Research: The Rise of India’s Interns 05.11.2023 | Avrom Goldberg

The rise of intern talent is, without a doubt, a global trend. In fact, with the lifting of pandemic restrictions in many parts of Asia, we’re seeing a palpable resurgence in internship programs being leveraged across this region as a strategy to fortify talent pipelines amid a worldwide talent shortage. One country in particular has stood out as a burgeoning hub for internship programs: India.

And this shouldn’t come as a surprise given that the country takes the development of their nation’s talent pretty seriously. Internships have always been mandatory for students in India full-time MBA programs, as well as for engineering students. But more recently, the University Grants Commission (UGC) made it mandatory for all undergraduate students in recognized Indian universities to complete compulsory research internships. These opportunities are the launchpad for real-world experience and industry exposure, increasing the employability of these students upon graduation. And they’re helping businesses in India tap into tomorrow’s talent and introduce them to the skills that will drive organizational growth and success.

According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, India is on track to overtake Germany as the world’s fourth largest economy by 2026.

On the tails of the launch of our recent Interns & Mobility Survey 2023, we were inspired to develop a companion piece to this research, diving into how mobility supports internships across India. Featuring information culled from recent industry surveys, our Advisory Services research library, and information from clients on-the-ground with activity throughout the APAC region, this report offers an insider’s look into the talent management strategies leveraged in a nation dubbed the darling of the global economy.

The 18 clients who participated in our benchmark were drawn from eight different industries, with the majority from the IT sector, a dominant force in the Indian economy. Two thirds of the companies who participated in our benchmark are US headquartered, with the remaining one third equally split between European headquartered and India headquartered companies.

Here are some of the most striking takeaways from this study:

  • 67% of respondents have a defined intern or grad program in India, with close to 70% claiming that support for these grads/interns is owned by the corporate mobility function.
  • A comparable research report conducted in 2022 revealed that roughly 70% of companies in India offer lump sums to their interns, leveling out at around INR 50,000 (about $610 USD) per person. The companies we consulted who offer lump sums typically offer these in the range of INR 85,000 to INR 100,000 (just over US$ 1,000 to approx. US$ 1,220) which equates to around INR 60,000 – 70,000 after tax (approx. US$ 735 to US$ 850).
  • Relocation-related services most typically offered to interns are airfare and temporary housing.

Says Avrom Goldberg, SVP EMEA & APAC for Weichert: “What is especially interesting to see, is that a few of the companies we spoke to not only have provisions for supporting the relocation of their domestic India interns, but also either already have, or are developing, programs aimed at drawing fresh grad and intern talent from abroad into India. This is a trend to watch”.

Goldberg goes on to say “a veteran India HR leader we spoke with stated that whilst many companies he is aware of with a structured domestic India program simply offer interns or grads a Lump Sum, he personally strongly endorses relocation benefits as an important talent attraction tool, and these ‘need to be used as such. They are a one-time cost, but they are worth it’. This HR leader even supports provisions for parents of grads or interns who wish to accompany their children who are placed in the company program. These benefits should be fully covered by the same relocation provisions the company offers for the first fifteen days, including travel, accommodation, transport, and meals.”

Ready to dive in? Access the full breadth of findings from our India-Based Internship Programs report here:

India-Based Internship Programs


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Written by Avrom Goldberg

A widely-recognized expert on global talent mobility, Avrom is the Senior Vice President, Global Client Services for the EMEA, APAC and LATAM regions. He has written extensively on Asia Pacific mobility trends and best practices for such publications as China Staff magazine, HRM China, Human Capital Hong Kong, Bo Le Journal for Strategic Management, Mobility magazine and HR World. Avrom was twice distinguished by The Forum for Expatriate Management, having won the EMMA award for “Outstanding Contribution to APAC Global Mobility” and “Global Mobility Professional of the Year.”

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