As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, India increasingly relies upon industrialization and commerce for growth and development. One important factor in this evolutionary process is the high number of Indian and foreign multinational companies (MNC).
Many such companies are established firms that have been in country for more than a decade. These MNCs provide lots of job opportunities and different flavors of work culture and corporate exposure. Most MNCs in India are either American or European firms. A few Indian companies, like Infosys Ltd. and Tata Consultancy Services have also attained significant growth and development the world over and can easily compete with some of the giant foreign organizations in terms of turnovers and workforce in their respective domains — but by and large, foreign MNCs still dominate the Indian market.
Because foreign MNCs offer so much opportunity in the way of growth, variety of work projects, infrastructure and so forth, many Indian employees prefer to work for them over Indian companies. This preference is based largely on differences in work culture, with foreign companies being generally more flexible. As an example, foreign MNC employees often have freedom to work from home or any suitable facility with negligible micromanagement. MNCs typically focus just on performance, outcomes and deliverables.
Conversely most Indian companies have mandatory guidelines of “no working from home,” and assign specific workstations to which their employees are bound. Indian supervisors are usually careful to note break times and ensure that employees spend allotted work hours at their work station. This rigid approach is considered to be in line with flawless service delivery and project requirements. Exceptions do exist, of course, but cannot be generalized.
There are many different factors that influence Indian workers to choose American or European companies over an Indian firm. Following are few critical and decisive factors that give these foreign companies an edge over local enterprises.
Active Human Resources
The Human Resource (HR) department is the backbone of an organization. HR professionals make sure that the right candidates are selected for the right job and serve a critical role in employee engagement and wellbeing.
Within many Indian IT companies, raising concerns about your job description or requirements and work environment is not readily acted on. Most often the concern is redirected to the employee’s supervisor, which often does not yield any positive results. And if an employee’s concern is against their supervisor, of course, this may make life even more difficult for the employee.
With American companies in particular, HR is very active and does not follow the instructions of employee supervisors or managements when dealing with an issue raised by the employee. They have processes and procedures in place to handle every concern in a professional and serious manner. They also have similar procedures to follow-up and ensure that concerns were dealt with satisfactorily.
Less Favoritism and Politics
While nepotism and office politics are often found everywhere, it is a particular trait in Northern India, where Indian companies have a bad reputation for practicing it. Nepotism is when an employee is hired not on the basis of their skills, but rather because of their acquaintance with someone influential — think the manager’s son.
These “political” hires also often receive raises, bonuses and greater opportunities, not for work well done, but again because of their relationship with someone higher up in the organization. This can be demoralizing for employees who do their best and regularly perform at high-levels. Foreign companies are known to provide an equal platform for all employees to grow and receive recognition for their work. Everyone likes to be appreciated and especially enjoys it when an employer shows that appreciation.
Logical Reporting Structure
Many Indian companies have team supervisors as the reporting managers of aligned employees. This can and often does create situations where an employee is forced to flatter their supervisor to meet operational issues such as time and expense approval, training approval, and so forth.
Indian supervisors also consider short-falls in an employee’s performance as something that can negatively impact their own appraisal and growth evaluations. In a typical foreign MNC, a team supervisor provides directions for project delivery while a separate reporting manager, who may or may not be associated with the team, but with the same technical domain or project, provides evaluation on performance. This dual structure helps streamline the operational and project delivery experience for employees, while simultaneously in an unbiased manner acknowledging and rewarding employee contributions.
When employed by an MNC, workers are enrolled for specific projects for which they were hired. Their salaries come from these projects. Certain salary components, such as bonuses, are project-specific and are paid to employees depending on performance and progress on these projects.
Foreign MNCs tend to lay off non-essential employees as a project winds down. Indian companies typically do not do this. They do offer job security, but with one condition — they keep non-essential employees on bench, but cut their salaries while they wait to assign them to new projects. This can be a bitter-sweet pill for workers to swallow.
This difference in approach tends to drive skilled workers to choose foreign MNCs as a career option, particularly if they feel their skill-set is such that they will avoid being laid off. It also reduces employee turnover.
Skill Growth and Development
Many overseas companies encourage employees to attend remote or classroom based technical training programs. This helps employees learn and develop new skill-sets, make advancements in their careers and gives the company a stronger employee pool.
Career growth and skill-development are certainly priorities for eager and dedicated employees. Unfortunately, this approach of developing employees is missing in many Indian IT firms or at least very restricted. Only few big Indian IT firms support these types of learning programs.
Additionally, while most companies, Indian or American, are fairly rigid in terms of experience required to attain a certain job role or designation, many foreign companies also consider additional skills and knowledge. An example might be hiring a candidate with less formal experience, but who possess a desired certification and skill set over a more experienced candidate. This gives employees a belief that skill based growth can be achieved even with less experience and servers as a motivation factor.
American and European companies typically pay higher salaries than Indian companies. While a higher salary does not necessarily correlate with higher job satisfaction, it does usually matter. All things being equal, more money is always good.
Higher salaries can (and do) play a role in recruiting junior to mid-senior level applicants. A higher salary can also give an employee more freedom to pursue outside interests and a better work life/private life balance.
Larger Salary Hikes
Salary hikes in Indian companies, when they happen, tend to range from three percent for average workers, up to 15 percent for top performers. On the other hand, American companies tend to average salary hikes of 20 percent for the mid to senior level performers. The numbers may vary from firm to firm but the word is out — foreign companies are good pay masters.
Employees with global exposure and solid experience on their resumes will always have an edge in IT. Working with foreign MNCs can provide opportunities to develop these advantages. While many Indian companies do bid for remote projects, they typically have few if any onsite opportunities outside of their own offices.
Working for a foreign MNC enables an IT professional to gain exposure to counterparts from other nations. This allows them to experience new ideas and methods of solving IT challenges. This increased flexibility will not only satisfy an employee’s desire for learning, but also make them more valuable to potential employers.