India’s richest man calls Donald Trump “a blessing in disguise for India”

Image: Reuters/B Mathur
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Many of Donald Trump’s executive orders may have left the US and the world shocked, but India’s biggest businessman believes the new US president may be good for the world’s fastest-growing major economy.

“Actually, Trump might be a blessing in disguise. It (Trump’s appointment) will help Indian talent and Indian IT industry to focus on solving problems in India,” Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said today (Feb. 16).

“The domestic market is huge and this provides an opportunity to improve people’s quality of life and to make sure industries are more productive,” the country’s richest man said at an event organised by Indian IT industry lobby Nasscom.

India’s $150-billion IT outsourcing sector has a massive exposure to the US and could be the most vulnerable to Trump’s protectionist stance. Outsourcing firms based in the country, which get over 65% of their revenue from the US, depend heavily on US work visas. Over the last couple of months, at least two bills to tighten norms for issuing the H-1B, the long-term work visa, have been proposed in the American congress.

Around 9.5% of India’s GDP comes from the outsourcing industry, which employs nearly 3.7 million people. The proposed bills have battered the stocks of large companies like Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services.

Yet, Ambani sees a silver lining.