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High salaries and lucrative placements only for those from elite educational institutions

February 22, 2007

All this hype that India will have highest pay increases in the whole world in 2007 (report by ECA International, international Human Resources organization) has no meaning for the average engineer. Sure, the pay hikes in India even after taking into account inflation, are to be on an average 7 per cent, the highest in the world. But these averages are being spiked by a small elite group of people. If we take a look at just the starting salaries at the higher end of the spectrum, meaning of those guys and girls who are spilling out of the premier management institutes it all makes sense.

Just a peek into what IIM graduates are being offered this year

IIM – Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta:
Prospective employers: Goldman Sachs, BNP Paribas, Barclays Capital, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, ABN Amro, UBS, JP Morgan and HSBC have all made pre-placement offers to students this year and these salaries are the same as those being offered to those from the top B-schools in the United States!
At IIM Ahmedabad, IT majors like Wipro, Microsoft, IBM, Cognizant Technology Solution, Tata Consultancy Services, Microsoft, HCL Technologies, Tech Mahindra, Trilogy, are hiring in a big way. IIM-A latest placements are in the range of Rs 60 lakhs to 1 crore per annum! And these are just the domestic salaries. The international salaries are in the range of $300,000 to $600,000 per annum and this is an increase of 25 percent over last year. The domestic salaries according to this same news report have gone up by 40 percent. Inspite of this however a certain number of IIM A grads who were interviewed said that they were starting their own businesses. Others said they wanted to stay in India to be part of the nation’s growth. πŸ™‚

IIM Calcutta:
Salaries here are up by 50 per cent over last year and these companies are from a wide varieties of sectors, unlike last year where the majority were IT companies. The average salaries are around Rs 13-14 lakh per annum, and the highest salary is Rs 27 lakh, up from Rs 20 lakh in 2006. Companies like Arcelor-Mittal, Trident, Pepsi, Tesco, MH Alshaya, Reliance, DLF, KPMG PWC, Tata Strategic Management Group, ACME, Citi Financial, Standard Chartered and Dr Reddy’s and Ranbaxy are those making the offers.

9th March: A report in the paper today says that three students from IIM C have got a pre-placement offer of more than Rs 1 crore from leading investment banks. Others have got plum job offers from global and national companies. But this is not all…the institute expects that more are to come. Students have claimed that they have recieved the highest offers across all IIM’s and that some of the salaries are 50 percent higher than the average salaries offered at international B-schools like Harvard, Stanford and Wharton. And the news is that these three students have for the first time in history been offered the position of an associate. Joining as an associate gives the employees a two year lead over others, and those from Harvard for example usually get hired as associates.

IIM Bangalore on the other hand is keeping mum this year about the fat salaries of its students! This is because a problem had arisen last year – two students protested when their salaries were made public. This time the institute is strictly following the confidentiality clause because they feel that salary details, “especially when they are above normal compensation levels, tend to catch the attention of unscrupulous elements and could cause immense physical as well as psychological distress for the persons involved.” However, other IIM’s are not following these policies, though names of students are not being disclosed.

This year, many international companies are offering lucrative jobs to those graduating even from smaller institutes such as IIM Kozhikode. This is the first time this has happened (so many international companies) in the 10 years since the institute came into being. The salaries offered have risen by 35% on an average. While average salaries being offered are Rs two and a half lakhs per annum, some companies like Yahoo! have offered around five and a half lakhs per annum. 63 companies came to IIM Kozhikode to pick up people, up by 50% over last year. Some of the other companies which were hiring were Goldman Sachs, Deloitte Consulting, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), JP Morgan Chase, Cadbury, Standard Chartered Bank, Al Aqilli Group, Colgate Palmolive and Olam International, Dubai-based Al Aqilli Group, Pittsburgh-based Calance Corporation, Emirates Bank International and US Technology recruited students for their summer internship programmes. Companies who offered placements abroad were Tata Motors and IT majors.

So this is about the IIM’s. As to the rest of the management graduates, salaries start to spiral downwards, depending on the ranking of their institute. This doesn’t seem fair because everyone knows that there is a perennial shortage of seats in these premier institutes and as a result not all of the best and brightest get in. But what it boils down to is that salaries are not really increasing across the board in India. Just a small section of people, meaning those who work in the top companies, are getting high pay hikes. The rest struggle with inflation.

Note: I have had to add this to tell readers to please look at the date of the post and not jump to conclusions. This is a blog, and as much as I wish to update each and every post it is not possible. So if you have an update, you are welcome to give it, but I do expect people to read the date of the post! All information given in this post is what was available on that date. Not even the best newspapers update their reports so it is a bit too much to expect a blogger to do it. And er…I am not an ‘agent’ of IIMA as someone from another IIM accused me of being. I am simply quoting news reports.

Related Reading: India has 3 universities in world’s top 200
Promotions make software professionals happy for just six months
Pay hikes in India highest in the world in 2007
More jobs across industries in India
Plenty of jobs for animators in India

42 Comments leave one →
  1. Phantom permalink
    March 29, 2007 4:28 am

    Ok….I am not all that comfortable with some of the numbers quoted here.

    “IIM-A latest placements are in the range of Rs 60 lakhs to 1 crore per annum! And these are just the domestic salaries. The international salaries are in the range of $300,000 to $600,000 per annum and this is an increase of 25 percent over last year.”

    As someone who’s looking to apply to business school in the US very shortly, I’ve doen my fair share of research about US B-schools, expected post-MBA salaries etc….in fact, I reckon I have a very good idea of the real story, given how much research and readin I’ve done on the subject, and also having spoken with freinds and family members who’ve graduated from top 10 b-schools within the past 1-6 years and who have been successfuly placed.

    Top grads from H/S/W – Harvard, Stanford and Wharton (the 3 top schools, forget about rankings….each ranking system is different, but these 3 are certainly the top ones in terms of brand recognition, industry perception and “snob” value)……the higheset salaries are almost always in financial services like investment banking, Private Equity/VC, Hedge Funds etc. Most post-MBA recruits into well known investment banking firms usually get a total package of US$200-250,000 (usually half is the base and half is the end of year bonus).

    Recruits into Hedge Funds and PE/VC firms get a lot more, potentially up to US$500k as a total compensation. But out of a total graduating pool of almost 1600 students (700 H, 700 W, 300 S) a handful, yes, a handul, get recruited into Hedge Funds, PE and VC. On the other hand, almost all the leading investment banks, commercial banks, management consulting firms recruit graduates in relatively large numbers. For e.g., between Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Bros, Merill Lynch….almost 300 MBA grads will possibly be recruited from the top 5 b-schools alone. However as said above, these recruits will typically be getting US$200-250k as full compensation.

    Now, the majority of IIM students are freshers, i.e. those with no or very limited inustry experience. Havign spoken with a few recent alumni of the top IIMs, who actually got placed into these top jobs, I understand that most IIM grads who have no or limited work exp are placed into the taget company at a level which is in between the level that a typical undergraduate with no work exp would be recruited into and the level at which a typical MBA recruit (who typically has some work exp, anywhere from 2-7 years) is recruited into. For e.g., most investment banks recruit undergraduates inot the Analyst level, which requires no work exp…and they recruit MBA grads from top b-schools (these grads typically have 2-7 years work exp) at the Associate level. The compensation at the Associate level is the US$200-250k that I was referring to earlier. Now, if IIM grada are being recruited into intermediary positions,I doubt whether they will be given even higher dsalaries than what the Associate position in US offices demands….and one woudl expect US salaries to be higher than the Indian equivalent, given the differential in cost of living.

    Ask yourself…..would a MNC pay more to an IIM grad who has no or limited work exp..than to a grad of Harvard/Stanford or Wharton???

    Having said the above, the rate of change in Indian industry is very dynamic these days….I may well have underestimated how much IIM grads get….but even taking into account some very bullish recruiting by top firms….I still believe that it is only a handul of even the IIM grads who get these top salaries…i.e. the ones that the media raves about.

    Eitherway, as Indians, we shoudl not idolise isolated instances of super high salarties. How many IIM A grads get what we’d call super salaries. In fact, not all of them even get what can be called top salaries (say Rs 25 lakh upwards). What about the hundreds of thousands of graduates from the lesseer known Indian universities….what salaries do they start off on? As usual, we Indians get into a cycle of idolation and lose sight of the bigger picture.

  2. March 29, 2007 7:04 am

    Thanks for your comment. It has added greatly to my post.
    I agree with you, maybe an odd chap in IIM may get paid more than someone at say Wharton, but this does not reflect the reality.

  3. Phantom permalink
    March 29, 2007 7:23 am

    yes, Nita, that is right.

    Also, something I feel strongly about is the lack of consistent success in our country. We either have stuff which is totally world class or we have stuff that dwindles in mediocrity. The academic success of european, asia pac and northern american countries is not because of the Harvards or Stanfords or Oxford/Cambridges….its because alost 80% of the tertiary education sector (i.e. 80% of the universities) offer what can be termed as decent level quality of education. Of course a Harvard is miles better than the University of XYZ state….but that Uni of XYZ State will still offer decent quality infrastructure and a level of education that empowers an individual. Contrast this with the state of 80% of the TOTAL range of univsersities in India…I’d say that its the opposite picture….less than 20% of all the collages and uni’s in India probably offer what can be termed as decent level quality education.

    This strain is apparent in every aspect of Indian life….we have 65% of the land area in bbay occupied by only 15% of the population…..the top 3% of the wealthiest people control a massively disproportionate share of the nations wealth !!!!!

    Same issue with the cricket team too.

  4. March 29, 2007 8:26 am

    Hey Phantom, you are a bright guy. How about studying at Wharton or whatever, and then coming back to India? πŸ™‚
    Coming to what you said, things are changing. I am going to be writing soon about the massive changes that are happening in our education system.
    Give it time to show results. We are just waking up!

  5. Phantom permalink
    March 29, 2007 9:44 am

    Actually, one of my medium to long term goals (well, within the next 3-10 years anyway) is to be able to work in India or be involved in some sort of an entrepreneurial venture. So lets hope somethign works out.

    Yes, I do realise that things are changing. I’m also conscious of viewing Indian life as someone who’s a particapant in the system, as opposed to an observer (which is the lens worn by non-Indians and certain NRI’s who fail to understand the complexities and dynamics of our country). Yes, things are changing. However, I’m always about havign the right attitude, as that is literally the single most important concept….and what concerns me is the lack of a strong enough public consensus or collective view of how the citizens want the country to operate. One of the things that does differentiate the indian junta from the chinese is the presense of a free spirit, and true freedome of communication and expression.

    Moreover, with an increasing amount of resources now being controlled and deployed by new age private enterprises, it is often easy to communicate a public voice. I get the sense in Indian that its very much a case of every man for himself, dog eats dog. While I can appreciate that in such a competetive environment, one tends to develop such instincts, surely the indian middle class and the upper class can demonstrate some genuine passion for changing the status quo. People underestimate the power of the public voice, especially in an emotionally charged society like ours.

    Instead of writing about the odd IIM/IIT grad who has earned himself/herself a ridiculously high salary, why doesn’t the media write about the state of infrastructure in most schools and collages in small towns and villages? Actually, even collages under bombay university are sub-par in my opinion. My girlfiend studied at a prominent collage in south bbay and i was appaled at how often they’d just not have lectures….or at the pedantic, non-practical structure of her assignments.

    Similarly, instead of writing about another endorsement contract one of our already stupendously overpaid cricketers has secured, why doesn’t the media write about the pathetic state of affairs of sport at the regional level, or even the appaling lack of infrastructure and development structure for non-cricket sports. I mean, every 4 years at the Olympic Games, a billion indians lament how a country with a billion people only produces so few world class athletes.

    These r just examples, possibly trivial ones in the larger scheme of things. Point is – if the media and public opinion starts to get more vocal about these issues (as well as all the others)….it will build up a sense of expectation within the public, a sense of passion, a sense of caring for making things better. Then the march ahead will surely be made quicker. A famous boxer once said “its hard to wake up at 5 am to train when yu wake up in silk pajamas”….similarly, if we keep resting under the false sense of pride at our current achievments, we’ll lose the edge and focus we need.

  6. March 29, 2007 3:19 pm

    Yes, our media does not always focus on important issues. However, the media does write about the issues you mentioned, only they are not front page material.
    There is a sense of passion amongst people. There are the NGO’s and there are passionate people working there for the betterment of the country. However if you mean an overall awareness, that is missing. One has to keep in mind that the majority of our population, including the well to do middle class spend their life struggling to buy things like a decent house and paying for education and marraiges. Social service is far from their minds. Money is never enough. There is no medical insurance here. Even companies do not pay beyond a limit and the limits set are low. Its a hard life in India for most people, even the educated ones.
    Also, people here work very hard. Most people work 6 days a week, travel through polluted roads, suffer a poor transportation system, poor public facilites, bad roads, etc and then there just doesn’t seem to be any energy left over.
    As you said, its a very complex issue.

  7. Phantom permalink
    March 29, 2007 4:55 pm

    yup, the complexities and problems are many and the solutons equally complex. I dont dare to offer a solution, cos that would a gross simplification of the whole issue. I also completely understand what you mean when u say that for the average indian, even the upper middle class indian in a well paying job….life is difficult, with all the problems u mentioned. its not the huge problems that I feel take the energy out of people…its the cumulative effect of all the small ones, starting from facing traffic in getting to work, to the pollution, etc etc. Even though I live in a country that hardly has any of these problems, i can empathise with how it is in India cos I too lived within that system, and everytime I go back, I really do try hard to immerse myself completely and totally within the system there, almost to make up for the time not spent there πŸ™‚

    Which is why, I question…..why wud hard workign, intelligent ppl want to continue with that status quo. And that is why I feel that the middle class and upper middle class is not being passionate enough and not voicing their opinions enough. Those NGO’s and charity ventures are to be lauded, but they’re hardy going to make a dent. What I feel is needed is a public voice….akin to how the french oppressed took it upon themselves to rid themselves of the aristocracy in the French revolution. I’m certainly ont sugggesting anything militant or political, ut rarher communicative. I’m advocating a steady mass of public opinion that highlights the key issues and attepmts to hold the powers to be accountable. How else will we do away with corruption, ineffeciency and beraucratic leethargy. Accountability andf genuine sense of improvement is the key here, literally, to all the issues. And the money is there for the improvements….take roadign for e.g….the central govt has billions allocated for roading and related infratructure projects, but the reality is that a large proportion of that will be gobbled up in red tape and corruption while the rest will be depliyed way beyond schedule and in ghastly ineffecient means.

    The youth of the country should be the ones taking up this cause, after all they’re th leaders of tomorrow. I’m not political in my thinking, but i do feel that we all live in a symbiotic world and we owe it to ourselves to effect positive change, be it in our own lives or within our society.

  8. Viral permalink
    April 11, 2007 10:40 pm

    I think what is lacking is that we as a people are not demanding. Today if i spend even one rupee, i should not be satisfied if i get a service less than the worth of that one rupee. after all it is my hard earned money. Once the populace at large becomes demanding and stops accepting a service which is not optimum, it will start changing the social fabric be it in political spectrum or private entrepreneurs/businesses.
    We ourselves have to give importance to us.
    We have to be accountable ourselves and demand accountability from our service providers be it politicians,businesses or individuals.
    It is right that we are on a rising trajectory as an economy, however is this growth all around and real contributing to the standard of living (in the sense can we enjoy the furit of our labor in the real sense). What is the real growth in an individual’s hand.Has a human life found its value in the indian society or is it even today the people will just walk by a dead body of a fellow traveller lying on a railway station platform without batting an eyelid.we as a people need to realise that it is our right to demand service/respect for a fellow citizen in event of his death from a callous administration. I have failed in this , so have other indians. but even if we start realising this, it would be a step in a right direction.

  9. Phantom permalink
    April 12, 2007 4:24 pm

    Viral, i think you raise some pertinent points. It is something that I have seen as a big differentiating factor between life in India and that in many western nations (I’ve lived and travelled through many) – people in the latter echo a greater sense of caring for community, call for more accountability in themselves and their policy-makers and overall, are not content with the status quo, but want more and better from their lives. Indians on the other hand, are all too tolerant….we are content with leaving things to destiny. Perhaps this is a by-product of the spiritual aspect to Indian life…which I do admire and relate strongly with…but strictly from a material and tangible perspective, one needs to adopt a solutions oriented mindset as a society, in order to truly progress.

    Also, I feel that life in India is quite a struggle….it really is a competetive jungle…at all levels of the socio economic scale… much so that every man is afraid of losing his position in that race….is afraid of falling behind in the struggle to survive. A poor man struggles to feed himself and his family day to day….a middle class man struggles to save enough to send hischild to a decent university or get his daughter married in style….an upper middle class man struggles to afford the trappings of success that all his neighbours seem to effortlessly acquire….and the rich…well the rich struggle to evade the IT and the bhai log πŸ™‚

    Point is – I think few indians really have a simple and easy life…whereas in the west the majority of people have it relatively much simpler. It is much easier to develop an attitude of care and moral consciousness when you dont have a mindset of distrust…of your fellow man, the govt, other communities, etc etc. In India, or at least in urban India, I’ve found the default attitude to be of mistrust…whereas in other nations it is that of trust (unless proven otherwise)….i suppose thats why most urban indians are constantly on the guard against anything and everything. Its sad, but not fault of anyone’s I suppose…simply a function of being a highly complex, diverse and evolved (and this term has no positive or negative connotation here)society.

  10. Viral permalink
    April 12, 2007 8:40 pm

    when you say by product of spiritual aspect and at the same time mistrust in fellow beings, does it not contradict?
    What i understand of spirituality is that it helps a person get confidence in himself.
    even in ancient scriptures no where have our sages, thinkers approved of putting in less than 100% efforts, so then how has this chalta hai/tolerant attitude crept in. Does any of our penance methods talk of anything less than full devotion.

    The fault is not of social conditions per se, but the current scenario is an outcome of the education being imparted or lack of it. Education is not which helps livelihood, but which helps a person distinguish himself as a decent human being with character.A quality whereby ethics, right and wrong distinction is given to the individual.

    When i say my country is a democracy, it has to be a real one. It cannot be a twisted form of democracy which resembles mobocracy. I hope you get what i am hinting at. Things are not right and that needs to be acknowledged. People/Media sweeten things up saying that though imperfect we may be but we are still resilient. I do not advocate any uprising, rebellion or fighting the system. The best way is for each of us to do our bit of effort and if every one is honest in it i am sure it will work. If we have to fight whom we will fight, again it is human beings and fellow men we will fight. why should i fight with my fellow men?
    the situation cannot be remedied instantly. It needs change in mindset. as you rightly pointed people be it in west or india do struggle for their gains and to ask them to mend their ways half way thru their life is a bit too much.
    My view is that we can change this by proactive action primarily instilling appropriate values amongst our kids per se and raise a generation which believes in the best, a generation which has both social and personal accountability, a generation which is strong spiritually and materially.
    Also i tend to disagree that people in west have it simpler compared to us? Whatever condition they are in is as a result of preservance of their fathers and grandfathers. How have they reached there? So i believe they deserve to reap fruits of their fathers toil.
    Would it be right if in future if our kids enjoy the benefits of our deeds and they are scorned at?.NO

  11. Phantom permalink
    April 14, 2007 4:14 am

    When i say life in india has an element of spirituality to it….I mean that people in india are very quick to resign to their fate. The poor man in india is almost always resigned to his fate….he consders the rich man to be a “bada aaadmi”….this term doesn’t just refer to the rich man being rich….rooted within this term is a sentiment that the rich man has a better takdir, a better life, is a better man…..better in every respect. Centuries of elitist, class and caste driven oppressive behaviour towards the lesser fortunate have robbed the poor of their inner strength….that inner strength that provides a sense of hope, a belief that with hard work one’s fate can change. On the contrary….a lot of the poor in india have resigned to their fate and do not grudge the rich for their fortune….the power holders for their power….they just attribute their lot in life to their ill fate. Evem among the middle class….there is an innate sense of resignation…to the system, to the ineffeciencies…to the corruption….and this resignation leads to an acceptance of the status quo. I don’t believe that the general indian phyche is a self-improving one….that aims to constantly improve. You have to remember, that ancient India was a land of plenty….we were not invaders, or discoverers or conquerors…we were in fact invaded and occupied cuntless times. The europeans on the other hand did not hane plenty….they had a dire need to seek sources of food, spices and income…and necessity is always the mother of invention.

    I too agree that there is no better time for change than NOW…no better people to enforce that change than US the indian junta. It is a travesty that a shockingly small percentage of the educated middle class upwards actually vote. The middle class are big enough in number (300m) and certainly bigger, in terms of enforcing power…than the unfortunate ill-educated poor who’s votes get bought by corrupt politicians. The middle class should rise together….seek a truly democratic governance….that is accountable and transparent at the same time. A transparent and accountable government will be able to cater to the needs of the middle class as well as the poor….but a corrupt and non-transperent system will take care of neither….even though it has got to power on the votes of the poor. The standards and values that the middle class want will of course be desired by the poor as well….it is an improvement in their lives and who doesn’t want improvement…but the standards and values that the poor get satisfied by….the middle class want more than that.

  12. April 17, 2007 5:27 am

    One of the most shocking mistakes that we often commit is to incrementalize upon false beliefs. The basic criteria of judging an education system is completely different in the United States than in India. And compared to the US of A, Germany and Switzerland offer much better education as far as non-professional courses are concerned. One of the most disheartening factors regarding our assessments of the quality of an institute’s education is the ‘salary’ that graduates from that institute command. Other than being trained for jobs, education means nothing for us. And that is a pathetic story. From having the oldest university in the world, India has come a long way in eradicating the whole concept of educational enlightenment. We want to train children in India to be better problem-solvers. (Murli Manohar Joshi in 1999). At the same time, we label the highly ingenious and creative children as unworthy of attending lectures of good teachers at IITs or IIMs simply because they refuse to excel in solving problems in the ways they’ve already been solved. Just like our education system refuses to grant passing marks to children who refuse to color inside the lines. These are the problem-identifiers, the creative pool of rarity, who need to be nurtured. Ramanujam was thrown out of college because other than maths, he refused to study the compulsory subjects. Even when the world famous mathematician G. H. Hardy recommended Ramanujam’s name to Madras University for a research scholarship, the professors at the university took a very long time to decide whether or not to allow Ramanujam, since he was not a graduate! Einstein once said, “Great souls face the toughest opposition from mediocrity and its adherents”. We need to come out of the stigma of mediocrity. Salary packages and high-flying jobs are not relevant to be mentioned to prove our nation’s superiority. Had these things been of relevance, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs would’ve been losers (both of them never graduated, and out of their own choice). Not very far off, is our own entrepreneur Mr. Narayan Murthy, “The phase I enjoyed the most was my time at IIM Ahmedabad where I took up a job as chief systems programmer. In those days there were few computer science graduates so we got five job offers each. I had offers from HMT, ECIL, Telco, Air India. The salary in those places was much higher than at the IIM. But Prof. Krishnayya of IIM who came to IIT Kanpur talked to me for an hour about this great, modern mini- computer that he was going to install and that IIM would be the third business school in the world to install a time-sharing system after Harvard and Stanford. He also said that the atmosphere was collegial, we’d work 20 hours a day and learn a lot. Taking this job at a salary of Rs 800 a month was the best decision of my life.” Its time we stopped thinking in terms of materialistic rewards and take on learning for learning’s sake. It’s time we stopped glorifying these high salaries. It’s a law of micro-economics, raising the marginal utility, and that’s where the media is doing a great disservice to the nation. While raising the marginal utility of IIM graduates, they’re in turn reducing the same for all those graduating from various other B-schools in India. National pride cannot be built on the quality of labour that the nation generates. It has to be built on the quality of innovation that takes place here, the quality of creativity and the quality of everything that is rare anywhere else outside this nation. That is what we have to concentrate upon. We’ve to stop emulating the standards of the West which forced Edison to leave school and dubbed Einstein as a below average student (he managed to pass with a second division, and get a job as a clerk). A major paradigm shift is needed in our perceptions of right and wrong (coloring outside the lines was once considered to be a case of faulty motor recognition in kids, and hence ‘marks’ were deducted of children who colored outside the lines. This is remembered by Kevin Roberts, the CEO of Satchi&Satchi, one of the most creative people alive in the world, whose teacher told his parents that he might not be suitable for creative arts!)

  13. Phantom permalink
    May 9, 2007 5:20 am

    I agree. Let us stop glorifying and idolising the few rare instances of success, while completely ignoring the opportunities afforded to the masses. End of the day, India is a land of the masses. Every demographic and statistical variant is represented by what can be counted in global terms, as a large number. So, let us focus on the quality of infrastructure and opportunity available to the MAJORITY of our people, rather than remain in awe of the few elitist institutions and segments of population who manage to achieve the kind of success that the average Indian dreams of achieving. The country will NOT achieve true progree on the backs of the few IIT and IIM grads who get placed into their multi crore salaries. The country WILL however progresss if the majority of people get access to a decent quality of education and infrastructure.

  14. Shantanu Chatterjee permalink
    May 13, 2007 8:00 pm

    At the end of the day the salary at any institution is related to income levels in the country.Comparing an IIM salary to Harvard etc is incorrect because the US per capita income of people with post graduate degrees is something like twice that of Europe (lets not compare India) so this is reflected in higher salaries at their B schools.

    As for Indian B school grads getting placed on wall street if you look closely most of these are back office research jobs with limited growth prospects the initial salary may be comparable but five years down the line the WASP who gets out of harvard will be earning many times your salary because he would have the front end dealing jobs where he gets a percentage of the deal value in addition to the invaluable connections which he being born and brought up as a upper class white american would obviously be in a better position to make.
    That is the truth.
    And most guys on B school campuses know that which is the real reson why so many of them chuck foreign offers for good indian profiles {not a sense of patriotism πŸ™‚ }

  15. shekhar permalink
    June 19, 2007 5:16 am

    what is considered a good salary in india today? I think it varies dpending on the city u live in.
    how much do u think a person should earn to be in the top 10 percent in the country today?
    almost evry person round the corner seems to be getting 50 lakhs plus?is this true or is it just hyped?

  16. June 19, 2007 7:03 am

    There are people who get very high salaries. In IT companies and banks this is quite common…why even in many ad agencies. Designers from NID today get about Rs 10,000/- during their internship even before they have passed out from college! And after they pass out they get more than double that as a starting salary. High level execs in ordinary companies also earn a huge amount of money, something in the range of what you mentioned.
    Today, get a lakh a month is not considered a high salary!
    Abt the city you live in, yes it does matter but most metros are expensive and so are smaller cities like Bangalore and Pune. Mostly of those who get high salaries live here. And good companies tend to provide the housing, which is a major cost.

  17. Phantom permalink
    June 19, 2007 5:19 pm

    Nita….i’m surprised you’re calling B’lore a small city. In terms of economic and monetary importance….it is as impt now as bbay or delhi. Certainly, in terms of cost of living….it is more expensive than even calcutta and madras. In terms of white collar employment into the services sector….it is as buoyant if not more than bbay and delhi/NCR.

    I recently got back from a trip to the states…and it is amazing how well versed people int he right corporate/business circles are about india….and in pafrticular, they know more abt bbay, delhi, b’lore and hyd than any other place.

    Point is – as little as 5 years ago….it may have been ok to call B’lore a small city…but now it is a hustling bustling big city…and is gonna become the next bbay. I do not say this for the purposes of boosting the appeal for b’lore…but as a fact.

  18. June 19, 2007 6:20 pm

    Ofcourse Bangalore is huge. and equally imp as cities you mentioned. It was the slip of the pen. πŸ™‚
    I have lived in Bangalore for 5 years actually. I love the place.

  19. Phantom permalink
    June 24, 2007 4:15 am

    Coming back to the question posed by Shekhar – it is very difficult to gauge what is a “good” salary in India… it depends on lots of factors. Thing is….in the commercial hubs like delhi, bbay and b’lore…..there is a lot of latitude in the cost of living, in that one can easily survive on say Rs80,000 per month, while at the same time, someone else with a more lavish lifestyle woudl need 2-3 lakhs per month.

    I know ppl in bbay, delhi and b;lore who easily spend 3 lakhs+ a month and they constantly crib that they need more money…..and i wouldn’t even call these people the top 10% of the income earners. A salaried person can never never earn as much as the industrialists and successful businessmen, who easily pull in net earnings of more than 5 lakhs per month.

    One needs to qualify their expected standard of living. If u wanna eat in a 5 star restaurant twice a week, shop at the trendy stores, buy branded items, drive a 12 lakh plus car, live in the south bbay or south delhi areas…..then u better be earning in excess of 2-3 lakhs a month.

    On the other hand, if u are happy to live in the suburbs, drive say a 5-8 lakh car and lead a more moderate lifestyle…..i’d say tht even in bbay, 1.5-2 lakhs per mo is sufficient.

    Much also depends on whether u have a house or not. If yes, then that straightaway reduces ur monthly expeses by 20k to 1 lakh plus (depending on where u live) by way of avoiding rent/mortgage.

    Anyway….i have found that india is no longer as inexpensive a place as it used to be. Yes, one can eat vada paav on the street for Rs 10 and fill their stomach…but most middle class to upper middle class people live lifestyles these days that cost significantly more than say 5 years ago.

    • August 11, 2011 9:33 am

      Hey Phantom,

      Overwhelmed by your msgs. Do you still check this? If you do, please do get in touch with me, I am looking for an intelligent conversation for a long time. Not sure if I could measure up. But, will try.

  20. Banker, London permalink
    June 27, 2007 8:12 pm

    Commoditisation of MBA and exploitation of youngsters by unknown private schools:
    These 5 or 10 guys who get astronomical salaries are so much hyped that every graduate seem to be preparing for MBA. Which is not bad. To exploit these aspirants there are loads of low quality b-schools have sprung across india and lure these aspirants.
    The aspirants get lure mainly due to these articles. Here the logical conclusion they make: Guys from top 5 institutes get 50lakhs. I’m doing it from a ranked 50th school so I can definitely expect 5 lakhs. Logically it might be justified but the information it lacks is the salary graduates from top institute get (after discounting the top 10%). Unfortunately no article concentrate on these figure.

    We are heading towards the same 90’s era when the IT overseas salaries were so hyped.

  21. Rockstar permalink
    August 24, 2007 2:57 pm

    The information on IIM Kozhikode is wrong. To get a true picture of things, visit –

  22. August 24, 2007 3:57 pm

    Thanks Rockstar for your information. But please note the link I have given. Its the IIMK site only. All the information on this post is from various news sources, and some from the mgt institute sites. I have not invented anything by myself. Also please note the date of the post, which is february this year. If you are giving me an update, thanks.

  23. Rockstar permalink
    August 24, 2007 8:24 pm

    International companies have been visiting IIMK for years now. And the average salary last year was 9.02 lahs p.a and 12.80 lpa this year.

  24. August 24, 2007 10:02 pm

    Yeah OK. I get it and believe you. Thanks for the correction. Sometimes news is incorrectly reported…
    However I had not written that IIMK had got international offers for the first time, I had written it got so many for the first time but I guess it may have been misunderstood so I will add a parenthesis. About the average salaries you have it here in the comments and that is good enough.
    Thanks again for that link and you are welcome to give more information on this subject. All facts are welcome and certainly very helpful to this post.

  25. vijay permalink
    September 12, 2007 5:30 pm

    This $300k-$600k salary sounds intagible.I inquired
    on the net about salaries being offered to the MBA graduates from top US B-schools but none is near to this unbelievable salary bracket.

  26. dharmendra kumar permalink
    October 2, 2007 9:58 am

    plz tell me the highest packages offered by any top b-school in india. thanking…………

  27. conscious permalink
    April 27, 2008 12:51 am

    This is just bull shit ….. The numbers quoted ……. I am indian and we suffer from hypiing everything up.. Do we have an inferiority complex? Who are we trying to bluff its like saying India is next super power… What the hell….Even the Singapore, malaysia did not have this arrogance and they grew more than us……. Be realistic and modest and acknowledge the hope and optimism and the reality……..I heard the senior VPs of wipro etc had a salary of a crore based on an accountant I talked to and you are saying a fresh 24 year old is offered that amount..?? Bull crap

    IIM-A latest placements are in the range of Rs 60 lakhs to 1 crore per annum! And these are just the domestic salaries. The international salaries are in the range of $300,000 to $600,000 per annum and this is an increase of 25 percent over last year. The domestic salaries according to this same news report have gone up by 40 percent. Inspite of this

    Mr. Conscious. I am not saying that anyone has been offered such and such salary. πŸ™‚ I am quoting from media sources. And from your comment it looks like you too are relying on media sources! The only way one can be a hundred percent sure is one is a professor at an IIM and I think neither of us are. – Nita.

  28. raj permalink
    May 12, 2008 1:20 pm

    is IIM KOZHIKODE a small institute?
    mind you its an iim .
    you tell me who is better a person who gets into IIMK in his first attempt or a person who gets into IIM(A,B) in his third attempt.

  29. May 12, 2008 1:49 pm

    Just to clarify things, Nita, the previous comment was written by another person who shares my first name.

    Yes, I realised that. Don’t worry, he doesn’t have an avatar, while you do. – Nita

  30. Vijay permalink
    October 29, 2008 12:30 pm

    Hi Nita,
    I read your article and the discussion that elaborates many facts. All that have been written may be correct and some may be just hypothetical. I want to add something from the prospective of very common man.
    1. Its true that IIM graduates are getting much more that many experienced work force. Its because fo the fact that they are reaaly very smart people. They have worked hard in their academics. They have accquired the attitude to succeed in any circumstance. People getting the high salary packages are the very few with more that 2 year experience. I have some friends in IIMs currently. They told me it.
    2. Other than IIMs , there are people who are getting decent amount, these are the students from ISB, MDI, XLRI, NITIE, FMS and many more MBA colleges. Except them, there are junta from recently mashroomed MBA institutes. These guys lack in many aspect of the demanding qualities, thats why they are less paid. It is a very common fact, everyone can verify it easily. Just have a look on guy from premier institute and the one from mediocre college.
    3. There is wrong perspection about arrogance and self confidence. Some one has written about the arrogance about indian and quoting example of Singapore, Hong Kong. Let me tell him that the person who come from lower middle class, cannot be arrogant because there is culture of respect and the humbleness that tought from the day one in his /her life. And most of the just is from middle class in our premier institutes. We are living in a country of more than billion people have contrasting cultural diversity, fooding habits etc. Its not easy to uplift the situation prevailing from last 100 years in few years of growth. It will take time as well as well planned management of resource utilisation. We are seeing unprecedented growth in our GDP, in few decades we can be major force in human resource and society empowered with knowlege of its potential. Now if we are saying that we have some phenomenal growth and some achievement then it reflect our self confidence not arrogance.
    4. Its very true that we are lagging in the social transformtion. There are people who are working hard and there is change in people’s mind easily visible. We should be part of this cultural economical change is necessary for our over all growth.

    Just look with positive intents you will see growth and prosperity coming in our own terms.

  31. Banker permalink
    September 10, 2009 8:09 pm

    Does anyone know what is the total comp in investment banking in India for AVP and VP level? The figures mentioned in the article for a starting Associate / Senior Analysts seem bloated!!!

  32. Banker permalink
    September 10, 2009 8:11 pm

    resubmitting the comment as I forgot to subscribe to the follow-up comments:

    Does anyone know what is the total comp in investment banking in India for AVP and VP level? The figures mentioned in the article for a starting Associate / Senior Analysts seem bloated!!!

  33. October 20, 2009 7:27 pm

    Relying on media sources is not a bad thing per se, but if it creates a distorted picture of reality, then it is generally considered par for the course to do your background check before publishing such information..

    The salary figures that you have quoted for the IIMS, especially IIM Ahmedabad are so blatantly untrue and fake, that i seriously feel the need to pull you up for quoting some highly dubious and questionable media source..

    I think you should be aware that one upmanship has taken over the IIMS by which the IIMS are falling over each other in their mad scramble to get ahead and be seen as numero uno supremo…objectivity is completely lost and all that remains is shameless, unethical veneering.

    $300K to $600K is a salary that an AVP makes in a Wall street bank after 6 to 8 years of work experience… of my friends in a Wall street bank in corporate finace makes $280K after 5 years of work ex post MBA…so these figures are utter lies and it is high time the IIM placement reporting process is regulated….i mean, shameless deceit, cunning and lies has to be nipped in the bud..

    Before anyonejumps at my neck and dismisses me as a case of sour grapes, he/she is well advised to check out the real facts..

    Real facts as i know them :

    40 to 60 lakhs per annum salaries – Outliers going to less than 5

    Median salaries : 10 to 12 lpa

    Average : 18 lpa bloated by the outliers

    Bottom salaries : 4 to 7 lpa even today….

    Let the IIMs not be allowed to cheat and con naive and gullible CAT aspirants in this shameless game of veneering and one upmanship!!

    Btw, salaries paid by IT consulting firms like KPMG or PWC to IIM grads with 8 plus years of work ex are in the range of 20 to 30 lpa….now you know the extent of lies that the IIMS resort to!!


    Bhimashankar Iyer, unfortunately I have no other source except a media source and I am always grateful to readers who give me the other, truthful side of it. I have quoted well known papers like the IE and the TOI, amongst others, and they in turn are often dependent on the IIMs themselves. Often such false news is spread by sources within the IIM’s. It is not possible for me to do a background check as it would involve spending money traveling and meeting people. I am wholly dependent on media sources and if I smell a rat I don’t refer to the news. In this case, I believed this news completely. – Nita.

    • October 20, 2009 8:33 pm

      Thanx for the prompt and courteous reply. It is my whole endeavor to present the real truth about the IIMs and i have done a lot of work in this area by educating the masses who take CAT….

      For eg. $300K to $600K is plain lies quoted by IIM Ahmedabad….an IIM Calcutta passout of 2008 getting a salary of $340K was blatant lies….a highly contrived figure.

      Many quoted salaries are in the intermediate gray zone where a CTC is sold as an actual take home salary when the real take home component could be as low as 40% of the CTC…

      And then there are many salaries in the IIMs which are lower than the best salaries in the non IIM tier 1 and Tier 2 B schools about which the IIMS remain tight lipped and typically don’t mention them in the official placement reports..for eg. IIM Calcutta does not make mention of its slot 2 placement salaries in its official placement report of 2008, which according to me is a blatant case of putting a firm lid on certain facts which need to come out in the open..

      The fact that companies like TCS, HCL Tech etc make sub 7 offers on IIM campuses and that a sizable chunk of IIM grads earns far less than many FMS, SP Jain, NITIE guys needs to be known to CAT needs to be known to CAT aspirants that the downside risk of an IIM MBA is not zero as is made out to be by selective placement reporting..
      That you could be earning less than an FMS or SP Jain guy inspite of having an IIM MBA on the CV, which in this case amounts to a worthless tag on the CV and nothing more than that!!

      I’am of the firm view that the education minstry and the AIMA should take congizance of the malpractices followed by the placement cells in the IIMs and take appropriate action…..the solution could be as facile as rapping the IIM placement cells on their knuckles and expecting them to adhere to ethical standards or as interventionist as dictating a placement reporting structure which the IIMS have to strictly follow….for eg. making it mandatory to mention all salaries including the bottom ones, including averages and median salaries…


  34. Saurabh permalink
    May 6, 2010 11:00 pm

    No Doubt India has a world class business schools in form of ISB and IIM’s. But I still could not understand that why we always go about super hyping the placement figures to make it unbelievable.

    Anybody who has any knowledge of international top school placement can easily laugh at the figures quoted. When schools like Wharton and HBS report their average placement to be $100K how can you mislead the figure from IIMs to be four times more.

    We should try and realize what we have and should always do something for betterment of it and not just dreaming it to be the best.

  35. swasthik permalink
    August 31, 2010 11:55 pm

    hello nita,i am doing my BE course second year after my engineering course i have an plan of doing mba,so i heard from few people that it is sufficient to write CAT exams to join good buissness coleges in india plz suggest me to my email id thanks……………………….waiting for your reply


    swasthik, I have no idea as to the answer. Like other journalists, I write on a zillion subjects and do not have indepth knowledge of any of them. – Nita.

    • Vivek Khadpekar permalink
      September 1, 2010 8:19 pm


      I don’t know where you got your information. The dream of having the letters MBA appended to their names is very seductive for tens of thousands of young graduates. This has spawned innumerable degree shops that overwhelmingly outnumber the few good business schools (and by that I do not mean the IIMs alone).

      Some of the former derive their credentials through affiliation to barely recognised universities. Many more are nothing but holes-in-the-wall, which charge astronomical fees that credulous people are willing and eager to pay. But they lead to pathetic jobs with salaries that are not even adequate to pay back the monthly instalments on the candidate’s education loan.

      It may be true that success at the CAT will automatically get you a place in many of these bogus schools, some of which, through good PR, even manage to acquire impressive-sounding reputations. But getting into a genuinely good institution is very competitive, and clearing the CAT is only the first step towards getting into them.

      If you have an sound engineering degree, even though not from a great university or college, you are already equipped with the wherewithal for some kind of meaningful career. You may not get a stratospheric salary, but you won’t starve either.

      I am not trying to discourage you from aiming at an MBA, just pointing out that the CAT is only a passport, not a visa.

    • vasudev permalink
      September 3, 2010 9:33 pm

      i agree with vivek’s matured suggestions wholeheartedly. further i wish to add (since many of my junior…junior colleagues equivalent to child-of-mine status are fooling me daily by sitting cloistered within their confines, using the facilities of the government to prepare for further education and giving me the regular resignation note…i am drifiting). ok…so one wise guy whom i caught red-handed deep into the crime confessed…sir! i know you interviewed me and gave me this job but i am an iitian and i do not see myself 10 yrs from now doing your drab job so i gave you the hoodwink two yrs back when you got me into this sink hole only ’cause i felt two yrs job experience would add to my weight while doing my mba. i am telling you all this ’cause i am gonna resign tomorrow since i have decided to go serious about my mba for which i used your facilities to do my assignments in my coaching class: TIME. Try TIME.

  36. arun kumar permalink
    April 15, 2012 8:48 am

    well if a guy gets seat in both the clgs like in wharton and iim-A ‘WHICH 1 HE SHOULD CHOOSE ?? Pls reply me.


  1. The Other India « India…From the eyes of a Non Resident Insider
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