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Last Updated : Nov 09, 2016 04:34 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Donald Trump will do what is best for US: Narayana Murthy

The challenge for Indian companies with respect to the US is to try to become more valuable to the customers. IT companies can increase value, by mainly delivering on the innovation front and improving productivity and quality of output, says Murthy.

America had a chance to create history by electing Hillary Clinton as the US President, says Infosys Founder, NR Narayana Murthy. But he feels Donald Trump will do what is best for the US. His election as President will not impact Indian companies.

The challenge for Indian companies with respect to the US is to try to become more valuable to the customers. IT companies can increase value, by mainly delivering on the innovation front and improving productivity and quality of output, says Murthy.

Below is the transcript of Narayan Murthy’s interview to Latha Venkatesh and Prashant Nair on CNBC-TV18.

Latha: The IT sector is directly under Donald Trump’s gaze. In a recent campaign speech he even mentioned TCS and HCL Tech by name. Your fears with the Trump presidency. First of all, the Americans have spoken and elected Mr Donald Trump as the president elect. They would have created history if Mrs Hillary Clinton had been elected president, but then that is their democracy, they have chosen and I congratulate the people of the US. In so far as our industry is concerned, we have to look at it at the microeconomic level as I have said many times in the past. Our challenge is to make ourselves more and more attractive for our customers by bringing innovation, by working harder, by working smarter. So, all that we need to do is to become even more attractive to our American customers and then I believe that we will continue to grow like we want. So, there I see it as an challenge.

Latha: But immediately, would you expect visa fees to go up? Visa eligibility conditions to get tighter? Life just gets tougher to get the same amount of business for Indian IT.

A: Again, it all depends upon what their priorities are and how they want to handle it. And I am sure having been in business, President Trump would also listen to lots of business leaders in the country and then if we are seen as very critical to the success of the US industry, both in terms of their domestic revenues and in their export revenues, I am sure they will factor those pieces of information into their decision making.

Prashant: If Mr Trump changes the rules of engagement for American companies with the rest of the world in terms of all these trade deals, renegotiating some of these trade deals, that can have an impact on the companies which provide business to outsourcing companies like Indian IT. Do you see an impact coming indirectly via that route?

A: Whatever happens, at the end of the day, every corporation creates models that look at both benefits and costs. In so far as benefits or losses and costs, then you take such a decision. Therefore as I said, on our side, it is very important for us to become even more valuable to the corporations in the US so that they see greater benefits. That is what is entirely within our hands and that is what we should be doing. So, frankly I do not really worry about any of these macroeconomic issues, at least the decisions at that level, because there is so much of opportunity for us, the Indian companies to improve what we deliver, to improve our productivity, improve our quality, to bring innovation. Therefore, I do not think we should be worrying about those issues.

Latha: Just to persist what colleague was asking, his point is that globalisation is now clearly retreating. It is quite possible that North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is tweaked unrecognisably, if not cancelled altogether. It is quite possible that Chinese companies which were giving out orders worry that they will be singled out and therefore, do not give out orders. Prashant is referring to a general deflation in order giving all over the world. Do you worry something like that could happen?

A: Again, let us remember one thing. In every market, those that win or companies that bring a highest value leverage to consumers. What do you mean by value leverage? Value divided by price they pay. So, therefore, it does not matter what we say at the macroeconomic level, as long as America does not go back to what India was before 1991, I do not think it will matter that much. They may fine tune it here and there, but let us remember that he is the president of 300 million US people and I am sure he will do what is in the best interest of America. And what is in the best interest of America is for its corporations to succeed for its corporations to create more jobs. For its corporations to export more. And what he has said earlier is that there must be balance of payments and he is absolutely right. There is no doubt. There should be balance of payment and for that balance of payment to utter, you just cannot dump and to that extent, Indian companies will not be impacted simply because these do bring tremendous value leverage to American companies. So, I am very positive.
First Published on Nov 9, 2016 02:22 pm
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