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back to article Tata says USA rejecting HALF of Indians' work visa requests

Indian IT services giant Tata Consulting Services (TCS) has said as many as half of its visa applications to the US are now being rejected as Washington continues to clamp down on immigration ahead of a new bill passing through Congress. TCS global head of human resources, Ajoyendra Mukherjee, told news site Livemint that the 50 …

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Well, that'll backfire spectacularly

"We can't get visas so had to hire locally"

"Good, that's the point!"

If they wanted to stop that legislation, why announce that it's working as intended?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well, that'll backfire spectacularly

"the 50 per cent rejection rate had forced the company to increase hires from the US and Canada by a third this fiscal year, from around 450 to 600 each quarter."

So if they are having to hire low grade Indian labour locally, who will be left to drive the taxis?

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Pint

"Tata says USA rejecting HALF of Indians' work visa requests"

Simple; just submit twice as many applications. Problem solved.

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Re: "Tata says USA rejecting HALF of Indians' work visa requests"

>Simple; just submit twice as many applications. Problem solved.

well as they have offices in the USA, they could and probably are also using the L-1 visa option...

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Re: Well, that'll backfire spectacularly

That's not who they're hiring, read the article again where they start off by Saying University Campus...

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Damn americans, staying over there, working their own jobs

While hiring US workers may slightly increase costs for the business, it also means that more US workers will have more money to spend, and so expand the market for goods pretty much across the board. Unless your business is entirely export, it surely makes long-term sense to hire locally.

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Re: Damn americans, staying over there, working their own jobs

Yes but .... the workers they hire locally and pay locally, don't buy goods and services from Tata Consulting Services. Also, you raise the issue of 'long term sense' .......... TCS would be concerned with short and medium term costs and profits.

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WTF?

Re: Damn americans, staying over there, working their own jobs

"Yes but .... the workers they hire locally and pay locally, don't buy goods and services from Tata Consulting Services."

And the ones brought into the US from India would? What makes you think that?

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Re: Damn americans, staying over there, working their own jobs

back in 1914 a less than kindly fellow named Ford broke with tradition and started paying his workers the princely sum of $5/day. twice the going rate! part of the reason he did it was so that his employees could afford to buy his cars.

this could properly be considered the start of the growth of the American middle class. admittedly, the work was hard and dangerous (to a degree) but it was a very good workman's wage. those Ford workers could afford to buy other things as well and the economy was given quite the boost.

reasonable immigration policy (and not subsidizing the offshoring of jobs) is a beneficial policy for the entire US economy. problem is that it is long-term and nobody thinks that way anymore.

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Re: Damn americans, staying over there, working their own jobs

Some 16 years ago, the now defunct US computer firm I worked for in California contracted for a number of Indian software engineers, laying off (after they'd trained their own replacements) its too-costly American ones. It came out in time that the Indians got no salary while in the US, their home firm paying only expenses, and withholding accrued salary until (or if) they returned to India.

Ransomware v1.

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Only Half?

So they've just admitted that they haven't been trying to fill the jobs locally before applying for a visa, time to start rejecting the other half as well I think.

Now if only the UK would wake up and realise too.....

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Boffin

Re: Only Half?

I wonder if we did an audit of those rejected and see if it was because they lied about the skills they supposedly had, or if there was some other discrepancy in their paperwork?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Only Half?

I know once we got management to allow us to actually interview people before they shipped over from india, not a single person has sucessfully shown any of the abilities they claimed.

The "best" of the bunch, that we were forced to accept anyway as there was no alternative, had their visa application rejected. Of course we only found this out when they didn't turn up in the office the day they were supposed to start.

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Re: Only Half?

"I know once we got management to allow us to actually interview people before they shipped over from india, not a single person has sucessfully shown any of the abilities they claimed"

This, ten times over. I worked on a programme a little while back where the service manager insisted on interviewing all the off shore people who would be working for him. A 3 day visit overseas to confirm the recommended appointments (mostly internal transferees) ended up being about 4 week-long trips to try to find people who were barely adequate let alone good at the job.

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Anonymous Coward

Cheap Labour through the back door.

They barely reject anyone in the UK, while I don't want to condemn anyone that does want to come here, what I object to is that when they do,not only is their salary/pay alot lower because they continue to be paid in India but also that their taxes are also paid at home.

It's galling to think that we have people who can do these jobs here, but companies like Tata are playing a game and bringing over low paid workers through the back door of loop holes instead of employing local workers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cheap Labour through the back door.

I've first hand experience of outsourcing to Tata and it was a complete failure. Two projects were outsourced and a bunch of them came here to the UK, we had to train them in the relevant technologies (including java and c++) and even then they failed to deliver and what they did do was absolute drivel.

The company had to go back to many people they made redundant, most on high contractor rates and the rest on higher salaries which led quite a few of the existing staff that remained leave as they were no offered better rates to match.

One project ended up costing 4x the amount received for the software and over a year late. At least lessons were learnt and not been repeated (yet).

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Re: Cheap Labour through the back door.

Similar experience, first time a company I worked out-sourced to india, they had to bring in a very expensive contractor for a few days to fix the mess they were left with AND they had to pay a ransom to get access to certain accounts the indian company had managed to commandeer..

I then had to outsource some work a few years later, false economy had to dump 90% of the work they did and still pay them!

While the odd Indian programmer is good, I've worked with a few, I have a policy to NOT outsource to India, so far its always been a mistake!

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Re: Cheap Labour through the back door.

The company I worked for had a similar experience with Indian outsourcing. Not only that, our project was fixed price. Once they decided they were gong overtime, they presented us with drivel and walked off site. I was told later that the received about 90% of their fees.

I despair.

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Re: Cheap Labour through the back door.

This is how it always seems to go - heard many stories of it and been involved in one, pretty much the same as above.

Oddly though, Indian programmers who've lived in the UK for a bit (even "freshies" who came over themselves and weren't born here) are generally at least as good as their UK born counterparts - I've worked with plenty.

Never understood quite how this makes sense, but it's certainly held true so far. I just assume that those who manage to get here must be very motivated and that this extends to learning to program properly. Discussed it a lot at my last work place, which was heavily British Indian.

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Re: Cheap Labour through the back door.

Dear Sir,

mind you, this is not only done by alien firms like TCS but also by English/US firms like IBM / HP / Barclays, to name a few...

I really hate the practice. It undercuts the freelance market enormously. Nowadays you get offered £400 for an architect job... For that amount of money, I can't even begin to set the alarm...

And indeed, the most appalling aspect really is that they do not even pay local Income Taxes, so it also undercuts the permanent jobs.

Not fair on anybody, even on the poor Indian who has to live in the UK on a mugger's salary, which is not easy, even given that housing is provided for the people. No wonder you see them come into the canteen with boxes full of rise, and community made lunches... Nothing against that, don't get me wrong, but their standard of living is far far away from what it *should* be (comparing to locals)... It's just too damned profitable for companies to not use this scheme...

Illegal and immoral from all perspectives... People go to jail for less...

Regards,

Guus

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Re: At least lessons were learnt and not been repeated (yet).

Yet, some dumb ass member of damagement probably touted thecost savings on his CV.

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Re: Cheap Labour through the back door.

I think some issues comes about from the indian version of "face" that you come across in a lot of SEA cultures as well and can also cause similar problems.

Its a weird thing and even having been there a while can sometimes catch you out.

From what I understand you can explain something to an employee and ask them if they understand your instructions. They may actually say that they understand because they do not want you to loose face by looking like you are inadequate at explain your requirements to them. So you'll get a nod and then they will just muddle on through.

It can be frustrating and lead to odd situations one of my old bosses built a factory in Pakistan and it needed gas burners in it (to dry cotton), no one thought to point out that no gas supply pipes had been fitted before the foundations and factory floor was laid because it would have made someone above look bad.

My current employer is talking about some work in SEA, (very forthright type A personality). The culture clash could drive them mad.

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--However, Mukherjee told the news site that this is not necessarily the case. “At the junior level (in the US), it’s probably less expensive to hire someone locally than taking someone from India. Everyone thinks getting someone from India would be cheaper, but it’s not true – it’s more expensive at the junior level,” he said.

Very recently I was having a rather intensive professional conversation with an IT person at a US IT-based company with $80B+ annual revenue. This person has spent a couple of years training lower-level people IT people based in India. Now the offshoring is moving up the ladder, and the company is replacing him and a couple of hundred other mid-level IT people with staff in India. The management's statement was that if they had to hire three (or more, with no limit) offshore Indians to replace one American, they'd do it.

If three-to-one or more is acceptable for offshored personnel, perhaps one-to-one is acceptable for imported personnel as long as they can get the visas. Facebook and Google are pressing heavily for more tech visas, and I doubt they're only thinking about senior people. I doubt that all of the very numerous Indians here are in senior positions. Perhaps Mr. Mukherjee is lying. I once read about an Indian businessman telling a lie, and I suspect that there have been other instances of which I'm not aware.

--Gartner has warned that “risk mitigation and contingency planning are strategic imperatives for enterprises with outsourcing deals that utilise India-based talent”.

Gartner is not lying. My source's comments about the extreme incompetence and dependency of the offshore staff in India bears this out. Those people don't get any smarter when they're shipped over here. Or more likable. Or more intelligible. Or more to be trusted with access to critical data.

Much of the widely-alleged benefit of offshoring sounds like a typical tunnel-vision fantasy of a stereotypical accountant. As with IT, there are a lot of Indians here working in accounting. I wonder if any of them are pushing both offshoring and importing--and perhaps steering their employers to particular staff sources in India. Of course I wouldn't want to suggest that anyone is taking bribes. No American businessperson--much less a government official--would ever do such a thing, any more than an Indian businessperson would offer a bribe.

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IT'S CHEEEEEAAAAAP!!!!!

"Much of the widely-alleged benefit of offshoring sounds like a typical tunnel-vision fantasy of a stereotypical accountant."

Bingo. I while ago I worked at a UK software outfit that had been bought up by US dot-com lunatics. At one point there were several IT professionals from India visiting the officers on six-month stints and supposedly learning the ropes. The phrase "Don't worry, you're not training up your replacements" was uttered numerous times. A development office was opened in India, the folks there got access to our CM system and the fun really started.

I'm sure there are lots of educated, capable and very well motivated technical types in India, but the people we were asked to work with were about as good as a random UK-born chav would be if plonked into a development role and expected to produce with no pertinent training. Of course there were language problems to contend with as well. I had the impression the US overlords had travelled to India and hired the cheapest people they could find there.

This was all a bit ironic considering the cash the people stateside were burning on nice offices and perks, but given they didn't respect the engineering function I suppose it made sense.

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MJI
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Re: IT'S CHEEEEEAAAAAP!!!!!

As I have said on a few occasions, the good Indian IT staff are running their own companies in India, or are employed at decent wages for India in one of those companies, or are working alongside you as a decent member of your team.

They are not much cheaper but generally are very good.

Beancounters use the inexperienced and not very good.

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Re: IT'S CHEEEEEAAAAAP!!!!!

City of London: If you get access to the figures you might find outsourcing is not as cheap as you think. Certainly when our company cast around, they found that all the outsourcing companies charged about the same for the same tasks. (Collusion? No, how could you suggest such a thing?). The quotes came in around 85% of that required to do it locally.

I guess that makes sense - pay a pittance to those actually doing the job, and charge as much as the market will bear (why charge 30% of local rates when you can charge 85%). Big profit margins.

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@Rambler

"Much of the widely-alleged benefit of offshoring sounds like a typical tunnel-vision fantasy of a stereotypical accountant. As with IT, there are a lot of Indians here working in accounting. I wonder if any of them are pushing both offshoring and importing--and perhaps steering their employers to particular staff sources in India. Of course I wouldn't want to suggest that anyone is taking bribes. No American businessperson--much less a government official--would ever do such a thing, any more than an Indian businessperson would offer a bribe."

I don't think you have to dig that deep to get a reason why you see companies not only onshoring staff but building technical staff over in India.

First to the bean counter who has his MBA from some school, he is taught that the secret to success is to reduce costs which will increase profits. In IT, that means reducing the cost for staff.

If all you need are trained monkeys, you go to where you can find the cheapest trained monkey. (If you don't like monkeys, replace it with seals...)

They don't understand that just because you are a FTE and have the same title as the guy next to you, that you are not equal. They also don't understand that the art in software engineering isn't just to hammer out code that works, but that not only works, but works well and can easily be maintained and extended.

Another myth is that having code that just works is ok because in 3 years, the next great thing is going to happen so they will end up replacing the system. (Only trouble is that you now have a sunk cost in your software and you want to ride it out because you don't have budget to build the next great thing.)

The other truth is that the bean counter gets promoted and a bonus for making short term gains, regardless of the long term expense.

The evidence is that I fail to see one success story here about making things work in an off shore outsourced world.

How many sites do we see that pop up with 'interview questions' and answers?

I've even seen one guy boast that he could learn enough to get the job... and I've heard funny 'horror' stories of interviews gone wrong...

But I digress...

The point is that until the MBA schools teach manager that Offshoring doesn't work... they will continue to do it.

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Anonymous Coward

50% Rejection Not Bad

Wish Cameron and his pet lap dog Clegg could get 50% of economic immigrants to the UK blocked !

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Re: 50% Rejection Not Bad

Yeah, but that's only 50% on India Indians. For Mexicans it is -50% (that it, we import 50% more than we're legally permitted).

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Re: 50% Rejection Not Bad

For Mexicans it is -50% (that it, we import 50% more than we're legally permitted).

Not to defend illegal immigration, but there's a bit of a difference. Indian IT workers are typically doing jobs that would be high paying for Americans and that Americans are willing and able to do.

Illegal Mexican immigrants, on the other hand, typically do low paying work that Americans are unwilling to do for any kind of affordable wage. I spent a summer doing the kind of work that illegals normally get during the summer between high school and college. It was back breaking manual labor, 60 hour weeks of it, and I made a measly $400 a week.* Few Americans are willing to work those hours for that pay, especially if said work involves a more intense workout than you can get at the gym.

*They got around minimum wage by making it a flat rate. So much money for each task, the task in this case being to weed a bean field, with the value being determined by how dense the weeds were in the given field, so a field that took longer paid more. I don't recall all the details, this being 15 years ago and me, at the time, being more interested in being handed a check than worrying about how the wage was calculated.

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Anonymous Coward

Meanwhile

Meanwhile US companies either send yanks abroad to fill senior positions or pull senior job posts back to the homeland so they don't have any ethnics (including Brits) getting any sort of influence.

USA - the greatest threat to the free world.

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Re: Meanwhile

Free World?

Wheres that then?

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Windows

Re: Meanwhile

"Free World? Where's that, then?"

Never fear, Curiosity's near. It'll find it for you unless its power unit fails first.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meanwhile

Meanwhile US companies either send yanks abroad to fill senior positions or pull senior job posts back to the homeland so they don't have any ethnics (including Brits) getting any sort of influence

Sounds a bit like Scottish companies, IME.

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Headmaster

Re: Meanwhile

I know plenty of Brit execs and engineers working in Silicon Valley.

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@AC ... Re: Meanwhile

No, the Brits pull us over because the software ideas were developed and integrated here.

When your management team is so very conservative, you'll watch your intelligent young Brits jump ship from the island and come to the US where they have freedom.

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Anonymous Coward

Xenophobes rule..

This comment thread is going to get seriously unpleasant. having said that, my experience of TCS and other outsourcing companies has left me somewhat less than impressed.

Seems they create teams from out of nothing and throw them into your company with incredibly low prices, incredibly high promises and fail to deliver on either, leaving your staff very disillusioned and often resentful.

Still, your bottom line looks good and those damn IT staff are just a burden on the books.

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Re: Xenophobes rule..

"Xenophobes"

No, I don't think so. I think that what we are seeing is some of the failings of "Globalisation"....

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Re: Xenophobes rule..

People here do seem to be confusing xenophobia and inexperience.

As Tom 38 mentions further down, an idiot from any country will write bad code. It doesn't mater if they are from India, China, the UK or the US.

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LDS
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Re: Xenophobes rule..

Yes, but managment has a tendency to hire cheap idiots - just because they are cheap - and the cheaper they are, the less they look at their real skills - after all coding is easy, isn't it?

When they have to shell out more money, they become much more careful about who they hire.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Xenophobes rule..

"Yes, but managment has a tendency to hire cheap idiots"

Well, if you've little respect for a job, and think idiots will do, I guess it makes sense to hire from the cheaper end of the idiot pool.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Xenophobes rule..

I have to say I've worked with a lot of people over the years and I'd say a good 25% have been utterly useless, 50% barely capable, 20% capable, 4% good, 1% excellent.

Didn't matter where they happened to have be shot out of their mothers vagoo.

Me? Competent I suppose.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Xenophobes rule..

Don't know what this has to do with 'xenophobia' but...the wife works for a very large insurance company. Said company outsourced all of it's IT to India, courtesy of Tata (or some other outfit like it).

Basically work doesn't get done. The Indian side of the equation constantly lies, saying "this has been done" and even when presented with the evidence that their "work" is garbage, broken, and incomplete...still, it continues. Management has told everyone "they are not allowed to talk about the Indian contractors" despite the constant fuck-ups they cause.

So who is responsible? Even the VPs are hamstrung because it is the shareholders who WANT this in the name of "savings." But nothing is being saved. I don't know what it takes to get through the thick skulls of the shareholders that the Indians are destroying the company from within.

50% rejected? In the name of sanity it should be 100%.

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Re: 50% rejected? In the name of sanity it should be 100%.

I don't have a problem with hiring from outside the country if there really isn't someone inside the country who has the qualifications to perform the work. Problem is, as Tata seems to be admitting, this has nothing to do with there not being anyone here who is available and can do the work. I think the same thing should apply to every country: hire from your own ranks first, then seek additional help from elsewhere when you run out of qualified people.

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Re: Xenophobes rule..

I don't think it's xenophobia at all. Outsourcing is, at best, short term gain - long term loss. When you outsource labor you (sometimes) pay less in wages, but you're removing money from the economy that supports your company. A few companies outsourcing a few positions isn't a big deal, but when you have hundreds of companies outsourcing thousands of jobs each that's a lot of money leaving your own economy. When you damage your economy you damage your own bottom line.

I guess what I'm saying is that it simply doesn't make economic sense in the long run to outsource more than a few jobs, and then only if you can't find local talent able to do it for a reasonable salary.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Xenophobes rule..

Yes, and there is the catastrophic loss of knowhow - not that the outsorcers' loss is the remote body shops' gain...

Sadly, I think it is irreversable.

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Re: careful who they hire?

"When they have to shell out more money, they become much more careful about who they hire."

When you look at the spin rate for CEOs I don't think you will find care in hiring decisions being made at US companies whether at the very top or the very bottom.

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Re: Xenophobes rule..

I cant help wonder if this sort of thinking is to do with share dividends.

Short term, hire cheap crappy staff for the next few financial years each April profits look nice so share dividends are high bonuses all round for the board etc. Ten years down the line doesn't really matter does it if your policies fuck up a company for those ten years you get your cash and then bugger off.

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So the US can expect to see a massive rise in code quality and a dramatic decrease it stuff that has to be totally rewritten from scratch by someone that costs ten times as much but actually knows what they're doing. I wish that all developed nations would actually enforce the "skilled" requirement of these guys visa applications.. by excluding 99% of developers from India, Vietnam etc local people could actually get entry level jobs and big state funded IT projects etc might actually work for once.

And if you're thinking I'm just being nasty about the foreigners that "took our jobs!" you'll understand once you see 4000+ line classes that are 90%+ identical to 100s of other classes in the same codebase and have to fix it or are bleeding money paying expensive consultants to fix it.

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Flame

Except you are just being nasty about the foreigners - junior developers who have little experience tend to write bad code, whether they are Indian or from Sacramento. Hiring Merkin does not necessarily improve code quality, only hiring experience improves code quality.

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