The Infosys co-founder said companies have to be active local players wherever they operate, while they need to have a localisation strategy and “articulation of partnership with the country”.
“I think that the problem is if globalization is seen as something which affects jobs or affects people’s lives. If we can show that globalization is actually benefiting societies and people, then I think we’ll be able to do quite well,” Nilekani said while answering a question on how protectionism is sweeping different parts of the world.
He cited the example of localisation efforts by Infosys in the US, the largest export market for the India-centric software services major.
“Infosys made a very strategic decision about three or four years ago about accelerating localization of its employees, and it hired 12,000 people in the US and committed to hiring (additional) 13,000 people. (So,) 25,000 people in five-six years. And that has dramatically changed perceptions and the support. We have centres in six cities and the local state governments, the governors, the biggest supporters of Infosys,” Nilekani said, adding that ‘what it shows is that if you show intent to do something locally in terms of creating jobs and contribute to the economy, people will welcome you anywhere in the world’.
Nilekani, the founding architect of Aadhaar, also said India’s push for self-reliance or the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative does not mean protectionism.
“All countries are talking about increasing self-reliance. But I don’t think it means protectionism as such. It means having a strong base as well as accessing global technology and global products. India today continues to be a major consumer of global technology and global products,” he said.