The average salary hikes in India are set to hit an eight-year low of 9.5% in 2017, a recent ‘Salary Increase Survey’ by global consultancy firm Aon Hewitt has found out. The survey, in which over 1,000 Indian companies participated, projects that for the first time in eight years, the average salary growth in India is slated to fall below the double-digit mark.
The drop isn’t momentous compared to last year’s figure of 10.2%, but it is significant because it would be the lowest increase in salaries since 2009 (6.6%) when the global recession hit wages in India as well. This year also, a host of political changes across the world and economic headwinds are the prime factors affecting salary growth. According to Aon Hewitt, this includes the Brexit, recent changes in the US government and the much-talked-about demonetization. So, we thought we’d ask the geospatial community what is their outlook for the upcoming appraisal season.
Atanu Sinha, Director – India and SAARC, Hexagon Geospatial, agrees that the appraisals in 2017 will take a slight hit in terms of huge hikes. “Although the geospatial industry has a promising future in India for next few decades with all the government projects mandating the use of space/GIS technology; the average hike can be expected in similar lines to the IT industry or may be a notch lower,” he says.
Aswani Kumar Akella, Founder, Latgeo Consulting, has a slightly more optimistic view. “I see the average hike to be around 10-12%,” he says. Whereas, for Huzefa Motiwala, Head Marketing, Leica Geosystems, “an increase of 7-12% could be easily expected” in GIS community.
However, when it comes to key talent, Atanu insists that organizations will continue to offer perks and bonuses to keep them attracted and associated with the company for long term. “Today almost every company has come out with innovative ways for resource management in the highly competitive market. This may range from attractive perks, bonuses, employee recognition awards and many more,” he tells.
This is also in line with the Aon Hewitt survey which found the attrition rate in hi-technology industries to be at 16.9% in 2016, which is fairly low among emerging markets. As Huezfa points out, “People responsible behind the orders and executions of major GIS related projects are not only recognized, but also rewarded individually and handsomely beside their regular appraisal.”
Nonetheless, when indispensable projects get stalled or never commence despite being proposed or tendered, due to political/economic factors, it not only directly impacts the appraisals, but also restricts growth for GIS industry, adds Huzefa.
Also, it doesn’t help that the average salary for a GIS Analyst is comparatively less compared to other parts of world, points out Dr. Naveen Vashisht, who is heading India operations for DataWorld. “The reason is lack of infrastructure at ground level and limited subject knowledge. There are only a handful of companies who are able to justify the payments and motivate good professional,” Naveen believes. “Overall, we are still not in good position to motivate GIS professionals with comparable and justified remuneration.
So, in such a scenario, what can professionals do? Naveen recommends learning new skills because “exposure to various technologies does influence salary growth reasonably.”
Sudeep Singh, Founder and CEO of Brand House Mafia, a company that helps brands stay ahead of the curve by partnering with breakthrough technology startups, couldn’t agree more. “While the general trend for salary hike in the geospatial community this year would be 8-15%, people who have specialized skillsets, and knowledge of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, deep learning, big data analytics, etc., can expect up to 25% growth,” he says. “People need to continuously push themselves to keep up with technology.”
Atanu says that employees should understand and foresee the growth rate for long term rather than short term. “We all know geospatial industry is and will be mushrooming in the coming years. We all need to stay patient and work really hard to get the positive outcome.”
And while you wait it out for the good tides to return, do what Huzefa does. “Take ownership, keep networking, enjoy your work, do something extraordinary related to your work that makes you distinguished and remarkable, and keep learning.”
After all, as the creator of the Dilbert comic strip Scott Adams says, the more you know, the more you can know!