India's top IT companies need to open new facilities in the US to create more employment opportunities for locals and to change the perception that they are job-takers, a leading US business forum member has said.
"America is still in deep and in dark recession," said Ron Somers, President of US India Business Council (USIBC) at an interactive session organised by Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC) in association with Indo-American Chamber of Commerce's South India Council.
"And if I were Wipro, or Infosys, I would do my level best to open up virgin facilities in the United States where you can create jobs so that Americans in Arkansas, in Nebraska, in every constituency where important Senators and Congressmen sit, at least can point to the fact that India is a job-creator and not job-taker," he said.
Somers, who had previously worked as Unocal Corporation's Chief Executive in India, said the impression in the US is that India is "next China" and "oh, my God, all jobs are going overseas (to India). We have to mitigate that concern".
USIBC, made up of more than 350 of the top US companies investing in India, joined by two dozen global Indian companies, "spend our lives mitigating that concern" he said.
"Just opening of small facilities in the US by the likes of TCS, Wipro and Infosys would go a long way in creating jobs and demonstrating that US-India knowledge partnership will positively create jobs in the 21st century," Somers said.
"We need to really get our heads together on this and work as partners in this case," he said, adding, perception in the hinterland of America is that India is "another billion-people economy and all our jobs are going overseas (to India)."
"We can't let that perception take grip," he added.
Somers hailed the UID (Uniform Identity Card) project, saying it's going to broaden the tax base and completely rid the rot in the public distribution system.
He said the UID introduction will also help in stemming leakages and pilferage and eventually help the growth to become inclusive and democratic.
"It's possibly the greatest democratic experiment underway anywhere on the world at this moment of time," he said.
He sought to make a strong case for opening up of the multi-brand retail sector for foreign investment.