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Thank you Donald Trump!

21 February 2017 | Source: Times of India

Mr Trump has done Indian ITa big favour. I believe his focus on immigration reforms and planned restrictions on H-1B visas in the US is a boon in disguise for Indian IT because of four reasons.

Firstly, change impacts everyone equally, however some respond to it by dragging their feet while others leap forward. I believe this is a great opportunity, as good as the recession in 2008, for smart and nimble organizations to increase market share by being part of the "solution" rather than being at the centre of the "problem". Winners this time around will be those who embrace the change, hire locally and proactively announce the number of local jobs they would create.

Secondly, there is a huge opportunity for Indian IT to create local pools of talent across the US as they have done in India. Combined with advances in artificial intelligence, I believe that over time these US based local centres can deliver services at similar costs to the ones delivered from India. It would be a race of who can get there first.

Thirdly, India today grabs nearly two-thirds of H-1Bs, which is a huge brain drain by any standard. As per a report, Indian-founded startups in the US accounted for 26% of all startups, generating over 110,000 jobs. Imagine if even half of those startups were founded back in India and imagine the future Sundar Pichais and Satya Nadellas leading the new age Indian product companies.

Last reason why we need to thank Mr Trump is because he has woken up Indian IT from its slumber. It is now left with no choice but to reinvent itself - moving away from linearity — where growth is inextricably linked to the number of bodies — to a more non-linear model which thrives on products, ideas and innovation and finally brushing away the tag of "body shoppers".

If Indian IT were to meet Mr Trump and promise to create 10,000 new local jobs, the commentary will change overnight. But the million-dollar question is will we fight the change or lead by riding the waves of change before it drowns us.

(The writer is founder, Sampark Foundation, and former CEO, HCL Technologies)