New Delhi: India Inc has topped among its Asian counterparts when it comes to the monetary measures taken for retaining the right talent while doling out highest salary hikes to its finance executives across the region.
According to the CFO Asia magazine’s latest compensation survey Chief Financial Officers and other finance executives, CFOs as well as the second-tier finance executives in India got the highest pay hikes in Asia in 2007, while beating out those in places like Singapore, Hong Kong and China.
While CFOs in India got a hike of 25% in their salaries last year, that for financial controllers, treasurers and other second-tier finance executives rose by 28% in the country.
This compared with 14% hike in China, 11% in Hong Kong, 14% in Indonesia, 19% in Malaysia, 10% in Singapore and an Asia average of 16% for CFOs.
For controllers, the second highest hike after India was seen in China at 13%, followed by 12% in Malaysia, 11% in Indonesia, 9% in Singapore and 5% in Hong Kong, resulting into an Asia average of 15%.
In terms of actual base salary, the CFOs in India were paid an average of $92,206, third highest after Hong Kong and Singapore, but higher than the Asia average of $59,846.
The average CFO salary in China was less than half of India at $41,990. For second-tier finance jobs, the average salary in India stood at $39,888 -- fifth highest after Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The magazine said that talent crunch is unlikely to ease despite the threat of a US recession as many economist believed it might only cause a slowdown in Asia, rather than an “outright contraction.” It quoted HR consultancy major Hewitt Associates’ Nishchae Suri as saying salaries would still go up in 2008, although marginally.
The average CFO salary in Hong Kong, the top paymaster, stood at $169,460, followed by $106,518 in Singapore.
According to CFO Asia, a leading finance magazine published by the Economist group, the wage inflation in India is being pushed higher by the business service companies, which are desperate to hire the best young talent.
The magazine quoted executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles’ principal in India Avdesh Mittal as saying growth in India was happening across industry sectors “and that means that there is a higher demand for professionals across industries and across functions, not just finance.”
The market supply side is starting to respond to the surging demand and in most places local universities are producing a steady steam of accounting graduates. But the spurt of economic growth across the region has been so strong that demand is still outstripping supply, the report said.
Interestingly, 28% of CFOs were promoted last year, while 22% of them switched jobs.
However, only 5% of CFOs in Hong Kong got promotions last year and 20% of them changed jobs. Singapore executives got the highest number of promotions with 35% of them getting elevated in 2007.
Financial executives in the country also received the third highest bonus awards among the Asian region of an average $24,695 in the past year. Hong Kong executives received the highest bonus of $52,571 and in Singapore it was $47,449 in the reviewed year.