Salary offers for India’s information technology professionals have plummeted 30-40%, from about Rs 1 crore per annum they commanded a year ago, owing to the global macroeconomic headwinds and IT sector slowdown, said industry executives.

The trend kicked off a few months ago with some of the big tech companies seeking to rationalise their workforce, they said.

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Venture capitalists, recruitment services and executive search executives told ET that the lower pay packets are becoming the new normal after the Covid-19 pandemic-induced hiring frenzy during 2021-22. Most of the hiring is currently being done by early-stage startups after their series A funding, they said.

“These are mostly CXOs and senior tech talent who have been laid off in the last few months and have worked with large technology organisations as well as startups,” said Ratna Gupta, senior partner, ABC Consultants, an executive search and talent advisory firm.

In the past year or so, there have been large-scale layoffs by big tech companies such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Meta.

According to the latest Nasscom report, the IT sector is likely to grow at 3.8% in 2023-24, much slower than 8.1% in the previous financial year.IT professionals are mostly taking a cut on their variables, which account for nearly 30% of the total compensation, according to experts.“A lot of good tech talent is currently in the market at realistic salaries. We are hiring a few such professionals for our portfolio companies,” said Vikram Gupta, founder of IvyCap Ventures, a $530 million fund that invests through the alumni ecosystems and manages about 40 portfolio companies.

Navnit Singh, managing director of India at Korn Ferry, a global executive search firm, said, “A large number of senior tech talent is being picked up by startups, given the softness with global tech companies.”

Recruitment services firm Michael Page India is currently helping a few startups, including an edtech firm, find suitable professionals for leadership roles in technology. “We are currently in conversations with candidates who have been laid off and have worked with both big tech companies as well as startups,” said Pranshu Upadhyay, regional director, head of India technology practice, Michael Page. “They are ready to take a cut of up to 30%.”

Appetite for hiring among IT services and IT-enabled services firms has been low for some time now, according to experts.

“IT companies have again started hiring but not like previous years…they are treading cautiously when it comes to picking talent,” said Gupta of ABC Consulting.

Tech hiring is mostly done by startups that are either in seed funding stage or series A stage, said Upadhyay. “These companies are ready to offload 4-5% of their equity to the senior tech talent as they have still not hit operational inefficiencies like other late-stage startups,” he said. They are well-funded as of now,” he said.

An executive at a venture capital firm, which is currently raising funds, said good tech talent is now readily available. “This has never been the case. It is a good time for startups and other companies that have unfulfilled tech requirements to shop for talent,” said the executive, who did not wish to be identified.


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