Tech hiring has become a competitive affair these days. Like racers vying for pole position at a Grand Prix—tech firms are trying to outdo each other to acquire and retain the best talent. Wages or work environment, competition is evident.
With globalization, the fortunes of the Indian Economy underwent a marked change in the last 20 years. Last year, India’s IT industry recorded a decent growth of 13 percent.
Despite the current global slowdown and the industry beginning to feel the heat a little, there are enough exciting happenings in the software sphere—especially in the fast-growing IoT and Engineering R&D segments, to justify revisiting this article. Also, most companies are looking at major transformations that are totally driven by technology. Naturally, this calls for luring the right talent and putting in efforts to retain them.
From body-shopping to outsourcing to the disruptive digital revolution, India has seen it all.
Smaller operating margins, smaller deals, performance pressure, IT budget cuts, and what have you feature on the industry’s list of woes. But that hasn’t stopped most engineers in the country from coveting a position in an IT company. And why not? I’d be lying if I told you I’ve never envied the seemingly “urbane” lifestyle of the IT crowd with their constant need to make a statement. (Pay no attention to my envious rant.)
We have seen tons of software companies springing up in recent years, but telling people that you are working for Google or Infosys does carry, ahem, for lack of a better word, a sort of smug pride. I’m not judging. In fact, I’m "helpfully" going to talk about the top companies in India, in terms of what they pay, to help you zero in on your dream vehicle to financial security.
This table gives a rough idea about what “techies” get paid every year according to Glassdoor and Payscale. The salaries span a wide range, so you could expect the average salary to be closer to what you believe is the right approximation.
|Company||Software Engineer||Senior Software Engineer|
|Salaries (in LPA)||Start||End||Start||End|
Source: Salary for tech roles from Glassdoor.com and PayScale.com.
You just can’t have a top 10 list of anything worthwhile without the search engine giant, Google, on it. Or at least, you need it to get you the list in the first place. Getting into Sundar Pichai-led Google is undoubtedly every IT job seeker’s dream. Data shows you that the great paymaster offers an entry-level software engineer about 40 percent more than a similar recruit in another IT company. In the U.S., the median salary of an employee with less than a year of experience is USD 73,800 pa. Software engineers or programmers beginning their career with Google India can expect a salary that is anywhere between 5 and 38 lakhs per annum (LPA). That is some range! And to sweeten the deal further, Google workplaces know how to pamper its employees beyond belief.
The last name in software design, Adobe retains top talent with its attractive pay packages. Constant reinvention is the mantra of this American multinational raking in over USD 5 billion as revenue. In the Silicon Valley, Adobe offers a median salary of USD 125,000 pa. It may not be a home-grown firm, but LinkedIn’s survey shows that Indian professionals have put it on the Top Attractors list for a reason. Entry-level salaries for software programmers in Adobe India range from about 7 to 14 LPA. Data suggests that the salary hike is almost 1.5 times the starting salary after about 6 years.
Networking and security-hardware—that’s what two-decade-old Juniper is into. The Silicon Valley-based router company, which earned a revenue of about USD 5 billion last year, values its employees and how! According to WSJ, the current median salary for a software engineer in the U.S. is USD 155,000. In India, the salary ranges from 4 to 23 LPA depending on the grade, that is, whether you fall under the software engineer grades I, II, III, or IV.
LinkedIn calls it a “magnet for job-seeking techies” and for good reason. It remains one of the top-paying software companies in India. Whether you want to take home a total compensation of USD 256,933 as a software architect or USD 346,247 as the director of engineering in the U.S., this is a great place to start (Source: Glassdoor). According to Payscale.com, a software engineer in Bangalore can get up to 12 LPA, a software engineer up to 10 LPA, and a technical consultant up to 18 LPA. These are way more than the average salaries for similar positions in most other companies; the brand value of Microsoft is always there for you to tip the decision in its favor. Microsoft may be facing stiff competition from Google for the lion’s share of the corporate market, but really, do you care if you could be the next Satya Nadella taking home a cool USD 18 million as salary?
Microprocessor giant Intel expects revenue of about USD 16 billion in its third quarter this year. Intel’s chips run nearly 90 percent of the PCs, and the company is sitting pretty. Glassdoor says that Intel pays software engineers an average salary of about 11 LPA depending on the grade. Not a paltry sum this!
If you think networking, you think CISCO. India continues to be a top-performing market for Cisco, and its India revenue increased by 20 percent last quarter. A leading cloud IT infrastructure vendor per IDC, the Indian arm of Cisco has a median salary of about 12 LPA for software engineers and about 6 LPA for network engineers.
HackerEarth, which has conducted challenges for companies like McAfee and Adobe, say these tech giants have offered salaries from a range of 3X to 4X depending on the caliber of the candidate. Other surprising entrants to this list are SAP Labs and Honeywell which have offered up to 4X salaries to great candidates. Challenges have been mostly conducted for an experience range of 1–8 years and CTC offered is 8–30 LPA. These dominant companies seem to be going all out to ensure that their top hires stick around, including exciting workplaces, unusual perks, and constantly redesigning strategies.
No also-rans these
Two companies deserve a special mention. Not exactly IT companies but every company is a tech company, right? From a bookseller to the largest online-retailer…I’m talking about—Amazon. With its innovation and a fantastic business model, Jeff Bezos’s consumer-centric baby has also raised the bar in other ways. A Software Development Engineer (SDE) with 1 to 3 years' experience gets paid an average of about INR 13 LPA; throw in stocks and benefits as well.
Then, we have the U.S. finance giant. The first the name that pops up in your mind when I say investment banking is most likely to be Goldman Sachs. Lisa Endlich’s book Goldman Sachs - The Culture of Success is a great read if you want to a peek into its winning business culture. In its Indian set up, a software engineer can take home anywhere between 10 and 12 LPA.
Where our home boys are
There is an air of discontent when you read this, right? Where are the Indian IT companies like TCS, Wipro, or Infosys? They are certainly strong contenders with their revenues totaling USD 16.5 billion, USD 7.34 billion, and USD 9.5 billion last fiscal. Unfortunately, these home boys are not the best paymasters yet. One reason is the demand-supply mismatch.
Stats tell us we have 1.5 million engineers graduating every year in India and competing for about 250,000 jobs! The IT firm is clearly in the driver’s seat, feeling no pressure to hike the salaries of entry-level hires. Indian IT companies have to maintain low costs, tackle inflation, adapt to increasing automation, deal with rate cuts by foreign clients—that’s how they defend their reserved approach anyway. Even then, India continues to be one the best-performing markets for global tech giants. Just ask Dell, Cisco, IBM and VMware if you don’t believe me.
A pleasant surprise if there ever was one
The highest paid companies in India are not restricted to these tech biggies I have been talking about. You are going to be quite surprised as you read. The operations team at HackerEarth tells me that companies like the Delhi-based LendingKart, an online lending platform, and Gurgaon-based MakeMyTrip, a leading online travel portal, are raising the stakes. They are keen to find a place on the list of the best-paying Indian companies, offering up to 6X salaries for software developers. MakeMyTrip has offered software engineers with 2 to 3 years’ experience salaries up to 18 LPA. Obviously, these companies are happy to make exceptions for some candidates.
Hopefully, this post has enough information to steer you in the right direction. If not, please write in with suggestions or comments to add value.