Reality? Not Anymore!

By : |May 16, 2001 0

Slowdown! Slowdown! Slow-down! This has been the theme for some time now at all software parties. Times are slow for the industry, slower for companies and slowest for software professionals, particularly excruciating for a breed used to life in the fast lane. Business is down, contracts are being renegotiated and aspirations of US immigration are dying a sudden death.

In such grueling times, is it politically correct to ask companies that burning question–what do your pay your employees? Probably not, but we reasoned that it is only in lean times that companies go on the
penny-pinching mode–sure, they wouldn’t be saving on paper clips or
reusing envelopes and plastic cups, but there would surely be a noticeable impact on perks and increments, foreign trips and high-speed car purchases. It was this thought that drove Dataquest to get into the act and carry out a compensation survey in India’s top software companies. Apart from talking to chiefs of HR departments, a perception survey was also conducted among employees in these companies.

Coming back to the basic question–how much do software professionals make? A simple answer, that still holds good–plenty. In these days of recession, there is also another question–have salaries been hit by the downturn of the past few months? Short answer–NO! But yes, the exponential rise in salaries that industry saw in the last few years has sobered down. No one is facing pay-cuts, but increments and perks are definitely south-bound. And for some time at least, those fantastic pay hikes of 50-100% are out.

The tables and charts in the following pages paint a detailed picture of what salary packages in the Indian software industry are beginning to look like. But before getting into that, here are some snapshots:

  • Software professionals
    with 10 years’ experience in a Top 10 company make, on an average, a
    little over Rs 11 lakh a year.

  • The top-end salary that DQ encountered was for a vice-president in one of these companies–Rs 4 crore per year! But hang on, he is based in the US and this is the rupee conversion of his total package.

  • At the lower and middle levels, perks are all but negligible. It is only at very high levels that perks actually start having a meaningful presence.

  • There is a freeze on increments across the board. While no one is talking about it, harsh times have ensured that no one is complaining about it either.

Click here to read the full report.

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