Globalization needs to be shown as something that is benefiting the societies and people rather than impacting jobs, believes Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani. He highlighted that companies have to be active local players wherever they operate, while they need to have a localization strategy and articulation of partnership with the country.
Speaking at a virtual session organized by the Public Affairs Forum of India, Nilekani said the problem is that people describe globalization as something which affects jobs and lives. “If we can show that globalization is actually benefiting societies and people, then I think we’ll be able to do quite well,” he said.
Nilekani, founding architect of Aadhaar, gave an example of how Infosys made a very strategic decision about three to four years ago about accelerating localization of its employees, and as such hired 12,000 people in the US and committed to hiring an additional 13,000 people. “That has dramatically changed perceptions and the support. We have centres in different US cities and in each city, the local state government and the governor, are the biggest supporters of Infosys.” Nilekani said if companies can show the intent to do things locally in terms of creating jobs and boost the economy, then they would be welcomed anywhere in the world.
In regards to Atmanirbhar Bharat, the non-executive chairman said it aims to make the country self-reliant nation through pursuing various policies. With all countries talking about increasing self-reliance, Nilekani believes it doesn’t mean protectionism. “It means having a strong base as well as accessing global technology. India today continues to be a major consumer of global technology and global products like chips, and equipment are coming from outside and I think that is welcome.”