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How Much Does An Indian Programmer/ Developer Cost?

What does a good developer cost in India? A very interesting discussion. Being in the middle of things and hiring new employees in our South India office from time to time gives us a good insight into the cost structures on the subcontinent.


It’s a bit misleading to talk about costs. Is this an hourly rate? About salaries? To what agencies charge? Therefore, these sub-areas are treated separately in this article and linked. Important: the framework conditions have changed in recent years. In areas such as C++, Java, JavaScript, and similar technologies, income has risen sharply in some cases. This is also due to the high global demand for IT services.

Programmer Salaries

The salaries of developers in India are lower than other countries. This is partly due to the lower cost of living on the subcontinent and the large range of potential candidates. At the same time, there is a great demand for IT specialists due to the many IT companies that have jumped up in this Asian country in recent years/decades. Here is a summary of what the salaries are based on:

  1. Supply and demand for IT experts in a region
  2. Cost of living in the region
  3. infrastructure costs

In cities like Cochin, for example, office rents are lower, while in Bangalore, they are very high and, in some cases, reach German levels. At the same time, the demand and supply in Bangalore are very high. Listed below are some typical salaries from popular technologies:

PHP Developer Salary (Monthly)

  1. With one year of experience: 25,000 Rs. (about 312 euros per month, current exchange rate 1 euro = 80 rupees)
  2. With two years of experience: Rs. 35,000 (approx. EUR 437 per month)
  3. With three years of experience: Rs. 45,000 (approx. 562 euros)
  4. With four years of experience: Rs. 55,000 (approx. 687 euros)
  5. With five years of experience: Rs. 65,000 (approx. EUR 812)
  6. With six years of experience: Rs. 75,000 (approx. EUR 937)
  7. With seven years of experience: Rs. 85,000 (approx. 1,062 euros)

Another popular technology like PHP is also. NET. The salary index of .NET developers is similar to that of PHP developers. With one year of experience, it starts at Rs. 25,000 and then increases steadily by Rs. 10,000 per month yearly. Things are a bit different with mobile app developers, such as iOS or Android. In some cases, the demand for such developers, especially experienced ones, is very high. Therefore, the salaries of such specialists are increasing rapidly. It hardly matters where these experts are in India. Even in smaller towns, high incomes are achieved in these areas.

Here Is An Example For iOS Developers 

  1. One year of experience: 25,000 Rs. (about 312 euros per month, current exchange rate 1 euro = 80 rupees)
  2. Two years of experience: Rs. 35,000 (approx. EUR 437 per month)
  3. Three years of experience: Rs. 50,000 (approx. 625 euros)
  4. Four years of experience: Rs. 70,000 (about 875 euros)
  5. Five years of experience: 100,000 Rs. (about 1250 euros)
  6. Six years of experience: Rs. 110,000 (about 1375 euros)
  7. Seven years of experience: 120,000 Rs. (about 1,500 euros)

The situation is similar for Android specialists or other mobile-related technologies. It gets a bit more expensive with exotic and popular technologies like Xamarin. Programming languages ​​like Java are also very popular. However, these are mostly in demand from very large companies since those in other large companies usually implement such software systems. Salaries here are higher than for PHP and .NET developers. However, as already mentioned, these are more likely to be found in large companies. In comparison, PHP and .NET programmers can also be found in smaller companies.

From seven to ten years of experience, the sometimes rapid increase in salaries for most experts stops and tends to remain constant. As a result, the desire for self-employment increases for many over time. In the area of ​​​​PHP and .NET, many of the specialists become freelancers after around ten years of professional experience. This often happens faster with mobile app developers since more orders can be obtained on the open market, and at the same time, there are not many experts in this field.

Hourly Rates Of Freelancers

That would also do the transition. After a few years of experience, many IT experts decide to become freelancers. These freelancers have already gained enough experience (not all, but certainly some of it) to program and design systems on a European/American level. They also already know how to get orders from these western countries. Therefore, the hourly rates are also slightly higher than you think. A good freelancer can already charge 30 euros and more per hour. Why should he demand less when companies are willing to pay these hourly rates? On the other hand, many young freelancers try to win projects by charging a very low hourly rate of 10 euros or less. 

Most of the time, they are even successful in winning projects, but whether they lead to success is another question. It is questionable whether engagements with remote freelancers can lead to success. Most of the time, this is only possible if you know the freelancers in India very well, build a good relationship, and don’t just see them as “programming monkeys.” This is the only way to create mutual trust, which leads to successful projects. Most of the time, the hourly rate no longer plays a big role in such a good connection. At this point, an Indian freelancer is no longer very different from his counterpart in Germany. We develop and continue great projects together.

How Much Does An Agency Cost?

The developers mentioned in the first part of the article work in agencies and IT companies and receive a monthly salary. Most of the time, the hourly rate is between 20 euros and 50 euros, which companies take on the subcontinent. However, it is often the case that more hours are charged because it is a fixed-price project. Thus, the savings potential for IT companies in Germany decreases enormously. Sometimes it makes no difference to have it developed in Germany or India because the number of hours is so high.

In addition, there is also the maintenance of the solution, which is often overlooked. Thus, the costs increase again enormously. It is, therefore, particularly important to select honest and trustworthy companies on the subcontinent. And yes, there are, even if you search to find them. But then there is also the challenge of winning over such IT companies because they then, in turn, do not want to or cannot work with every customer. “Can” because there is often a lack of resources, and the IT company, which is also honest, communicates with the customer in this way.

Or the budget needs to be bigger to implement the project desired by the customer. Therefore: It is important to find companies that do not see customers from Europe/ America as the “number monkey” but as a partner on an equal footing. Because that also influences the costs. If you find an agency that wants the best for you, the hourly rate is mostly irrelevant because if the results are right, you can use the delivered solutions to inspire your customers.

Also Read: What Is An Operating System, And What Is It For?

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