
In the US the government stays out of business allowing them to innovate and disrupt industries, but provides rule of law, property rights and minimum regulation.
Many US firms in technology and other manufacturing have protested protectionist moves planned by the Trump administration. A recent ban on visitors from several Muslim majority countries have been suspended by courts.
US naturalization laws as well as strong property rights, have also made many who founded technology and other companies move to the US and make it their home.
But current US President Donald Trump was elected on a protectionist platform which critics say is part of an overall extreme nationalist ideology based on white supremacy, which some have pointed out have many features similar to Nazism.