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A Startup’s Guide to Recruiting in India

By October 23, 2017September 19th, 2022No Comments

India is home to the world’s fastest-growing economy, seventh-largest gross domestic product (GDP), and ninth-largest stock market. Attracting approximately 56% of the world’s services sourcing business, India provides startup technology and multinational corporations a skilled and educated workforce and large domestic consumption based economy. Each is supported by a population of over 1.3 billion, making recruiting in India an attractive option for those seeking top-technical talent at a reduced hiring cost.


In 2016, India housed the world’s third-largest startup market, contributing to its current standing as 3rd in its promise to develop disruptive technology that will have a global impact. Such rankings have been the result of strategic government initiatives to improve the ease of doing business within the country. Despite the initial lag caused by the November 2016 demonetization policy, which removed approximately 86% of notes within circulation (Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000), current and future projections predict that the Indian economy will experience continued gains. Demonization was implemented in an attempt to combat corruption, reduce counterfeit notes, and decrease the untaxed wealth within India. The decision also marked the government’s attempt to transition from a largely cash-driven to a more digitized economy. In addition to demonetization, the government’s recent restructuring of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has helped to generate additional financial market confidence, as each should help to improve tax compliance and widen the tax net. Both represent historic political and economic achievements that demonstrate the government’s commitment to attract and improve the processes of conducting business.

For those within the startup technology space, recruiting in India has long proven to be an attractive option due to the vast amount of highly-experienced talent and competitive salaries. As a result, the technology sector continues to experience positive net hiring. From 2014-2017, approximately 600,000 jobs were created by the IT and business process outsourcing sectors. Current estimates anticipate that by 2025, technology companies could contribute an additional 2.5 to 3 million jobs. Coupled with job market growth, IT revenue has also continued to grow, making gains of approximately 9% per year.

Given its low hiring costs and access to a robust and qualified talent pool, it is important for startup technology companies to consider the following nuances when recruiting in India:

  1. Your Story Matters: While working for a startup technology company is often seen as a badge of honor within the U.S., the lack of job security it poses can be of concern for some of India’s top-technical talent. An unmarried male, for example, may be less likely to apply for a position at a startup, which may be seen as less stable by his potential future in-laws. Given this and the presence of top-tier technology companies competing for the same talent, it is vital for startups to develop a compelling and strategic way to showcase your company’s story, culture, and brand.
  2. Team Engagement: In addition to telling a compelling story, another vital component to recruiting in India is to build a strong team engagement plan. Candidates want to understand how they will become a valued member of an international startups team, despite (often times) being the only employee on the ground in India. Startups who offer training opportunities at headquarters are often able to entice top-talent who want an opportunity to build a deeper rapport with their colleagues and have the chance to travel internationally.
  3. Benefits: Health insurance coverage for an employee and their dependents is considered a customary benefit. In addition, depending on the seniority of the role, startups may also want to consider Life Insurance (more commonly known as Term Insurance in India), bonus incentive structures, a Car Allowance, and various memberships.
  4. Remote versus Co-working: Many of the globe’s premier technology companies have a significant presence throughout India. Microsoft and Amazon alone have a presence in over four cities each. Given the likelihood that candidates may be transitioning from a team office environment, it is important for startups recruiting in India to consider the work environment they would like to offer. While many companies initially seek a fully remote option, the availability of a co-working space may help to attract top candidates who are used to working with a team. Co-working spaces are available in India’s technology hubs, however, prices tend to be less competitive than within the United States and Europe.

There are a lot of opportunities available for businesses to grow and succeed in India. Velocity Global offers premium global recruiting services to help companies recruit top-talent in India. To learn more about our recruiting services and see how we can help guide you through a successful global expansion, give us a call!