NASSCOM spends only a fraction compared to Cognizant
By American Bazaar Staff
WASHINGTON, DC: If you were to presume that the Indian government lobbies on Capitol Hill, you are of course right, it does. And if you were to further presume that some Indian companies and vested interests lobby too, that is true too. But if you were to presume that the Indian government spends more money in lobbying than any other entity with interests in India, you are wrong.
The Indian government spent $180,000 in the first quarter of this year to its lobbying firm Barbour Griffith & Rogers LLC, to further bilateral relations and increase commerce between India and the US. Since September 2005, the Indian government has spent around $5 million, according to Congressional disclosures.
But it may come as a surprise to many that the New Jersey-based technology services firm Cognizant, whose business and employees is mostly located in India, spent a whopping nearly $1.95 million on lobbying Capitol Hill in 2012, to influence lawmakers on issues pertaining to work visas like H-1B and L1, as well as outsourcing issues. In the first quarter of 2013, Cognizant has spent $40,000 for their cause, reflecting that they did their work ahead of the immigration reform proposals now in the Senate.
In comparison, India’s technology services behemoth Wipro, based in Bangalore, spent $290,000 in their lobbying efforts last year. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), a trade association of Indian Information Technology (IT) and Business Processing companies, had in comparison to Cognizant, spent only a meager $115,000 in 2012. It reflects the disparity between what individual companies think is best for them and what India’s premier trade body is doing for the cause of the industry. In this year’s quarter, NASSCOM has spent $30,000 on lobbying.
Other Indian companies who decided to change the course of action on Capitol Hill through lobbying include ONGC Videsh Ltd. which has paid $20,000 this year to Patton Boggs LLC, for issues related to Iran sanctions.
But the lobbying efforts of the Indian government and Cognizant pale into insignificance, when it comes to the retail giant Wal-Mart, who has spent more than $34 million since 2008, including lobbying for access to Indian markets.