Bangalore: Indian software product development companies are currently witnessing a dearth of product managers and technical architects, according to a study.
India currently has around 800 product managers and 2,500 technical architects though the demand for the same was three times more, according to Pari Natarajan, CEO of Zinnov, a consulting firm which recently released the results of its annual survey on ‘Compensation and Benefits 2008´.
The average salary for technical architects rose from Rs17.3 lakh in 2005 to Rs18.85 lakh in 2006 and Rs22.17 lakh last year due to the wide gap between demand and supply, the survey, which covered 40 software product development companies in Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, NCR region of the country.
The average salaries of product managers rose by 25 to 30%, said Shammi from Zinnov.
The typical job profile of a product manager was to interact with clients, understand their needs and translate it into a product while the profile of a technical architect was to conceptualise the product and ensure solutions that would reach the masses. “He is a man with domain expertise and among those with rare skill sets,” she said.
To fill the dearth, companies are now trying to hire Indian expatriates who have expertise in these fields. These persons were also being used to groom others in this field here, said Shammi.
“The demand for these two categories have gone up, with a lot of product development happening in India,” she added.
Pari said the average salary for QA (Testing) function continues to be high. A QA engineer saw salaries rise from Rs4.25 lakh in 2006 to Rs4.56 lakh in 2007. A senior QA manager who drew Rs5.94 lakh in 2006 drew Rs6.98 lakh in 2007. A QA manager who received 12.4 lakh in 2006 drew 13.83 lakh in 2007
With more companies moving towards module/product ownership model, quality and testing now plays an important role in the India centres, leading to demand for product testing professionals.
He said average salary trends for engineering functions saw those at the bottom of the pyramid- (associate software engineers) saw a marginal rise from Rs4.35 lakh to Rs4.44 lakh, while software engineers who drew Rs5.44 lakh in 2006 drew Rs5.53 lakh in 2007. Those like director engineering saw an increase from Rs29.07 lakh to Rs30.03 lakh, it said.
He said the market for software product companies had begun to stablise, the reason being that large chunks of companies in India had now learnt to effectively manage cost by blending a team comprising fresh recruits and training personnel from the software services for product development.
Unlike earlier, these companies no longer needed to recruit their core engineering team, where the pay scales were higher. The existing core team were in a position to train fresh recruits, hired at a lower salary.
Another finding was that attrition rate for software produ product development firms were lower than that of software services firm. The average attrition rate here was 15% as opposed to the over 20% in services.“The reason could be due to the longer life cycle span of product development”, Pari said.