Top 10 Paymaster in India


Have you wondered who are the best paying companies in India. I was always under the impression that the top paymaster in India would be one of the IT companies, but that’s not so – It is one of the telecom companies.

Top Salaries paymaster india

And if you look at the average salary, you will be actually surprised. According to the SundayET survey, the tag of India’s top paymaster goes to – Bharti Airtel – currently the biggest telecom company in India. Surprisingly, even with the global recession last year, the average salaries saw a rise of more than 10% for Bharti (some companies on the list like Nalco have close seen close to 30% rise in average salaries)

What I found very surprising was the number of PSU’s on this list – I was under the impression that these guys pay much lesser than private companies, but that’s not so.

An the space I thought would dominate the list – Information Technology – actually has only 2 companies in top 10 list.

With the break neck competition we are seeing in the telecom space, and alarming fall of call rates, the profits are going to be pretty squeezed up in coming days. It would be very difficult to hold on to that tag !

Coming back to current situation – Here are the top 10 paymasters in India.

Rank Company Name Mar 2009 Salary(lakhs) Mar 2008  Salary(lakhs)
1 Bharti Airtel 12.02 10.97
2 Infosys 11.06 10.21
3 ONGC 11.62 10.40
4 GAIL 10.09 10.01
5 Hero Honda Motors 8.92 7.97
6 Wipro 8.85 N/A
7 Nalco 7.87 5.03
8 NTPC 6.97 6.23
9 Reliance Industries 6.39 5.88
10 Indian Oil 6.25 4.38


I have my reservations about this list – But what do you think? Do PSU’s pay that huge salaries that they dominate this list?

  1. Boss Matka says

    Thank you for awesome information

  2. Niraj Kumar says

    global slowdown reducing salaries.

  3. Rahul Gupta says

    Nice Post. If you are looking for high paying jobs please checkout – an exclusive job portal for top colleges to find high paying jobs. To know more visit

  4. Happy Kumar says

    oogle remains to be one of the highest paying IT companies in India. Average total salary including bonus is average 6-10 lakhs. Apart from the wages, Google also provides its employees with outstanding benefits and perks which makes it the most attractive companies for employees.


  5. Dinesh says

    Hi Arun,
    Wonder why MNCs and banks are not firguring out in this list.
    Not so surprising that telecom operators are leading as this segment had significant growth and stiff competition, hence, employees made merry. However, unfortunately, those days are now over and we should see steep corrections.
    Banks again would have high salaries given the investment and infra growths we are seeing now.
    IT, i would not think would rank amoung the top given they are mostly into R&D (most of them new recruits into testing) , hence, the average would be low compared to companies actually outsourcing these r&d to such indian it companies.


  6. milap says

    hi arun what about health care sector & biotech sector which are the top payers

  7. rajib kumar says

    I want to know the details of the pay package of the above discussed companies with break-up for different post starting from the grass root level i.e, workmen, operator,technicians as because we are very near for a new agreement with one of the top blue chip company

  8. Manohar Chowdary Gunturu says

    no comment

  9. Anuradha Goyal says

    How did you arrive at these? I have hard time believing this list.

  10. Sanjeev says

    These only look like the high market cap companies with public data. And as Rabi mentioned the perks would not have been considered. Also, foreign multinational data also does not seem to be considered.

  11. Shekhar Sahu says

    Google sms channel is very helpful, na!
    They should also show geo tracking and atleast subscribers’ names.

  12. Shekhar Sahu says

    How about the total salary paid?

  13. Vikrant says

    Avg salary may not be the absolutely correct indicator to be called paymaster. I have worked in Infosys for 5 years and it is definitely not the pay master but with 1 lack plus employees and almost everyone is a graduate engineer or a masters degree holder. The 60% of the bottom employees in 0-2 years experience make the most of its workforce.

    I wish there was more data on the statistics gathering methodology.
    Sometimes these half-baked statistics are very misleading.

  14. apu says

    As Abhishek has said, I think median would be a much better indication; also, ideally they need to have lopped off the senior most mgmt.

  15. Abhilash Kushwaha says

    It is surprising that newspaper would publish something without citing their methodology. I doubt they would have surveyed employees to arrive at the figure.

    I think they would have taken the salary expense from the annual / quarterly statements and divided it by the total number of employees in the company.

    Average in this case may not even be close to what most people would actually earn as averages are influenced by outliers. Consider a company with 11 employees. The CEO earns 1 Cr p.a. and other 10 earn 10 Lac p.a. the average will be around 18 Lac p.a.

    When data has outliers median may be a better indication of the actual salary most people would earn. The median in my example is 10 Lac p.a.

    So it is interesting to see the methodology employed by ET if they have just used annual statements then there is no way they would have median salary (or standard deviation around the average). If they have done surveys then median would be a better estimate.

  16. rabi gupta says

    I would say it’s complicated Arun! IT companies now have more than 50-60k employees/company. And there is no such thing as transparency. There are chances that a new software engg hired from other firm on a project demand basis may have higher salary than the PM of the proj who is working in the company from start.
    All IT biggies boasts of being fare but in fact they are not. More than tech team, pre-sales need to be better paid as they bring new projects. I may not be 100% correct, but have seen the industry fr quite some time now :)..

  17. Arun Prabhudesai says

    Vamsee and Rabi…the question for both of you….Do IT companies pay lesser than PSU’s ..I have hard time believing it…

    If it was 10 years back, I would have surely subscribed to that notion…but overall, if you see average salary spanned across company, it should be IT that rules (Its me who thinks that…I am not sure tho..)

  18. Vamsee says

    I can confirm that PSUs do give very attractive salaries. At least to the engineers that I know of. They have amazing perks too (NTPC in particular). But you should notice that most of the PSU companies on the list are energy-related. Obviously these are good times for energy-related companies, PSU or not.

    Plus, all these energy companies employ a lot of foreign technical talent, for which they have to pay on par with private companies. So these factors might contribute to them figuring so heavily on the list. I’m not sure they will stay long there once the economy recovers and other industries start matching their margins.

  19. rabi gupta says

    Hey Arun,

    Im not sure hw they arrived at this avg salary mark. If they are doing it simply by adding all the salaries and then dividing by total workforce, then that might also involve top management salaries. Now for such companies that will eventually go very high, but if you look for companies like Reliance, Wipro, Infy their general perception for salaries is not good among professionals.
    That may also be the reason why we hv PSU biggies over here. Perks for higher management at PSUs is staggering high. Its even not clear that whether they included such perks or not.

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