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Multinationals need to create local opportunities, says Satya Nadella

LiveMint logoLiveMint 11-05-2017 Lalit K. Jha

Seattle: Microsoft’s India-born chief Satya Nadella has said that multinational companies need to give back to local communities and generate businesses for them to ensure long-term growth at a time when politicians from major countries are harping on nationalism.

“Any company that just collects rent internationally will be in trouble,” Nadella told financial analysts at the company’s annual developers conference ‘Microsoft Build 2017’. The 49-year-old Indian-American CEO underscored the need of multinational companies to give it back to local communities and generate businesses locally.

This, he said, is important for any company’s long term growth. “One just cannot set up shop and give nothing back, one has to ‘create local opportunity’,” he asserted during the three-day conference that kicked off on Wednesday.

This becomes more relevant at a time when politicians in major countries are stressing on nationalism and challenging the decades-old globalisation trend.

“Every head of state only cares about one thing: it is about their country first. In the US it is about America first, and in Britain it is about Britain first,” he said, referring to US President Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ policy.

Trump vowed to focus his foreign policy on American interests and American national security. In April, he announced a new executive order to promote his America First agenda, ordering the federal government to implement his buy American, and hire American policies.

Trump also called for a review of the H-1B visa programme, saying they should never be used to replace American workers and be must given to the most skilled and highest paid applicants.

Nadella said companies must be able to show in terms of what they have done for that country. “In terms of local taxes, in terms of local small business productivity, local large business competitiveness, their educational outcomes, their entrepreneurial work, that’s what matters,” said the Microsoft CEO.

Earlier in the day, Nadella said the global tech community is witnessing a major shift.

“Even the micro services, workflows, advanced analytics that people are building in the cloud are all pointing to what I think is a fundamental change in the paradigm of the apps that we are building, a change in the world view that we have. We’re moving from what is today’s mobile-first, cloud-first world to a new world that is going to be made up of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge,” he said.

Nadella said the user experience is getting distributed across devices.

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