Seeking to mitigate protectionist measures like visa restrictions being adopted by countries like the United States, the top Indian IT exporter, Tata Consultancy Services, is looking to hire more local nationals in key markets.
Besides, the company, which already has more than 10,000 non-Indian nationals on its payroll, is also cutting down on the amount of work at its customer locations and move the work to other remote locations to ensure continuity for customers.
Listing out the various macro-economic risks for its businesses across the world, Tata Consultancy Service said in its annual report for 2008-09 that there has been "a rise in protectionist sentiment in many countries which are looking to impose tariff and non-tariff barriers affecting companies in the Indian IT industry."
"Some initiatives to curb mobility of IT professionals have been introduced in the US. The company is following the events closely to determine the impact, if any, on its operations," it added.
"To counter possible protectionist tendencies by other countries, the company is refining the business model to reduce the amount of work at customer locations and move work to other remote locations and hiring of more local nationals in key markets to ensure continuity for customers," TCS added.
To address these risks, TCS said, it was taking various steps such as "increasing the breadth and depth of service offerings and penetration of new customer accounts and markets to combat slowdown in some customer segments."
TCS saw the headcount of foreign national employees rising to 11,484 at the end of 2008-09, from 10,005 such employees a year ago.
It incurred total overseas business expenses, towards employee allowances paid abroad, rose by about 27 per cent to Rs 4,572.28 crore (Rs 45.722 billion) in the fiscal ended March 31, 2009, from Rs 3,610.47 crore (Rs 36.104 billion) in the previous year.
Such expenses accounted for 16.44 per cent of total revenues in 2008-09, up from 15.96 per cent in the previous year.
The company boasts of employees of 67 nationalities in its over 143,000-strong workforce.
Recently, two other major Indian IT exporters, Infosys and Wipro, have also warned of possible adverse impact on their businesses due to the visa restrictions and other protectionist measures in the US.
However, these companies have not so far indicated towards increased hiring of foreign nationals or moving out the work to other locations due to such measures.