Indian Employees May See Salary Hikes Next Year

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Dec. 20 – A 2011 Times of India (TOI) salary level survey conducted by talking to multiple major HR consultancy companies forecasts salary growth in India next year to increase at a similar rate to what the country experienced in 2007, the time before the financial crisis.

Most HR consultancy firms believe an 8 percent to 16 percent rise in Indian employees’ salary next year would not be out of line, especially for those who work in the telecom and pharmaceutical sectors.

Shamita Chatterjee, India business leader of information, products and solutions at Mercer Consulting, said that the reviving economy and renewed hiring activity have greatly contributed to the upward trend of salaries in their forecast.

Mercer’s report said the automobile, pharmaceutical and manufacturing industries will likely see an average 13 percent hike in salaries. Sectors like information technology and IT enabled services will also continue their momentum, although they are still conservatively recovering from the economic downturn.

Shiv Agarwal, CEO of ABC Consultants, believes the major growth will come from “the manufacturing sector and the power sector in particular.”

K Sundarshan, managing partner of EMA Partners, says the emerging industries such as clean technology, infrastructure and wealth management will play important roles in generating new hiring activity. He adds that these sectors will even promote the demand to hire overseas professionals, which will also become a factor as compensation increases.

Despite the survey’s upward forecast, experts still see a sense of caution among employers. In addition, they also predict a trend of payment method transition from traditional fixed remuneration to performance-based compensation.

While most HR consultancy companies expect to see double-digit growth in salaries for middle and senior managers, Sundarshan predicts a 6 percent to 8 percent basic correction in CEO level compensation.