Coming off a period of rancorous debate over the increasingly controversial H-1B visa program, Indian outsourcing firms are trying to counteract what they see as a negative outlook on offshoring.
As we blogged previously, offshoring does appear to be shaping up as a hot-button issue for American presidential candidates. Democrats, in particular, seem increasingly willing to voice anti-offshoring sentiments. President Bush, in contrast, has been generally supportive of offshoring by U.S. companies.
While Indian firms have traditionally tried to stress the economic benefits that they say offshoring brings to America, that approach is no longer effective, reports the Deccan Herald. Phiroz Vandrevala, an executive with Tata Consultancy Services, says:
Telling someone who loses their job in North Carolina or Jacksonville that this is good for the economy doesn't work.
So the firms are applying some lobbying lessons learned from big American corporations: Enlist organizations friendly to the cause (such as the Information Technology Association of America) to help and, when possible, stress the human element of the issue (by asking Americans they have hired to meet with members of Congress).
India's National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) also recently hired Robert Blackwill, the U.S. ambassador to India from 2001 to 2003, to lobby on its behalf.