Here is the complete transcript of N Chandrasekaran's interview with NDTV Profit's Prashant Nair.
Prashant: Apart from the picture perfect scenery, what’s the take away…I mean this time around, what’s the mood like?
Chandrasekaran: It’s the first day so I need to wait for a couple of more days but basically you get to see a lot of things in Davos. You get to meet a lot of people, you get to attend some very important sessions and also you get an opportunity to increase your network. Look at all of that, you get a sense and mood especially… What I am looking at is what people have to say about the euro crisis, the jobless growth in US and overall economy per se.
Prashant: Can you see a direct take away for your business? I mean how you plan for the future?
Chandrasekaran: You get a sense but you know you cannot translate things directly. But by and large you get a good sense of how people are thinking.
Prashant: And day one I know it’s early… We are just getting started. What’s the sense about these two issues?
Chandrasekaran: I mean it’s a mix bag. I met with a few people to feel that 2012 may be better than last year but at the same time it’s going to take time.
Prashant: I interacted with you in the quarterly earning seasons. We chatted about what if the euro zone was to break up. I am sure that’s come up quite often here in your conversations?
Chandrasekaran: A bit…but i think everyone is waiting to see the five’ o clock session today.
Prashant: Coming to the US because as you said the recovery has been jobless so as to speak I mean the GDP growth is coming right back up, the economy is nowhere near adding enough jobs that it has lost. President Obama kicked off his campaign and in the State of the Union Address, he made and he thrust upon a very important issue, that is the tax code, and his basic message was that we have to plug the loop holes which allow companies which ship jobs overseas and we got to disincentivise them, and provide incentives to companies that bring jobs back. As the largest IT outsourcing company out of India what’s your reaction to that?
Chandrasekaran: I think the way to look at it over all, I have not seen the full script yet but i have seen the excerpts, he is talking about all the right things overall that
America needs to do and definitely this whole job creation is stopping the agenda and outsourcing has been an issue that has figured constantly in President’s speech time and again. So, I think in the election year you will see more and more actions, speeches, both towards creating jobs and what it will mean to outsourcing will differ. It’s very difficult to predict. From my point of view, as I have always maintained, you have got to deliver solutions for the customers and what all the steps need to identify the resources to be able to solve the projects and we have the global sourcing model and we will continue to deploy the global sourcing model…
Prashant: The basic crux of the business model for Indian outsourcing companies is the cost advantage. I mean getting a lot of work done cheaply off shore in India…in your case. President Obama seems to be attacking that core. I mean that’s got to have implications. I read the whole speech and it is pretty vague. I don’t know what exactly they are going to put in there, so it’s tough to put guess on that but by and large that is what he is saying and that sort of a big difference in terms of competitiveness … that’s got to even out…
Chandrasekaran: See, I think you can take extreme view like what you are articulating but two or three points I would like to make. First is that it is not a model for a particular company. Today global sourcing is a model for all the companies, whether it is Indian companies, western companies, whether it is captives, whether it is a services company. Both from a talent point of view and from the economic point of view, it is something that has become a main stage and whatever be the actions that this particular angle will result in, that will definitely require jobs to be created in the US, which means that there will be jobs that will be created in the US…and it does not mean that you will not do offshoring because at the end of the day we won’t be able to serve all customers without leveraging India. Just as the sheer size of the skills that are required, so we need to continue to leverage India and India will play big part…
Prashant: Does this mean you will move a lot of people on-site?
Chandrasekaran: We don’t know, we don’t know because, as I have always said, you don’t do things just to put a tick mark somewhere. At the end of the day whatever you do has to be a business model, so whatever tweaks you have to do to the business model in order that you will be able to deliver the solution and at the same time it’s practical in a political environment, in a compliance environment, that something that we got to do.
Prashant: What are you hearing here in Davos on this issue?
Chandrasekaran: Really I have not heard about this particular topic.
Prashant: But you mention there is an election here so is it is going to be rhetoric or you think is it going to translate into something?
Chandrasekaran: As long as there is a pressure on job creation, and there will be changes…some will be regulatory in nature and some with be done with any other angle but those things will happen not only in US it can happen anywhere. Job creation is something that is important for all nations and as long as there is election or not…this will be a topic.
Prashant: So in a way this is inevitable that is what you are saying?
Chandrasekaran: I am not saying that, I am saying that I am not going to take an extreme measure, like what you are saying… It’s not practical to say that all the work will be done in a particular location in a particular country etc…Whatever model changes that we need to do which I don’t know…what it is today we continue to create jobs in the US. We have centers in multiple places…which center will do what portion of work and that will evolve over a period of time.
Prashant: Chandra, thanks very much for your time great to chat with you here in Davos
Chandrasekaran: Thank you Prashant.