Information technology workers can expect another bonanza year from April. In the backdrop of growing attrition, higher inflation and a limited talent pool, domestic leaders Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro and their global competitors including Accenture, Capgemini and Electronic Data Systems (EDS) have lined up average salary increases ranging from 12 to 20 per cent for both recent entrants and middle managers.
Industry officials say middle managers can also expect performance-linked bonuses in the region of 15 to 35 per cent of their salaries, in addition to employee stock options that companies plan to issue before the start of the new financial year in April.
Performance appraisals in the current season will mirror last year's trend, say headhunters. Effectively, a fresh graduate drawing a salary of Rs two lakh per annum could get Rs three lakh said Rajesh Tolia, an official of K-10, a recruitment firm.
"On an average, we are looking at increases of 12 to 14.5 per cent across the board," Atul Nishar, chairman of mid-sized IT services firm Hexaware told Hindustan Times. "We will be offering similar hikes and even more for specialised areas like ERP and CRM," said a senior official from Cognizant Technology Solutions, the Nasdaq-listed US company whose operations are predominantly centred in India.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) involves business software that helps corporate clients manage key aspects such as payrolls and inventories, while CRM refers to customer relations management (CRM).
The reasons for the fat increase are largely the same — a limited talent pool, surging demand resulting from more outsourcing of work to India and a staff attrition rate of about 18 per cent, said Kiran Karnik, president of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom).
Despite rising inflation and skyrocketing real estate costs, companies are being forced to pay high salaries to their employees. "A limited talent pool and a huge demand are making companies to fork out higher salaries," said Raghu Sakuru, managing director of Kenexa, human resource software company.
The hikes will mostly be given to entry and middle level executives who mostly look at switching jobs. This trend is seen even from a person who joins from non-IT sector.
"A candidate from a non-IT background after gaining a little IT experience on top of domain experience (industry expertise) hops jobs relatively faster in the ERP or consulting areas," said Shrikant Kulkarni, Senior vice-president of human resources at KPIT Cummins Infosystems.
Recently, ECA International, the world's largest organisation for human resource professionals, pointed out in a survey that Indian employers would pay the highest salaries compared with any other country.
According to Nasscom, the Indian IT/BPO (business process outsourcing) work-force is expected to be 2.3 million by 2010. Despite this, the IT services sector will require 1,50,000 employees while the BPO sector will require 3,50,000 trained people.