“Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due.”
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-- Romans 4:4
You know it well. Beyond all that talk about ‘IT leadership’, ‘BITA’ or ‘IT Strategy’, in the modern times, CIOs toil for a single crucial motive: the paycheck. Salary being such a critical factor in their careers as employees, ‘The Indian CIO Salary and Career Survey, 2012’ tried to gauge the level of compensation received by CIOs in India. For a deeper understanding of Indian CIOs’ salaries, the survey focused on two factors: their ‘cost to company (CTC)’ as well as the ‘basic salary’.
The Indian CIO Salary and Career Survey, 2012
During the ‘The Indian CIO Salary and Career Survey, 2012’, SearchCIO.in asked a straight question: “What is your cost-to-company (CTC) or total compensation = salary + bonuses + incentives?” The respondents were given multiple ranges to choose from. These ranges can be broadly grouped as: Low (Below Rs 12 lakh), Reasonable (Rs 12 lakh to Rs 30 lakh), High (Rs 30 lakh to Rs 75 lakh), and Very high (Above Rs 75 lakh).
The salary survey results show that the second CTC range, ‘Reasonable’, is densely populated -- more than half the CIO respondents fall in this bracket, followed by ‘Low’ which has about 31% CIOs / IT managers in it. The community has a very few CIOs earning ‘Very high’ annual CTC packages.
The picture is not too different when we consider the ‘Basic salary’ earned by CIOs in India. The salary survey shows that even here, the biggest salary band is ‘Reasonable’, with half the CIO respondents being in this bracket, followed by about one-third that get ‘Low’ annual packages. (Figure 1. The Indian CIO’s basic salary range).
Fig. 1: The Indian CIO’s basic salary range
As per our survey results, the average estimated basic salary of Indian CIOs and IT heads works out to be Rs 22 lakh for the year 2011. Their average estimated cost to company (CTC) for the same year works out to be Rs 24 lakh. Please note that although many CIOs may actually be earning much higher than this, a number of IT heads (See ‘The Indian CIO Salary and Career Survey 2012’s Methodology for a break-up of our respondent sample) who may have lower salary levels have brought down the estimated averages.
Under the microscope
A closer look at the survey’s CTC data shows without doubt that the multi-national companies (MNCs) are better paymasters than the Indian organizations. There is a greater number of CIOs earning ‘Low’ salaries that are employed by the Indian corporations (about one third) as against those employed by the MNCs (about one fourth). Accordingly, MNCs also score better in the other three salary ranges: Reasonable, High, and Very high. (Figure 2. CTC by company type).
Fig. 2: CTC by company type
Examining the region-based trends in the salary payouts reveals that there are more survey respondents earning ‘Low’ CTC in the western region of India than in North or South India. Moreover, ‘West’ also has the lowest number of CIOs in the ‘High CTC’ range as against North and South. (Figure 3. CTC by region). This trend reflects the current distribution of India’s population and of investment activity. The western region, led by the country’s financial capital, Mumbai, has a high availability of employable IT management talent. This availability of manpower also results in high competition and correspondingly puts pressure on the salary packages earned by the CIOs and IT management personnel.
Fig 3: CTC by region
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