Why Chennai lags behind Bengaluru as a vacation spot for IT jobs and startups?


The pay scale of center and senior degree IT staff in Chennai is discovered to be decrease as in comparison with different cities. Photograph: Shanmugam P/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY:SA 4.0)

Ashok*, a first-generation graduate from Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu, landed a job at a number one IT agency in Chennai a decade in the past. With the state capital being a dream vacation spot for a lot of in rural Tamil Nadu, he landed in Chennai with nice hopes and desires.

Because the years handed, he gained expertise, but in addition realized that the pay scale for his function was a lot decrease than an expert with an identical degree of expertise in Bengaluru and different metro cities. With an expertise of round 12.5 years, Ashok now works as a marketing consultant in a start-up IT agency in Bengaluru. “I earn about 60 % greater than what I may earn in Chennai,” he says.

These claims are corroborated by a 2021 research carried out by Randstad Insights. Chennai ranked seventh amongst eight Tier-1 cities throughout India when it comes to annual wage developments for mid-level (6 to 14 years) and senior degree (15 and over 15 years) throughout varied industries. Chennai ranks third relating to junior degree (0-5) jobs, however has seen a steep decline with extra expertise.

Chennai Salary Survey Table
Chennai carried out poorly when it comes to salaries for center and senior degree jobs. Picture: Randstad Insights

So what explains the distinction in wage for jobs primarily based in Chennai? Do IT staff and start-ups desire different cities over Chennai? To seek out out the explanations, Citizen Issues spoke with a variety of execs and here is what they must say.

Restricted scope for progress in Chennai primarily based jobs

An information scientist who requested for anonymity mentioned, “Though it is likely one of the most occurring sectors with excessive demand for expert workforce, there will not be many alternatives in Chennai. My first job was in Bengaluru. When. I used to be in search of openings to shift after three years of coming into the sector, so my function in Chennai did not have as many corporations that I had. Additionally, till I moved from one group to a different at common intervals If I do not go to the group, I can’t get good hike each when it comes to rank and pay scale.

On the distinction in pay scale, he mentioned, “Even the businesses in Chennai which had restricted openings provided Rs 14 to fifteen lakh each year (LPA) whereas I may simply get 20 to 25 lakhs in Bengaluru. LPA may very well be obtained. Actually, just one firm in Chennai was in a position to match the salaries paid by companies in Bengaluru. Though Chennai is nearer to house, my pure alternative was to select Bengaluru as I’d have extra alternatives down the road.

Whereas Chennai has extra service-based corporations, Bengaluru has each product-based and service-based corporations. It additionally has many startups that pay way more than a longtime firm primarily based in Chennai. “If I wish to roam round and discover each the areas, Bengaluru will once more be my first alternative,” he mentioned.

Karthik*, who additionally has an expertise of round 10 years, not too long ago shifted from Chennai to Bengaluru. He’s now in a managerial function in a number one IT agency. Aside from the distinction in pay scale, what attracted him to IT capital was the worldwide nature of the roles obtainable.

“Whereas a corporation like Ernst & Younger could have its India Chapter (EY India) workplace in Chennai, the World Chapter workplace operates out of Bengaluru. Sure senior degree roles which might be unique to these international chapters will likely be obtainable solely in Bengaluru”, he mentioned.


Learn extra: How COVID landed MSME sector in deep water in Chennai


Chennai’s failure to launch after IT growth

Others attributed the stagnation of progress within the IT sector within the metropolis to expertise from exterior Chennai. “Chennai noticed the IT sector blossom a lot sooner than Bengaluru, however it has stagnated since then. Firms that had been arrange in Chennai within the Nineties didn’t broaden considerably. Slightly they began operations in different cities like Bengaluru and Hyderabad,” mentioned a recruiter in search of anonymity, including that this is likely one of the causes for Chennai not having many high-paying corporations.

There may be additionally a distinction within the pay scales provided by service and product primarily based corporations. Sudarshan, Product Supervisor with almost 13 years of expertise, mentioned, ,Service primarily based organizations must deduct out of your wage. Earlier than onboarding a multinational consumer, they will need to have an offshore growth middle with enough seating capability, technical infrastructure and sources. They are going to first rent the candidates and pay from their very own pocket until they get the shopper, whereas this isn’t the case with product primarily based corporations. ,

Lack of effectively developed startup ecosystem in Chennai

Describing startups in Tamil Nadu and Chennai specifically, Pandian*, a startup founder, mentioned that the ‘thought’, which could be both an innovation or an amalgamation of current concepts, is the important thing to startups. “If I strategy somebody in Chennai to fund my thought, they may first ask me to start out an organization, register it, infuse some capital, construct infrastructure, present monetary projections after which Solely then will they hearken to me. If I had that cash to arrange the corporate, I’d not have wanted an investor within the first place,” he mentioned.

“Chennai does not have plenty of enterprise capitalists. Even those that are prepared to take a position will approve the quantity in components, demand the next fairness stake, be concerned in resolution making, ask for frequent assessment and be meticulous at each step. whereas different traders could have a private agenda of tax-free investments. , This follow will solely kill improvements,” he mentioned.

As well as, the present ecosystem in Bengaluru has branded traders who improve the worth of your start-up. “The investor just isn’t solely investing cash in my startup, but in addition a way of publicity. Someone will spend money on my startup simply because a branded investor has a stake in it.”

A well-established startup ecosystem stuffed with alternatives for networking, assembly traders, attracting proficient staff is one thing Chennai misses badly. “After I wished to start out my very own enterprise, I did not spend a lot time interested by the place I wished to set it up. The choice to go to Bangalore was made with none thought. The prospect of securing funding, hiring the fitting folks, and assembly many like-minded founders makes Bengaluru a really engaging place for this. “Chennai has some technique to go earlier than new founders really feel assured sufficient that they won’t miss these alternatives by staying again,” says Bengaluru-based startup founder Vineeth*.


Learn extra: Can Chennai’s financial system come again after COVID-19?


Watch out for going to Chennai for expertise pool jobs

Citizen Issues, a recruiter in search of anonymity, mentioned the fundamental wage was decided totally on the premise of price of residing in a metropolis, competitors for a specific function in a specific metropolis and the extent of rivals within the trade.

Nevertheless, it famous that the floating inhabitants of Chennai was largely inter-state and the floating inhabitants of Bengaluru stays inter-state. Whereas the variety of alternatives is just one issue out of many, Chennai’s weather conditions, concern of a cultural shock and language barrier prime the record of the reason why candidates from different states desire Bengaluru over Chennai.

An IT skilled, who’s a local of Assam and now works in Bengaluru, mentioned, “I’d be a wierd particular person in Chennai. My english is damaged however i can handle with hindi in bengaluru or hyderabad. In Chennai, even these in auto commuting and grocery shops converse higher English than me however they do not know Hindi. Additionally, the summers in Chennai are highly regarded and I get pores and skin allergic reactions. Additionally, nobody stares at me for the best way I costume in Bangalore.”

Ayesha, an information analyst from West Bengal who now works in Bengaluru, mentioned, “Evening life has all the time been a dream for me ever since I used to be a child. Being restricted to exit throughout the evening as a lady, I can now get pleasure from an evening life and it’s doable in Bengaluru.”

Though John’s instructional background doesn’t match his skilled profile as an information analyst in Bengaluru, he mentioned corporations in Bengaluru will not be too inflexible about {qualifications} when hiring. “The corporate I work for simply wished somebody with good problem-solving expertise and that is an innate nature of people. You had been employed for who you’re and never what you already know.” Nevertheless, I discovered the recruitment course of in Chennai very conservative,” he mentioned.

an uphill battle for ladies

In numerous areas and cities, one factor remained fixed – the expertise of ladies. A 28-year-old girl, who sought anonymity, mentioned the ratio between female and male staff remained kind of the identical in entry-level roles. Nevertheless, many ladies hinder their progress once they attain mid-level roles, because the trade fails to accommodate girls who’re married and have kids.

“One 12 months of maternity go away not solely takes a toll on our bodily and psychological well being, but in addition brings us again to our skilled lives. I’d have missed out on a promotion and lift in that one 12 months along with my incentives. It’ll take one other three years to realize that promotion and progress. In the meantime, to handle a baby, I won’t be able to upskill. So, I’d naturally like to maneuver from ability primarily based work like developer to different areas like testing. It will push me additional down the ladder,” mentioned Chandini, who’s now a supervisor at a number one product-based agency. She mentioned she earns a minimum of 40 per cent lower than a male colleague in her identical cadre, whatever the metropolis she is positioned in.

Whereas altering jobs at common intervals would pay effectively when it comes to increment, most ladies civil servants mentioned they’re unable to change steadily like their male counterparts. This additionally led to an enormous distinction within the pay scale between women and men.

COVID-19 and past

Whereas Chennai finds itself enjoying catch-up with different cities, the pandemic may show to be a leveler.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the following lockdown, the work at home mannequin took off. Even after the lockdown restrictions are eased, many corporations are choosing the hybrid working mannequin.

“Each employers and staff understood how a lot they might save by working from their respective base areas. Even organizations that known as it unimaginable understood that fifty to 75 % of the workforce may very well be operated remotely. Even probably the most conservative clients, primarily from banking, monetary providers and insurance coverage, who’ve been operating the identical system for 4 or 5 a long time, had been open to upgrading their infrastructure so they might run their enterprise, Whereas ppl had been working from house. This has elevated the competitors within the sector regardless of the job location and thus has bridged the pay scale hole,” mentioned Sudarshan.

It will assist Chennai-based corporations enhance their expertise pool and goal staff who can work at home because the mannequin makes work location agnostic.

Equally, the rise in SaaS (Software program as a Service) corporations within the metropolis additionally presents Chennai the potential to have its share of the start-up pie.

A extra vibrant ecosystem could be fostered by way of the efforts of businesses such because the Tamil Nadu Startup and Innovation Mission (TANSIM), which incorporates supporting founders, growing relationships with funders, creating jobs and placing Chennai’s presence on the map. Businesses’ strategy could also be promoted to strengthen

So far as town is considered by the potential founders and staff, a concerted effort to dispel myths in regards to the metropolis and create a welcoming and inclusive setting will go a good distance in altering the best way Chennai is considered.

(*Names modified on request)

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