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Infosys blames H-1B visa denials for high attrition

BusinessToday.In     April 15, 2019

IT giant Infosys recently blamed the denial of H-1B visas by United States (US) for part of its growing employee attrition and said that it would introduce a "new value proposition" to help retain employees.

Indian IT companies are faced with myriad administrative impediments in applying for new visas as well as extending the existing ones after the US tightened its visa rules to favour applicants with master's degrees, The Economic Times reported.

According to an analysis of data from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services by the US think tank Centre for Immigration Studies in March, six Indian companies - Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Wipro, Cognizant, and the US arms of Tech Mahindra as well as HCL Tech - accounted for nearly two-thirds of H-1B visa rejections amongst the top 30 companies. The data said that Infosys got the most visa rejections - as many as 2,042 in 2018.

Also Read: Infosys shares nearly 5 pc post Q4 earnings

The six Indian IT firms got 16% (2,145), of H-1B work permits, which is less than the 2,399 visas Amazon got in 2018.

Infosys' attrition at the end of the fourth quarter had jumped more than 18% on a standalone annualised basis, as compared to 16.6% in the same period last year, and 17.8% in the third quarter.

The company's Chief Operating Officer (COO) UB Pravin told reporters at a press conference on Friday that Infosys was facing higher employee attritions in the three-five years experience bracket in India and two-three year experience bracket in the US.

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The company's attrition rate has been high for the past quarters. "For a lot of people in the three-five (experience) bracket in India, the value proposition in the past has been onsite opportunities," Rao said. "Now, with visa restrictions that is not happening. We have to create a new value proposition," he added.

Rao further said that Infosys had started undertaking measures to cut attrition, however, it will take a few quarters to have any kind of effect on the same. The company has initiated milestone-based increments, and incentives mapped to digital skill certifications.

Meanwhile, he also said that checking attrition was not just about giving increments and raises, but also giving the employees opportunities and weaving a new narrative around some of these initiatives to enable them on their career progression.

Also Read: H1-B visa restrictions compel tech companies to hire more locals

Also Read: Breather for Indian IT firms! US reintroduces premium 15-day H-1B visa processing option

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