Infosys and TCS have been strengthening their ties with their existing Japanese clients.
When Rajesh M*, an IT professional, got a chance to travel onsite for either to Japan or US, he chose Japan.
"I don't have to worry about my visa like in the US or uncertainty surrounding Brexit in the UK or other parts of Europe. Here there is a good much demand for IT engineers here, so I don’t have to worry about if I will be fired or not," he said. He moved to Osaka in Japan with his wife and seven-year-old daughter last year.
Bhaskar M*, a recent engineering graduate, has also wants to go to Japan for the same reason.
"At present, Japan has the best ecosystem for immigrants. There are lot of opportunities for students and it only increases as you master the language," he said. Bhaskar now works for a tech firm in Japan, having completed his Japanese proficiency exams.
Japan is slowly emerging as the favoured onsite destination for Indian engineers and also for IT companies.
As Rajesh reasoned, the interest is in part driven by growing visa issues and macro-economic challenges in other geographies. On the other hand, there is a huge demand for tech workforce in the country.
In 2017, Shigeki Maeda, executive vice-president of the Tokyo-based Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), told mediapersons that Japan is looking to hire two lakh IT professionals as enterprises in the country increasingly adopt emerging technologies in manufacturing space. There is a huge demand for skilled workforce in this space, which the country lacks, he said.
Maeda also added that Japan is introducing immigrant visa that allows Indian to get permanent residence in two years unlike the US or UK.
In an earlier interaction with Moneycontrol, Mohandas Pai, agreed that as Japan opens up, it offers huge potential for India IT majors. "With Japan coming up with H1-B like visas for permanent residency, it is a much better alternative for IT professionals as well," he said.
The Economic Survey 2019 too briefly mentioned about the how other geographies such as Japan are offering newer opportunities for growth.
IT companies strengthening their Japanese partnership
TCS recently increased its stake by 15 percent to 66 percent in TCS Japan, a joint venture between TCS and Mitsubishi Corporation. The JV was established in July 2014.
Rajesh Gopinathan, CEO, TCS, in a press briefing after its Q1 results announcement said that Mitsubishi decided to reduce their shareholding to 34 percent since they were comfortable with the partnership. “It was a long journey and we are quite happy. We are in there for the long-term,” he added.
In its BSE filing last month, TCS explained that this increased equity is the latest in a series of investments that TCS has made in recent years to cater to the specific needs of Japanese corporations. In 2015 India’s largest IT major launched a Japan-centric Delivery Center (JDC) in Pune, India. TCS also set up its first Pace Port, a creative hub to catalyse technology-led business innovation for Japanese customers in Tokyo.
Infosys too is strengthening its partnership with Japanese clients. The company has formed strategic partnership with Japanese cos such as Hitachi, Panasonic and Pasona Inc last year.
Japan is one of the strategic market for HCL Technologies as well. Its key clientele in Japan include Sony Corp. It also works with automobile players and electronics majors in the country.*names changed to protect identity