Tata boss urges reform of immigration laws

The boss of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), one of India’s biggest companies, has urged the Government to reform Britain’s immigration laws and close the skills gap to boost growth.

Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chief executive of TCS, part of India’s $100bn (£63bn) Tata Group which has 9,000 staff in Britain, said investing in the UK would be far easier if “labour mobility” was improved.

“Britain must simplify the visa system for workers wanting to come in and out,” Mr Chandrasekaran told The Sunday Telegraph in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The boss of the IT and technology services group said economic growth would be driven by companies overhauling their processes and driving efficiencies. He said Tata was in a “unique position” to help but Britain’s immigration laws were hampering his efforts.

“Our people don’t want to immigrate [to Britain], they want to come and work and leave,” he said. “We want to be able to help clients but need more flexibility of labour.”

He also called for the Government to focus on skills. “Invest in education and make the skills relevant to business,” he said.

“Government and business need to work together to develop a skill set that is changing rapidly.”

Tata Group is India’s biggest industrial conglome­rate which also owns Jaguar Land Rover. Under Mr Chandrasekaran’s leadership, TCS has become one of the group’s fastest growing divisions. TCS, which is listed on the Mumbai Stock Exchange, has 254,000 consultants in 45 countries and reported $10.2bn (£6.5bn) turnover in the year to March 2012.

In the UK, the company has expanded from a couple of hundred employees to around 9,000 in six years. “We are hiring all over the world,” said Mr Chandrasekaran.

He argued that all companies, from banks to retailers and manufacturers, were looking to adapt their business models and their systems to achieve growth.

He said the rapid pace of digital technologies was changing business fast.

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