Business Today

Best Companies to work for in India

This is the best time to alert readers about the 'Best companies to work for'—together with each company’s responses to many questions: Does it plan any pay cuts? Does it plan to increase headcount by March 2009? Did its headcount in December 2008 increase over the figure for 2007?

     Print Edition: January 25, 2009

List of best companies to work for

1. Microsoft India: Staying on top

2. iGate Global Solutions: The rise of the underdog

3. HCL Infosystems: Idea factory

4. HSBC: Nursery for talent

5. Marriott Hotels India: Caring family

6. Godrej Consumer Products: Loving the learning

7. Max New York Life: Nurturing talent

8. Ashok Leyland: No to generation gap

9. Eli Lily: Fighting fit

10. Canon India: Aim, focus, shoot

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With companies in developed countries slashing jobs, and many in India following suit, was this the right time to publish a survey on “The Best Companies to Work For in India”? After all, managing human resources comes after the basic business goal of making money and if there is no money to be made now or tomorrow from a business, then how does the business pay the people it retains?

So, should BT have done the study of “Best Companies” six months ago, when the world was yet to be gripped by the current financial crisis and recession? Perhaps no. Quite a few of the companies, and in fact the whole class of investment banks, which were prized employers on B-school campuses, have disappeared from the corporate landscape.

This, then, could be the best time to alert readers about the Best Companies to Work For—together with each company’s responses to these questions: does it plan any pay cuts? Does it plan to increase headcount by March 2009? Did its headcount in December 2008 increase over the figure for 2007?

The economic outlook for the next year is uncertain on the upside, with almost all pundits convinced that things will tend to get worse. And what are our winners saying? By and large, every company is focussing even more on its flock, going out of its way to retain performers. At the same time, the wise ones are also disclosing the harsh reality to their workforce. The reality that the days of huge pay hikes and lavish perks are over for now. The reality that jobs are no longer there for the taking in the market. All this has given the corporate sector some relief on at least one front: their attrition rates.

The latest study confirms that the best employers are not necessarily the best paymasters, and don’t aim to be so either. The best are quite content to attract and retain talent with abstract things like decentralised responsibility, the space to do your own thing, quick promotions and a learning environment.

Nor do the best companies belong exclusively to any one breed—like multinationals, banks, IT firms, familyowned companies or manufacturing. Working in the pristine environment of an IT major is quite different from the heat and dust of a cement manufacturing plant in Rajasthan. But the list has representatives from both segments.

Ideally, BT would love to do the same study after the forecast year of financial and economic hardship has gone by, by talking to the survivors. Of course, the title would then be: “The Best Companies to have worked for”. Any takers from the corporate world for this challenge?
Microsoft IndiaMicrosoft India
2P&GP&GAmerican ExpressInfosysSaskenMindTree
MindTreeiGate Global Solutions
Johnson & JohnsonHCL
4ICICISKBCH*J&JHCL ComnetHCL ComnetDr Reddy’s LabsSapientHSBC
5Hughes SoftwareSatyamGSKBCH*HDFCNTPCSapientInfosysMarriott Hotels India
6LGAgilentTata SteelNTPCHSBCAgilent Tech iGateGodrej Consumer
7HLLBHELColgate-PalmoliveDr Reddy’sSapientJohnson & JohnsonAgilent
Max New York Life Insurance
8CompaqAmerican ExpressWiproSatyamCovansysCovansysHCL ComnetAshok Leyland
9Asian PaintsColgate-PalmoliveIOCPatni Comp-utersHDFC BankHCL ComnetAccen-tureEli Lilly and Company
10Bharat Petro-leumGilletteTCSHughes SoftwareMind-TreeHSBCDr Reddy’s LabsCanon India

*SmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare
*GlaxoSmithKline Beecham Pharma

Infosys has appeared 6 times in the ‘Best Companies’ list, before opting out this year

The top 10 companies in this year’s list come from the most diverse industries

Till 2007, infotech companies had dominated the list since its inception in 2001

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