iGate will create 500 local jobs in Canada: CEO

Facing wide spread public backlash and a federal government probe on its possible misuse of Canada’s temporary foreign workers program, iGate Corp.’s CEO yesterday said his company’s operations have been good for Canada’s economy, and he expects to create up to 500 local jobs in the country.

“We create a lot of jobs in Canada,” said Phaneesh Murthy, CEO of the outsourcing firm, which together with its client the Royal Bank of Canada, have been embroiled in controversy over the bank’s decision to replace 45 of its IT employees with temporary foreign workers supplied by iGate. “We anticipated that over the next 15 to 18 months actually that we would be creating in excess of 400 to 500 local jobs in Canada just based on our planned growth and so forth.”

During an earnings call Thursday, Murthy also assured his company’s investors that his company was doing well and the prospects for IT outsourcing in North America is looking up despite the recent negative press.

“Is some of the work going offshore? Yes it is. Now, I don’t know exactly how this balance works out, but overall I’ve always believed that it has helped economics and helped countries more than hurt economies,” said Murthy.

Transcripts of the meeting indicated that iGate’s net income for the first quarter of 2013 rose 44 per cent to $34.8 million. The company’s revenue grew to $274 million from $263 million for the same period last year.

Days after the issue touched off a backlash from angry customers, RBC CEO Gord Nixon issued an open letter Thursday to the 45 IT workers who lost their jobs because of the bank’s move to seek temporary foreign workers. In the letter, posted on the bank’s Web site, Nixon promised that the sacked employees will be offered “comparable opportunities” within RBC.

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) is investigating the matter because the replacement workers provided by iGate entered Canada through the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. The program is meant as a stop gap measure for local companies to enable them to fill positions which they could not find local candidates for.

“It was never intended as a means to bring in temporary foreign workers in order to replace already employed Canadian workers,” said HRSDC Minister Diane Finley earlier this week.

Read transcripts of the iGate earnings call here


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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