The Average Salary Offered By Startups In India Is Surprisingly Lucrative

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The average salary at startups in India could make many professionals, working in tech behemoths like Infosys, Wipro, Accenture, feel jealous.

The fresh and robust startup ecology is not just pulling funds from mighty investors but also hiring expensive-talent across various divisions to rudder over the budding company’s important goals and plans. The startup companies who took the dominant lead on the track for top hires were OYOZomato and Swiggy. With just a dozen startup unicorns – estimated to overpass $1 billion valuation – have recruited exceedingly 350 directors and CXO grade hires over the past two years. This is in accordance with the analysis by a professional staffing organisation Xpheno.

The median salary of these top-level professionals is over INR 60 lakh, with approximately 20% of these in the extent of INR 1-1.5 crore, as accordance with the Xpheno’s assessments. The benefits of employee stock options (ESOP) is also abundant and has changed with the individual hire.


The topnotch companies in the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), telecom services, banking, insurance, financial services, e-commerce businesses and information technology industries have appeared as popular job-hunting spots for the topmost talent. However, Oyo, Swiggy and Zomato have picked over 214 people recently for prime administration positions.

“With fresh funding coming in, the Unicorns have been in a rush to deploy them by scaling up and creating new businesses, and they need senior leaders to lead the scale up,” said Kamal Karanth, co-founder of Xpheno.

Karanth also quoted that, in the rising era of the Internet-based consumer startups, the requirement for reaching the dead-end horizons has generated millions of jobs at the base of the job pyramid. Yet, when some of these startups grew magnanimously by the value of their capacity to raise funds they in turn also formulated distinguished high-paying jobs.

Let’s consider the online food delivery start-up Swiggy, which is currently operating over 120 cities across the country, recruited its inaugural chief financial officer, chief operating officer and head of engineering only last year.

“Given this scale, it was key for us to strengthen our leadership last year in the form of our first CFO, COO and Head of Engineering along with VPs across business, product, new initiatives and engineering functions,” said Girish Menon, VP – HR, Swiggy.


In last December, the Bengaluru-based startup firm, Swiggy announced that it had amassed $800 million in fresh capital funding and also expedited $200 million in secondary share trade by some initial investors. Now, the firm is seeking for administrators and directors in the field of data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

At the same time, the startup in the space of hospitality and accommodation, Oyo Hotels & Homes has secured an investment of Rs 1,400 crore for its India expansion. There are proposed projects to enhance the abilities across technology, procedures and civil engineering by pitching into data sciences, cloud services and design to entice the topmost talent.

The growth seems to be tripled so far by recruiting competent skills in technology and sales from 2017 to 2019. Engaging professionals in developing and pioneering technologies have progressed to more than 600 in 2019, from 100 in 2017. Whereas business development teams populated to over 750 as of 2018, from 170 in 2017.

Analysing another online food delivery startup app Zomato, which has been profoundly increasing its space, reveals that the unicorn has approximately doubled in the workforce to a team of 5,000 people.

“One of our core focuses for 2019 is to continue to strengthen our engineering team, and while we are enthusiastic about our current leadership team in place, we will continue infusing new talent as per the needs of the business,” a Zomato spokesperson said.

Besides, 20% of these management cadre recruits are from top most universities such as IITs and IIMs. Approximately 30% are from next best-ranked B-schools such as XLRI, FMS, SP Jain, NMIMS, Symbiosis, TAPMI, IMT, technical institutes like BITS Pilani, and prominent NITs including Trichy, Surathkal and Allahabad.

The comprehensive pool of directors comprised predominantly of marketing, sales and product talent, followed by the logistics/supply chain and technology positions. The average work experience of these experts and specialist was on the scale of 12 to 15 years.

Indeed, the average salary offered by startups in India has been increasing with each passing year. The intensifying competition has triggered a race to acquire the best minds of the industry. The only concerning element is that the decision to offer jaw-dropping salary offered by startups is primarily driven by funding and not by profit accumulated. How long the trend will continue, it would be interesting to see!

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