The US immigration services and consulting firm, VisaPro, is looking at generating an additional $ 1 billion in two-way trade with Indian companies seeking US entry through a B2B programme which it plans to conduct after identifying right candidates in an extensive six-city workshops beginning January, 2012.
"If we can take 100 companies across the country, we believe we can bring a billion-dollar trade between the two countries. We educate them about doing business in the US, identify the right companies and close the process," Venkat Ramineni, International Director, Business Consulting of VisaPro said.
Developing B2B platform in India is a shift in focus for an American immigration services law firm as it used to be all about manpower transfer in the past with Indian exports to the US dominated by IT and software services, requiring offshore deployment of employees in large numbers.
"Over the last 4-5 years there is an increased interest from various industries and hence we are looking at building a broader platform in association with industry associations and the governments of both the countries," he told Business Standard
To achieve this objective, US immigration law firm is bringing its experts to India to speak on 125 different topics ranging from market entry, incorporation, IP product liability, tax strategies to employer compliance at the workshops to be held between January 28-February 8, next year across six cities of Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai and New Delhi. The participation in each workshop is restricted to 100 companies while the B2B programme that follows later will involve 100 companies from Indian side, according to Venkat Ramineni.
This programme, according to him, marks just the beginning of such an initiative considering the huge entrepreneurial and business potential that exists in India capable of tapping the US market, particularly after the two countries had got closer. "In China they host such programmes in places as big as Pragati Maidan of Delhi, Therefore what we are doing could be a whole lot bigger".
As long as a company has a product or a service that has a market, the firm will teach them how to go about it, provide necessary assistance and navigate the company, he said. However, after analysing the potential a company may also be advised not to inter the market. While large companies require assistance with compliance issues, small and medium companies need assistance with entry and exit management, according to him.
Visa refusals a major concern for IT companies
IT and software services companies still see immigration issues as a major hurdle for their expansion in the US market, according to Venkat Ramineni. Though the US immigration laws remained as they were before, there is a more tightening of adjudication process in the current economic situation in that country, he said. This situation has created a kind of imbalance because the companies have not adequately understood this shift and make changes in their approach, according to him.
In his view, this is the reason why 40-50% of the visa applications filed by these companies are being denied clearance . However, the number of immigration applications approved from India has not comedown, according to him. "Even while more applications are coming back with denials, the number (of approvals) finally continue to be significantly dominated by those coming from India into the US whether it is H1s or L1s. Still Indians maintain the lead as in the past several years," said Ramineni.