Thu | Aug 24, 2017

Infosys plans tech centre for Indiana

Published:Wednesday | May 3, 2017 | 5:00 AM

India-based information technology company Infosys announced Tuesday that it will establish a central Indiana tech centre as part of a broader expansion in the United States that is projected to create 10,000 jobs in the coming years.

CEO Vishal Sikka joined Republican Governor Eric Holcomb to announce the plan, which includes an US$8.7-million investment to lease and equip office space in the Indianapolis area to accommodate 2,000 new workers by the end of 2021.

"You can't spell Indiana without starting with India," Holcomb said after the event at the Statehouse. "I've always said that we need to take Indiana to the world and bring the world back to Indiana, and today underscores that fact."

The announcement comes as President Donald Trump has targeted the American H-1B visa programme that tech firms such as Infosys have heavily relied upon to bring in specialised workers from other countries.

But Sikka said Trump's focus on the visa program did not have an impact on the company's decision to expand its US operations, an effort that he says has been in the works for several years.

Still, a move to the home state of Vice-President Mike Pence, who was Indiana's governor until January, couldn't hurt.

"Over the last few decades, (the industry) became very reliant on the visas and all of that, but we need to change that," said Sikka. "This is about a longer-term journey, about having employees locally, complemented by a global talent pool. Having employees from the community working in proximity to the clients."

WHIRLWIND COURTSHIP

The announcement caps a whirlwind courtship by state officials that started in February, shortly after Holcomb - and Trump - took office. Infosys officials said Indiana's business-friendly climate and a network of college campuses in Indianapolis that could provide a pipeline of workers made it an attractive place.

The Indiana centre will be the first of four facilities the company plans to open in the US and will be focused on developing emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and cloud computing. Infosys has not yet signed a lease, but is considering a number of locations in the Indianapolis metro area and hopes to be up and running by August.

- AP