Are Infy, TCS least mid-level paymasters?
Source: The Outsource Blog View: 532 Date: 2012-04-16

India may be one of the world’s top IT outsourcing destinations, but the salaries being paid by the employers are among the least from across the globe.

When the results of the study – Worldwide IT Salary 2011 – was announced about five months ago, it was met with incredulity.

Global recruitment service provider was behind the study that found out that mid- to senior-level staff in India were being paid an average salary of $36,120 (approximately Rs.. 18.5 lakh) per annum. It is not even one-fourth of the package at globally top-paying Swiss companies that, on an average, doled out $167,890 (about Rs.. 87 lakh) per annum to their employees.

Another recent study, conducted by globalization and market expansion advisory firm, Zinnov, observes that salary hike in 2011 was around 13 per cent for MNC R&D staff. Also, the Compensation & Benefits Survey 2012 points out that 2011 witnessed the strong revival of R&D investments worldwide.

But what about software developers with the IT majors in the country?

‘Middle’ muddle

In case of freshers, the scale across most of the top companies remain more or less the same. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) pays an annual package of about Rs.. 3.16 lakh, while HCL Technologies and Infosys Technologies offer Rs.. 3.25 lakh CTC. Another big player, Wipro Technologies, gives its college pass-out recruits Rs.. 3.5 lakh yearly.

When it comes to middle-level employees though, the parity somehow starts fading away. Of course, based on several parameters and subject to organizational policies.

Those with more than three years at Infosys can expect an annual package of around Rs.. 5 lakh, which might go up by about two more lakhs based on the technology expertise of an individual candidate. “Compared to market standards, it’s still low here,” says Sandeep Das*, who has been with the company for about five years. On the other hand, salaries for freshers have been hiked by nearly 40 per cent over the last five years.

Presuming a lateral joins the company with about 6-8 years experience, he/she can get from Rs.. 7 lakh to Rs.. 11 lakh, the amount which an existing employee with good consolidated relative ranking (CRR) rating and similar experience would also be entitled to.

At a par?

For the middle level between three and eight years, TCS package could reach Rs.. 9 lakh. “Companies like TCS, HCL, Infosys and Cognizant have a fixed scale and rigid procedures for every slab. Wipro differs here and doesn’t follow all those practices,” said Mohsin Ahmed*, an ex-employee of Wipro.

By the time he left Wipro in 2009 with 3+ experience, he was already drawing Rs.. 7.2 lakh, which, he says, has gone up to Rs.. 8.5 lakh presently.

HCL pays a software developer with more than six years experience in the range of Rs.. 9-10 lakh. “I am a lateral recruit and joined about a month ago. I am getting a Rs.. 8.5 lakh package, though it’s slightly more for others in the company, as my previous employers were neither MNCs nor big players in the Indian market,” said Suresh K*, a technical lead with HCL in Chennai.

What others do

In comparison, the UK-based consulting and technology solutions provider Accenture pays anywhere between Rs.. 5 lakh and Rs.. 9 lakh for its existing employees with more than three years experience and for laterals, ‘industry-standard’ 30 per cent hike, though it could be more based on their verticals and technical expertise.

Said Ahmed, “Among Indian IT companies, Infosys and TCS pay the least, but since they have a large presence and huge reputation built over decades, it increases their credibility and boosts their image among prospective/existing employees and others.”

Among the big IT companies with a presence in India, the New Jersey-headquartered Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTS) is one that normalizes the salary packages for existing employees, who have been with them from the beginning, in line with the current market standards for even laterals.

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