By Sankalp Phartiyal
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian software services exporter HCL Technologies said on Monday it will create 12,000 new jobs in the United States through the next five years as part of a plan to shore up business and enhance client support in a key growth market.
Nearly 2,000 of the new jobs will go to college graduates over the next three years, HCL said, adding that the company will focus its U.S. recruitment drive on seven states including North Carolina, Texas and Connecticut.
Hiring will be done across roles including in IT consulting, cloud, data analytics and digital engineering.
"It's essentially becoming a global delivery centre network and in that scheme of things (being) in the local geography, customer proximity from the point of view of time zone becomes an important aspect of how we plan our delivery," Ramachandran Sundararajan, Executive Vice President of Human Resources at HCL America Inc, told Reuters ahead of the announcement.
India's $190 billion IT services industry, led by Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys, has long used H1-B skilled worker visas to fly computer engineers to the United States, its largest overseas market, temporarily to service clients.
But most companies began recruiting more heavily in the United States and some sped up acquisitions due to former U.S. president Donald Trump's protectionist technology visa policies.
HCL has not made any "strategic shift" in terms of its H1-B dependence, Sundararajan said, adding that the company's H1-B visa applications were among the lowest for India-based companies.
HCL last month said it opened a delivery centre in Hartford, Connecticut to service industrial tools maker Stanley Black & Decker.
The Indian company said at the time it planned to use this centre for clients in other industries including in aerospace and defence, insurance, life sciences and health care.
HCL employs more than 187,000 people globally.
(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)