In a response to the damning testimony that Infosys employee and whistleblower Jay Palmer presented to a Senate subcommittee hearing on immigration reform yesterday, Infosys has released a statement claiming that the testimony was untruthful, and denied that the company has mistreated Palmer.
In my post yesterday, "Infosys Whistleblower Provides Hard-hitting Testimony to Senate Hearing," I quoted extensively from Palmer's testimony. You can't read it without being blown away by the flagrancy and insidiousness of Infosys' alleged violations, so it's unsurprising that Infosys felt backed into a corner and needed to lash out. According to a report on NDTV Profit, a media outlet in India, this was the response:
In its response, Infosys today said that Jay Palmer's commentary to the Senate was full of exaggerations and falsehoods. The company said that Palmer wanted to advance his objective of getting a big payout from the company and there was no strategy to circumvent the H-1B visa programme. Palmer's complaints to the company had been handled in compliance with the law and Infosys did not retaliate or mistreat Palmer in any way, a statement by the company said.
As an aside, the NDTV Profit article referred to Palmer as a "former Infosys employee," which is a mistake. Palmer is still an employee of Infosys. In any case,
this is the first time I'm aware of that Infosys has accused Palmer of being untruthful. It makes me wonder whether the company is fully aware of all the evidence that Palmer and his attorney have in their possession. I would love to see Infosys' executives questioned under oath and compelled to identify what it was in Palmer's testimony that was an exaggeration or a falsehood. I would also love to see the looks on their faces when Palmer's attorney presents that evidence, including evidence of retaliation against and mistreatment of Palmer. Bottom line, this was a very ill-advised statement for Infosys to have released to the press. Wearing my hat as a partner in QVerity, a company that does training and consulting in detecting deception, I can tell you that attacking the accuser is a classic behavioral indicator of deception, and is typically seen when the accused feels particularly pressured by the facts of the case.
In a separate "What were they thinking?" development, you have to give Infosys the chutzpah award of the year. At a time when the U.S. government is conducting a multi-agency criminal investigation of Infosys stemming from Palmer's allegations, Infosys is making a concerted effort to increase its presence in the government sector in the United States, and by extension, to get more money from U.S. taxpayers.
According to a report on Livemint.com, a media partner of The Wall Street Journal, Infosys Public Services (IPS), the Infosys arm that targets state and federal government business, is taking steps to ramp up its operations in the United States. Here's an excerpt:
[IPS] is looking to hire about 800 people this fiscal year, including around 300 for its development centre in Texas, IPS chief executive Eric Paternoster said. The centre has already hired about 200 people in the past few quarters. The bulk of Bangalore-headquartered Infosys' revenue comes from the US corporate world. US government spending on information technology (IT) presents a neglected but addressable market for the firm. Currently, only 2-3% of North American revenue for Infosys comes from direct or indirect work for the US government, Paternoster said. For the June quarter, 64% of Infosys' $1.6 billion revenue came from the US.
"Government spending accounts for a third of all IT spending worldwide," Paternoster said in a phone interview from the US on Monday. "While we have been doing work for the government, it has been in an ad-hoc, non-focused manner." Infosys set up the subsidiary in October 2009, training an eye specifically on this market. US revenue for Infosys grew 5.1% in the June quarter over the preceding three months. "From a small base, we expect to grow much faster than the group overall," Paternoster said. The theoretical addressable market for Infosys in the US government sector is about $2 billion, he estimated. "Of that, there is a $500 million space which we can focus on." ... IPS will focus on deals related to civilian technologies.
Here's the kicker:
Paternoster said while many government agencies seek on-site work to preserve US jobs, he expects cost pressures to push many of them to consider the offshoring model as well. He sees an equal mix of onshore and offshore deals for IPS eventually in terms of revenue.
How's that for chutzpah?