R&D is the best bet for jobseekers in India’s battered IT sector

Researching good news.
Researching good news.
Image: Reuters/Vivek Prakash
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At a time when redundancies and pink slips have clouded the Indian IT sector, there is one silver lining: the local research and development (R&D) centres of multinational companies (MNCs).

In 2017, when the Indian IT services sector saw over 56,000 job losses, hiring at global in-house centres (GICs) increased by around 2% over a year ago, a report by Bengaluru-based advisory firm Zinnov Management Consulting said. GICs are the multinationals’ local subsidiaries focused on R&D.

India is home to over 1,140 such GICs, of which nearly 40 came up in just the last one year, according to data from the Indian IT sector trade body, Nasscom. The GICs employ around 363,000 people working in R&D and around 197,000 in IT outsourcing. Some top GICs in India include those of NetApp, Dell-EMC, Intuit, Adobe, Microsoft, Honeywell, and Bosch.

Those in the gaming sector received the best pay in 2017 since the companies require niche talent, while generic engineering service providers are relatively poor in compensation, the Zinnov report said.

People in R&D roles across sectors, however, are likely to get higher annual increments going forward. In 2016, they received 0.4% higher raises than non-R&D employees. In 2017, the figure was 1.4% and in 2018, it is expected to be 2.2%.

However, the GIC increments might still be lower than those in earlier years due to increased hiring. The sector currently sees an around 11% rise in salaries each year but this is set to fall to less than 10% in 2018. “Overall industry salary increase is gradually declining and is expected to reach the single digit range…in the near future,” Zinnov said in the report.