A few days back, I opened the morning paper and read through still red and fuzzy eyes: IIT grad rejects 1 Crore offer. Instead of waking me up with a start, the news put me back to sleep.
After a long hearty snooze, I picked up the paper again: here was another newspaper fighting the Arnab Goswami virus with its very own badly researched headline. The only thing missing was a flashing ‘Breaking News’ banner and the words “India wants to know why you left that 1 Crore Package!” grating against my ears.
Once too often have international dollar salaries been trumped up in Indian Media as heaven sent manna. The simple fact that these are dollar salaries and will be spent in the same country as they are earned are patently ignored – unless the candidate in question plans to trade a $10 coffee at Starbucks for a Vada Pao in Andheri for breakfast every morning the dollars deserve to stay dollars or the headline needs a big bold postfix that says ‘International Offer’.
But instead of clarifying what this salary really means, IIT reps and the media chose to play to the gallery: Sample this quote in The Indian Express:
“IIT-Kanpur Placement Cell, Prof Deepu Philip said that the offers were made on Wednesday by a multinational company during placement interviews on their campus. “The offer to these four students was for a take home of USD 150,000, or close to Rs 93 lakh per annum. Along with other incentives and perks, the size of the package was more than Rs 1 crore yearly,” Read more at this link.
What does a $150000 salary really mean for someone spending it in the USA? How about 30-36 lakh? Yes, that is the real value of $150000 converted to Rupees at a Purchasing Parity Rate of Rs 22-24 specified by the UN.
Not a salary to be scoffed at but surely not a 1 crore paycheck.
In fact this salary is right in the ballpark for the starting pay for most freshers at Facebook in the USA – whether they are from Ivy League Colleges or not. For more on this check this thread on Quora: What is the salary for new grads starting at Facebook in 20013?
Such news creates unnecessary hype in a country already suffering from a virus that makes ebola look like a walk in the park – the education=placement virus.
This kind of news also has a way of putting unrealistic ideas into impressionable minds: that of Indian parents. Many of them seem to be hounding their kids now to get a 1 Crore paycheck or to never show them their faces again 🙂 Read this for more on this: Crore plus pay packages for a few students. Parents of others cold.
And of course such news has a way of creating ripples in the unlikeliest of places. As I shut the newspaper, I heard the family driver standing outside the home, newspaper open wide in his hand, his eyes wider still, speak in an astonished voice to another driver ” Bhai Facebook toh hum bhi join kiye hain, humko toh crore nahin mile!
As I shut my mind to this whole new twist to getting a crore for joining Facebook, a thread on Quora caught my eye which explains the salaries in great detail and presents clarity which prospective IIT/ IIM/ IIN? aspirants should have. And what do you know! Its by an IIT Prof.
Check it out:
I am hearing the packages of 1.5 crores and 75 lakhs these days in IIT campus placements. Where are they made to do their work, in the US or India?
Brijesh Kumar, Assistant Professor, IIT Roorkee
They are made to work outside India. Actual salary is only ~USD 125,000. These newspapers and IIT placement people need to stop lying. After taxes, you only make ~$77,000 out of which you will have to pay at least ~$30,000 a year to get a reasonable apartment. So, after rent and taxes, you get ~$50,000 which is Rs.30 lacs. I am assuming working in California.Don’t believe these stupid lies. We do more advertisement for Google and Facebook than they do for themselves. I don’t know when will we Indians stop propagating these lies.Most of the salaries that you hear include one time stock in the company which will only be available 3-4 years down the road.
Edit: I need to say that based on the comments, maybe the placement people are not involved, but then the companies are involved in leaking this to media. Otherwise, how would the media know what a company is offering?
You can read more on Quora.