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Creating Ripples

ST Team
Friday, June 1, 2007
ST Team
IT majors hike entry-level salaries
Major IT firms and even some mid-size ones have ramped up their entry-level compensation packages by 10-16 per cent this year, thus taking the figure beyond the three lakh per annum mark for the first time. Also, as a part of their expansion, the major offshore centers of multinationals such as IBM, Accenture and EDS hire tens of thousands of freshers, offering fat packages. This is putting pressure on smaller firms to increase the salaries.

According to analysts, the annual wage inflation of 12-15 per cent experienced by IT firms would well be reflected in the salaries for 2008.

“TCS has raised its entry-level package by 10-15 per cent for graduates joining in 2008,” said well placed sources in TCS. Presently, the company is offering annual salaries ranging between Rs 2.7 lakh and Rs 3.3 lakh depending on the colleges and course streams.

For graduates joining in 2007, Wipro had offered Rs 2.4-2.7 lakh per annum. “Today we are contemplating a 10-15 per cent hike in freshers’ salaries,” says Prateek Kumar, Corporate Vice-President (HR). Market sources said that Infosys and Cognizant have also revised the compensation package for freshers. However, T.V. Mohandas Pai, Head of HR at Infosys excogitates, “The company was yet to take a call on the issue.” The Infosys compensation package for graduates joining in 2007 stood at Rs 2.75 lakh per annum. “We have little option other than increasing our entry-level salaries to get the right talent, as other major IT firms are doing it,” says Puneet Jetli, Vice-President and Head (People Function) at MindTree Consulting. For graduates joining in 2008, MindTree has already hiked the package by 16 per cent to Rs 3.2 lakh. Denying that Cognizant has hiked salaries for candidates joining in 2008, a spokesperson said that their guidance is only for 2007. The company has been offering Rs 2.61 lakh to freshers.

Out of four lakh people expected to be hired by the IT industry in the current fiscal year, two lakh are likely to come from engineering colleges. The top five services firms are seen hiring over one lakh people, of which 60-65 per cent would be freshers.

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