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Salaries stay fit and fat despite slowdown

business Updated: Aug 20, 2008 00:02 IST
HT Correspondent

Corporate employees in India are set for strong pay hikes for the fifth straight year despite economic slowdown and inflation squeezing profit margins.

So said a global human resource consulting firm on Tuesday.

The average hike for 2009 will be 13.9 per cent, a tad lower than this year’s 14.8 per cent, but it will still be robust compared to many other countries, according to a survey by Hewitt Associates.

The survey comes at a time when rising input costs and slackening demand are eating into corporate profits. “Contrary to expectations, there has not been a dramatic move to downbeat macro-economic factors on compensation,” said Sandeep Chaudhary, leader of Hewitt’s Rewards Consulting Practice in India.

The survey covered 160 companies across various sectors - infrastructure, banking and financial services, manufacturing, telecom, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, retail and information technology.

The telecom sector, helped by rise in mobile phone demand, is projected to offer bigger salary hikes in 2009, while infrastructure has emerged the new hot-job spinner, Hewitt said.

Information technology and IT-enabled services, favoured by young job-seekers, have lost steam with their biggest client, the United States, slipping into recession mode.

Satyam Computers Ltd., where average salary hikes in 2007 were 18-20 per cent, has kept the average increment this year at 12-14 per cent, said SV Krishnan, head of human resources at the company.

“People are expecting wage hikes to be muted for some time for the simple reason that after a period of explosive growth in India, a sense of realism is coming,” said an Infosys spokesperson.