Local hiring for overseas operations seems to be the new mantra with India's large software service providers in their bid to position themselves as truly global players and burnish their image in advanced economies hit by falling employment amid the downturn.
Tata Consultancy (TCS), Infosys and Wipro, which together make up about a third of India's IT exports, now have a number of foreigners in their top echelons following recruitment of foreign nationals for junior and mid-level positions in the past.
According to analysts, this seems to be part of a transition in mindset at these companies to break out of the mold and aspire to be like Oracle, IBM, Accenture and SAP. As Indian companies ramp up operations they are able to tap the best foreign talent as against the earlier consideration of settling for what was available, the add.
The past year has seen many top positions at Wipro Technologies go to foreigners. American Martha Bejar took over as president, global sales and operations at Wipro, India's third largest software exporter, after leaving Microsoft while Ralf Reich, a former Unisys executive in charge of strategic outsourcing in continental Europe, took over as head of German operations.
Wipro's French and Japanese operations are also headed by non-Indians.
Similarly, Infosys' German, French and Australian operations are headed by locals. Jackie Korhonen, ex-vice-president of managed business process services for IBM Australia and New Zealand, now is in charge of Infosys operations in Australia.
TCS, India's largest technology services company, has nearly 12 per cent foreign nationals making up the senior management, with John Lenzen, global head of marketing, Gabriel Rozman global head of emerging and Carol Wilson, global business unit head, Hi-Tech solutions unit among them.
Besides other benefits, local hiring also helps allay fears of job losses among the host community, say analysts. It adds a local flavour to the sales effort. Besides, it also goes down well with local politicians, they say.