Techies working in high-end research and development, intellectual property, patent and product engineering areas, moving up the value chain presently make big bucks. Even freshly recruited candidates get annual salaries of Rs 8-13 lakh, as against their peers in IT who receive between Rs 2 and Rs 3.5 lakh. These packages are for engineers who can harness and harvest technology to conceptualize, design, create, own and roll out products.
A large number of research, development and product firms are flocking to India and this has put pressure on the available engineer talent reserve. This has in turn made remuneration the only differentiator. Itâ€™s extremely tough to attract the right and niche talent. When it comes to the high-end product scenario, salary differences between India and the US are fast shrinking.
Product companies are willing to pay for best of the breed, young techies who can play excellent brain games. Earlier product companies had no access to funds. Today, they are sinking in huge money. Also venture capital firms are increasingly willing to fund research and products firms. The result is going to be mind-boggling.
High-end research and product firms like Microsoft Research, Google, Yahoo and Amazon are the highest pay masters in this space. For instance, Microsoft is believed to have hired dozens of fresh techies for an annual salary of Rs 13.2 lakh. Google hired fresh candidates for Rs 12.2 lakh, while Yahoo, Amazon and Trilogy are paying anything between Rs 8 lakh and Rs 10 lakh per annum. With more and more products becoming online, web services space is seeing a significant momentum.
In the last six months, companies like Oracle, HP Lab, SAP Labs, AMD, Intel, Symphony, Texas Instruments, Cadence, IBM Labs, Ariba, Siebel, i2 Technologies, Manhattan, Analogue Devices, Magmam, Toshiba, Sony, Sharp, Sanyo and Samsung have hired over 1,000 high-end engineers paying annual salaries ranging between Rs 4 and Rs 6 lakh.
These companies focus on data com, telecom, embedded systems, semi-conductor, enterprise resource management, customer relationship management, supply chain management, product data management, and enterprise application interface and web services.
The research and product scene is expected to get even warmer, with several MNC R&D firms expected to enter India. Many tech firms are also floating their R&D divisions apart from local product start-ups. Cities like Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai in India are logical destinations for R&D activities. They have a conductive research culture and they house several key research outfits.