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Base salary stagnates, but variable pay zooms at IITs

It may be raining big money at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campuses, but recruiters are focusing more on the variable component rather than the base salary which have remained more or less at the same level of last year.

IIT placement cell officials said the variable component in salary — stock options, joining or sign-on bonus, relocation benefit, medical reimbursement, leave travel allowance, transport allowance and other benefits— has pushed up the salary figures to over a crore-plus. cent at the IITs.Including variable component, international pay packages have seen a jump of anywhere between 10-30%

Consider this: The US-based computer technology firm Oracle, which has made a job offer of close to Rs 1.83 crore has Rs 80 lakh as the base salary and doled out 4,000 company stock options. With Oracle’s stock price around Rs 2,590 ($ 41.9), these 4,000 stocks are to be valued at Rs 1.03 crore, taking the total compensation package to Rs 1.83 crore.

Ditto with social networking site Facebook which has made job offers for a coding profiles totaling a compensation package of Rs over 1 crore. Students said, of this, around Rs 65 lakh is base pay, while Rs 62 lakh was in stock benefits and the rest as one-time joining incentive. Across many campuses, Samsung Korea offered the second highest overall package (Rs 93 lakh).

A multinational firm at one of the IITs has made an offer of $ 100,000 as the base salary, $ 15,000 as sign-on bonus and $ 10,000 as relocation and the rest as stock options. Google, Oracle, Microsoft and Facebook are among several of the companies making big-ticket job offers to students.

Placement chairperson at IITs said, in many of the offers made, the pay packages include variable components which the institute does not count. IITs have divided the salary component in two parts– Guaranteed or fixed component and variable component.

The IITs say, they consider only the fixed component in their placement records or data base as in many cases, the pay packages also include charges of putting up students in five star hotels. “These are one time payments and completely misleading. We do not club these with the over all package. We focus only on the assured and recurring salary component,” said a placement official from IIT Bombay.

Country’s premier engineering institutes, the IITs have seen good number of companies coming to their campuses this year to recruit students. Placement at IITs are conducted in two phases. The first phase began on December 1. The second phase will begin next year and will be go on till April-May 2015. New IITs began their placement in November which is still on.

At IIT Madras however, the highest salary recorded so far was at $ 129500 (Rs 80.2 lakh, $ =62). Last year IIT Madras had recorded the highest international salary at $ 210,000 or Rs 1.3 crore.

Placement officials said, in many cases, students do not stay on with a company for more than a year of two. In such a scenario students are not able to exercise their stock options if they quit the company before three or five years, the conditional period of the job.

“We have seen many cases where students have quit and come back to India in a matter of six to nine months,” said a placement official from one of the IITs.

IIT Bombay which recorded its highest domestic at Rs 42 lakh– Rs 34 lakh plus Rs 8 lakh as incentives — from Tower Research Capital India.

At IIT Kanpur, the average salaries have risen by 23 per cent, up from Rs 7.9-8 lakhs of last year. However, placement sources at IIT-K said that the institute was “not into the average salaries game”.

Firms threaten withdrawal of job offers

With students from the IITs going public with the compensation packages offered to them, companies have communicated to the IITs that they may withdraw the offers.

“Companies are upset over the disclosure compensation packages offered by them to our students and have threatened that they will withdraw these offers. If this happens, it will be bad for students,” said a placement official from IIT Bombay.

IIT Bombay said it has communicated to its students on an intra-net blog not to make placement details public.

IITs sign a non-disclosure agreement with the companies. Students from the campus have made public the placement details which has upset the IITs.

Some IITs like IIT Madras have been making everyday placement details public through a media release.

IIT Kanpur students reject Rs 93 lakh offers

“We received four offers of $ 150,000 packages but all four students rejected the offers,” placement sources stated while refusing to divulge further details on the $ 150,000 packages. However, it has been learnt that the same were made by Samsung. The reason offered is that students are looking at job satisfaction more than compensation packages.

(With inputs from Gireesh Babu In Chennai)

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