Technology companies, from startups to giants such as Microsoft and Oracle, are offering attractive salaries to hire graduates from the country's top engineering schools for specialised, newage IT roles even as overall hiring remains muted in the industry.
Early trends from pre-placement offers at Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) as well as final placements at other top engineering colleges indicate that companies are offering up to 60% higher salaries than last year for niche IT profiles in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, data science and robotics, according to placement cells at these institutes.
"Many IT companies and companies coming for IT profiles are increasing their salary offers from Rs 16 lakh per annum to Rs 25 lakh per annum to get a window in early day slots," said NP Padhy, placement head at IIT Roorkee.
"At a time when tech companies are undergoing rapid transformation, we are witnessing more offers and higher salaries this year at our campus from IT companies to grab talent to stay ahead of competition," Padhy said.
A member of IIT Kanpur's placement cell said companies are offering Rs 20-25 lakh per annum for new IT profiles such as AI and machine learning, up from Rs 15-20 lakh that a regular recruiter would offer for any IT profile till last year.
For the first time, companies are visiting IIT BHU (Banaras Hindu University), Varanasi, to hire engineering talent to build teams for AI, machine learning and robotics, said a person in the institute's placement team.
At IIT Bombay, pre-placement offers (PPOs), or job offers given to students who did internship at companies, in IT space outnumbered financial services PPOs this year. "The number of PPOs offered in IT/software has increased by 22.5% this year at Bombay while the number of finance PPOs have decreased by 16%," said a student who is part of its placement team. Last year, highest PPOs were received in the finance space at Bombay.
At IIT Roorkee, the number of PPOs in IT sector was 72 this year compared to 60 PPOs last year.
IIT Madras has so far received 114 PPOs from large firms such as Microsoft and Qualcomm, up from 73 last year.
Companies such as Capgemini and Zensar TechnologiesBSE -0.95 % confirmed they are hiring talent to work in emerging technologies. "This year we are exploring additional niche skills in digital area," said Anil Jalali, chief human resources officer for India at Capgemini. "Some of these skills are Pega, Hybris, BlockChain, data science, machine learning and Internet of Things," he said. "Candidates for this segment would undergo additional assessment on parameters such as technical test before being put through technical interview and Capgemini selection process," Jalali said.
Syed Afzar Hussain, global HR head at Zensar Technologies, said the firm will hire new talent from campuses and train them for digital roles.
"There are a number of new areas that are fast catching on in the digital space where there are new skills required, namely, data science, AI, IoT, CX/UX, automation, etc.," he said. "Quality of hiring will go up, in line with the digital and automation focus for us as a company," Hussain said.
Kiranmai Pendyal, corporate vice president-global HR operations at AMD, said the chipmaker is looking at hiring campus talent for emerging technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality.