Program Manager Salary in India: Responsibilities and Factors

Program Managers lead teams and project managers to achieve organisational goals, overseeing operational progress and providing technical inputs. They are central to managing interconnected activities and resolving high scope issues. Naturally, they are highly demanded across industry sectors for their expertise. This blog will discuss the program manager salary in India and guide you on how to enter this work arena! 

Common Misconceptions about Program Management

Program management is often confused with product management and project management. While these job roles may look similar at the first glance, they are distinct in essence.

Product Management vs. Program Management

Product management is concerned with the strategic development, launch, and improvement of a company’s products. On the other hand, program management involves coordinating the interdependencies between different products and strategic initiatives. 

Program managers’ work profile goes beyond a single product and pervades organisation-wide tasks. They interact with multiple stakeholders and departments to ensure that everyone and everything is aligned with the shared company objectives.

Project Management vs. Program Management 

Similarly, project managers handle individual projects.  They plan, organise, and control time, budget and resources to meet the program guidelines. Here, the focus lies on the functional elements of the project. 

Program management is more strategic and tactical. Professionals in this job area supervise a set of projects and teams to deliver long-term business goals.  

Now that we have clarified the basics, let us understand the work profile of program managers in detail.

Program Manager Responsibilities

Here are some standard areas where employers expect program managers to utilise their skills:

  • Formulating, organising, and monitoring teams and projects.
  • Designing and implementing suitable strategies to meet organisational objectives.
  • Coordinating cross-project activities to deliver operational efficiency.
  • Creating fast and effective solutions based on changing business requirements.
  • Overseeing programs and guiding them to completion. 
  • Evaluating performance and capabilities of team members.
  • Undertaking timely reporting throughout the program lifecycle.
  • Enabling clear and transparent communication throughout the organisation.
  • Prioritising customer satisfaction and analysing risks. 
  • Keeping abreast of industry trends to realise competitive advantage for the company. 

The above-mentioned work profile makes it evident that program management requires problem-solving, strategic innovation, and communication skills besides technical and domain knowledge. With the right qualifications and experience, you can earn premium salaries in IT, consulting, and other sectors. According to Payscale, the average program manager salary is currently estimated at Rs. 20,00,000 per year. 

The next section will familiarise you with the details of the compensation packages and what the employers look for in successful candidates.

Program Manager Salary in India

Program Manager roles boast of some of the highest salaries in the following sectors:

  • Information Technology
  • Software Development 
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Healthcare
  • Energy
  • Engineering
  • Construction
  • Consulting

Prominent recruiters include Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Capgemini, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, Ola, Oyo, Publicis Sapient, Great Learning, Cisco, Tech Mahindra, Adobe, Oracle, Infosys, Accenture, Dell, Hewlett Packard, etc. Glassdoor reports that the pay grades for these companies range from Rs. 7,50,000 per annum to Rs. 25,00,000 per annum

However, the remuneration varies depending on the qualifications and experience level of the candidates. Program Manager salary for freshers currently stands at least Rs. 7,00,000 per year, which goes on increasing with relevant experience in the field

The highest salaries for senior program managers are around Rs 30,00,000 per annum. Payscale currently approximates the average pay at Rs. 29,71,619 per year while Glassdoor isn’t far off with an annual figure of Rs. 28,80,904

It is clear that a program management career comes with attractive rewards. But job aspirants often overlook the dynamics at play. While program managers are required in almost every workplace, how they get paid is based on several determinants. We have compiled them for you below.

Factors Affecting Program Manager Salary in India

1. Job Location

Gurugram, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, and Pune feature among the top cities for program managers jobs on LinkedIn. A city-wise analysis reveals that the compensation varies with the job location. 

Employment website Indeed found that Program Managers in major cities like Gurugram and Bengaluru are paid more than those in Mumbai and Pune. A program manager working in Gurugram earns Rs. 78,217 per month on average. In Bengaluru, the monthly pay stands a little higher at Rs. 82,137. Program manager salary in Mumbai is comparatively lower at Rs. 65,953. This indicates that the concentration of big tech firms, startups, and incubators in a particular location has a bearing on the remuneration offered. 

2. Company Size 

Salaries also depend on the type and size of the company. Here’s a list based on AmbitionBox reviews.

  • Accenture: Rs. 24,40,000 p.a.
  • Adobe: Rs. 24,10,000 p.a.
  • Tech Mahindra: Rs. 23,30,000 p.a.
  • Dell: Rs. 21,60,000 p.a.
  • Cisco: Rs. 21,00,000 p.a.
  • Amazon: Rs. 19,70,000 p.a.
  • Wipro: Rs. 19,40,000 p.a. 
  • Startup: Rs. 11,50,000 p.a.
  • Great Learning: Rs. 7,80,0000

4. Industry and Growth Stage

PMI’s Pulse of Profession Survey highlights  IT, automotive, and financial services as the leading sectors for program management related jobs. It further quotes the median salary for certified project management professionals at Rs. 18,00,000 per year in other areas like consulting, healthcare, and telecommunication. 

You can also look at growth-stage startups as lucrative options, especially in sunrise industries like Mobility, Energy, Agritech, Pharmaceuticals, etc.

5. Educational Qualifications

Typically, program manager jobs require a background in business administration, marketing, finance, computer science, or related fields. The preferred academic track depends on the company and business area. Candidates with postgraduate qualifications or advanced degrees in the relevant domains earn significantly higher than undergraduates. 

In terms of skill sets, employers want someone who demonstrates a mix of creative and strategic vision. So, it is recommended to opt for courses that train you in basic IT skills and also equip you with communication, leadership, and innovation capabilities.

6. Work Experience

Having 3-5 years of work experience in a particular industry can make it easier for program managers to move up the ranks. Most top-paying recruiters look for candidates with practical exposure in problem-solving, budgeting, scheduling, task management, and performance evaluation. Working knowledge of the latest project management tools is an added advantage. Candidates can also showcase their organisational and multitasking skills through online courses, project work, and industry training boot camps. 

How to Become a Program Manager in India

Whether you are a fresh graduate or an experienced professional, upskilling with management certifications and programs can accelerate your career. You can choose from a wide range of options, completing your education without quitting your job. 

upGrad offers many online courses to help you build industry-oriented skills and transition to high-paying jobs. Aspiring program managers can consider enrolling in the following programs:

Taught by leading faculty of eminent universities and business schools, these courses can give a boost to your profile while enhancing your professional network. UpGrad’s management education has top institutes on board, including Liverpool Business School, Duke University, Michigan State University, IIM Kozhikode, IMT Ghaziabad, among others.

With this, we have given you a comprehensive view of a Program Management career in India, along with the Program Manager salary and the factors affecting it. We also brought you up to speed with the industry expectations for this job role. If you are planning to pursue this career track, you can now make an informed decision about your future course of action!

What does a program manager do?

Program managers provide strategic focus, assess performance, assist in change planning and implementation, and make continuous improvements for organisational success. On a day-to-day basis, they supervise a group of projects or products and interact with several stakeholders to realise shared goals.

Who hires program managers?

Program managers are hired in various industry sectors, including IT, software development, engineering, finance, marketing, consulting, and healthcare. No matter what the workplace, program managers synchronise organisational products, activities, and teams to maximise performance results.

How does the program manager salary in India change according to experience?

On average, program managers in India earn Rs, 20,00,000 annually. Program manager salary ranges between Rs. 7,00,000 per annum to Rs. 30,00,000 per annum, depending on multiple factors. Company size, job location, and candidates’ profiles play a major role in deciding annual remuneration.

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