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Vinit Garg asked: What could be the impact of Barack Obama's re-election on the Indian IT industry in the next coming years?

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  • Cherian Samuel replies: Outsourcing was not nearly as much of an issue or debating point in these elections as much as the outflow of manufacturing jobs. There are differing points of view on the impact of President Obama's re-election on the Indian IT industry, even within the industry itself. One view is that industry has suffered deeply from policies designed to reduce outsourcing through explicit and implicit methods, such as, raising visa fees and subjecting applicants to rigorous scrutiny. The Indian government is also considering the idea of moving the WTO over the discriminatory nature of the policies on the above issue.

    The other view is that these actions have not really affected the fortunes of the Indian IT industry as much as that of individual companies that have not been nimble enough to explore new areas and verticals and work their way up the value chain in the wake of the global recession. From this perspective, Obama's continued efforts to revive the US economy from which the IT industry derives much of its revenues is more important than the odd legislation designed to keep jobs at home.

    Globalisation has meant that extreme measures will hurt the US companies as much as Indian companies and the recent rejection of the STEMS Job Act of 2012 by the White House also points to how these issues are tied in to much broader issues, such as, comprehensive immigration reform.