Sunday, September 06, 2009

Return to India (R2I) Salary Negotiation Tips

How do you know the best salary that you can get when you R2I? Does the R2I salary look like a dark black box to you? Yes! You need to do a lot of homework before you go to the negotiation table. The following information will give you enough ammunition to negotiate your R2I salary :

1) Check with your friends in India who have more or less the same experience like yours. Having worked in USA for sometime, you should've gained more experience and exposure. So, you should be definitely paid 10 - 20% more than your friend who has been working in India, all these days.

2) Your salary should be approximately 1/3rd of what you are earning today in US (include your total compensation such as stocks, bonus etc.,)

3) The salary range significantly varies across companies - service companies vs product companies, established companies vs startups, local companies vs multinationals. The formers pay less, while the latter pay more.

4) There is a significant difference in the salary based on the city/state in which you'll be working. For example, in Bangalore you may get 20 - 30% more than what you can get in Chennai.

5) The salary will also vary depending on whether you find your job from US or after landing in India. When you look for a job in India from US, you'll be among the very few who is trying to move back to India. But, when you look for a job in India after reaching India, you'll be among several thousands who are hunting for jobs. You may not get a special treatment, there.

6) Check for prevailing salaries in India from web sites such as, etc., However, these sources are less reliable when compared to the actual numbers you may hear from your friends/acquaintances.

7) Your salary is decided by how well you perform in the interviews & how much value you can bring-in to the company. You can negotiate your salary based on your performance during the interviews.

8) At times, companies will be very eager to fill a position with a specialist. If you are a specialist, then you have an upper hand in the salary negotiation.

9) If you are interviewing with companies who are based in US, your chances of getting a good pay is high. So, approach US companies who are trying to fill a position in their India office.

10) India's salary structure is slightly different that of US salary structure. In India, they'll call it as CTC (Cost to Company). It includes the pay, bonus + all the benefits that you receive from the company. You'll have a Basic Pay (which is completely taxable) and there are other allowances such as House Rent Allowance (HRA), Travel allowance (TA) etc., (the allowances are non-taxable, if you produce bills. There is a cap on the amount up to which you can produce bills). All Indian IT companies offer medical insurance these days (will be very useful if you have elderly persons or kids in your family). Some companies give you Sodexho passes (you can use them to buy groceries, to dine out, for shopping etc.,). All companies have a annual bonus component (typically, added to the salary. So, check with your employer before you sign the offer letter). Some companies will also take care of your relocation costs. That will be a sweet deal. There are very few companies that give stock options to employees.

Hopefully, these 10 tips give you enough data points to negotiate your salary. Wishing you good luck !

Related Posts:

Cost to Company (CTC) - Peeling the Onion
10 things to know if you are thinking of Returning to India (R2I)
Work environment in India - Then & Now