Raw deal for India's IT pros

Oct 25 2007 by Derek Torres Print This Article

Paging through the Times of India, I was not surprised to read the following headline: "Indian IT professionals among worst paid globally: survey". This survey, put together by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, really deserves a loud Bronx cheer.

According to the study, India is sitting pretty at number 4 of the Top 10 List of Worst IT paymasters. This study shows that while India hasn't found itself a spot on the podium to win a medal, it's still almost ironic that the pay is so dismal, especially since a few months ago many financial rags were touting the fast growing number of millionaires in India.

But really, what do you expect? A national doesn't become the poster boy for outsourcing jobs by making its local employees rich. Western companies have lined up to create a new caste system in India - and to reduce their own bottom lines. Meanwhile, IT managers in India are making an average salary of $25,000 USD - and yes, that's for managers!

While it wouldn't be reasonable to compare American or European salaries to those in India, the salaries are still low compared to the amount of money pouring in to these IT firms. Keep in mind that these low salaries also reflect often-dreadful working conditions such as round-the-clock teams Ė night and day and weekends.

There's a reason that outsourcing is so attractive to Western nations. But as more and more IT workers in India see the disparity in salary between them and their countrymen working abroad, I'd expect that the brain drain that is currently affecting India will only get worse.

Older Comments

Finally someone writes about this. As a consumer I am appalled that I am speaking with IT professionals and customer service reps about my computer problems, my banking and credit cards etc.

I hope that the IT professionals will leave India in droves to come to the US to make a fair wage and pay taxes that the major coproration refuse to pay by using cheap, that right, cheap labor.

Cathy New York

If an Indian IT professional earned 1/4th his american counterpart, an Indian mechanical engineer or civil engineer probably earns 1/8th his american counterpart. IT salaries in India, though low by global standards, are definitely much higher than salaries of other professions. India has benefited quite a lot by the money that IT brings in. However, there are shocking problems that it has created. For example, house rents in a place like Bangalore: it has simply become unthinkable for anyone other than an IT professional to find a house on rent in that city, because of the skyrocketing of the rents. A mechanical engineer will find it very very hard to live in bangalore, owing to the rents and to the cost of other amenities, services, and simply, food in a decent restaurant. I am glad, in a way, that salaries of IT professionals are not comparable with western standards. But I wouldn't mind beating up the IT employers, who make a hell a lot of money out of offshoring, but dont transfer the benefit either to Indian society or to their employees in any way. They are only becoming greedier (like the Infosys guy who wanted 800 acres of prime land in the periphery of bangalore at subsidised rates from the government).

D Venkateswaran London

Maybe I am missing something, but I wonder where Indian IT professionals get their services from? I bet that prices in the shop around the corner in Bangalore are higher that the average one in an Indian small town like Abiramam. With these shops, barbers etc being part of Indian society, the money actually *does* flow into other parts of Indian society. It will only take time before general services in Bangalore become too expensive and wages will go up.

Concerning the high profits of Indian software companies: there will always be greedy business owners exploiting. It will only be resolved by the demand or supply of IT pros to be dried out or by more competition among businesses. And some regulation of course.

J. Houtzager Amsterdam, The Netherlands