Mumbai: US-based IT major Cognizant, which has close to two lakh employees in India, has raised the bar a bit for entry-level engineers in India. The Teaneck, New Jersey, headquartered company will hand out an annual pay package of Rs 4 lakh to engineering students graduating in June 2020. This represents more than 18 per cent pay hike for freshers on the current package of Rs 3.38 lakh per annum, sources said.
The average entry-level salary in the IT sector hovers around Rs 3.3 lakh-Rs 3.6 lakh, though those with digital skills tend to get a higher package.
The Cognizant decision to increase the base pay comes at a time the Big 4 IT services companies in India have stepped up their hiring in India, on the back of record earnings reported by them.
IT companies are slated to visit campuses around August-September this year to present offer letters for the next year.
It is not that the freshers alone are getting a pay hike. The chief executive officers of both Infosys and TCS, two of the biggest and most powerful IT services companies in India, have already got huge salary increases in FY19.
While Infosys CEO Salil Parekh received a total of Rs 24.6 crore in compensation, Rajesh Gopinathan, the CEO of TCS, which is India’s largest and world’s 3rd largest IT services company, received Rs 16 crore last year.
Parekh joined the company in January, 2018, and his overall pay include: Rs 6.07 crore in fixed salary, Rs 10.96 crore in bonus, incentives and variable pay and Rs 7.6 crore in restricted stock options.
However, for Gopinathan, it is a 28 per cent hike in salary and the package includes Rs 1.15 crore in salary, Rs 1.26 crore in perquisites, Rs 13 crore in commission and over Rs 60 lakh in other allowances.
A Cognizant spokesperson said the company already offers higher packages for employees with "premium" skills in digital technologies.
"In line with that, we have decided to increase the compensation of entry-level engineering graduates, as digital technologies have become an integral part of engineering curricula in progressive institutions from where we recruit talent," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson pointed out that with the growing need for digital talent, Cognizant has also been investing in reskilling and upskilling its employees.
"In calendar 2018 alone, we reskilled and upskilled over 1.5 lakh of our employees on digital skills," the spokesperson said.
Placement officers said Cognizant usually hires about 15,000-20,000 freshers every year. Cognizant, which gets about 33 per cent of its revenue from digital solutions, has been actively hiring from Indian IITs.
(With in puts from agencies)