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In a recent conversation with rediff.com, Phaneesh Murthy, CEO, iGATE BPO talked about the prevailing weak world economy, the US presidential elections, and outsourcing. Below is an excerpt.
In the last four years, how much has Obama's policies affected a company like yours, whose 80 per cent of the market is in the US?
He had many big and pressing problems in his current term. He, therefore, did not go after outsourcing with a vengeance. There are many companies close to the President, which have started in-sourcing many things. While there has not been regulatory support, clearly the mood has moved in a few companies. Slowdown in the IT industry has more to do with market conditions than with Obama's policies.
When the country is reeling under high unemployment, is it not expected that the Head of the State will oppose outsourcing?
In my mind, anti-outsourcing is cheap talk. Indian IT industry has played a big role in making US companies more competitive and has created more jobs. IT outsourcing is a net job creator in the US. Rather than taking jobs away, outsourcing has contributed immensely to the US economy.
If Obama comes back to power and takes up outsourcing as a serious issue, what kind of impact will it have on the IT Industry in India?
At the end of the day, he cannot interfere too much because most of our businesses, about 98-99 per cent, is with private companies in the US. Each company in the US will have to do what is best for its shareholders. I think outsourcing companies like ours are good for shareholders. His policies may slowdown the pace but I don't think his policies will be able to kill the pipeline completely.