Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Adobe India doles out up to 200% bonus

adobeCEO.jpgBANGALORE: At Adobe's India centre, bonuspayouts are not just linked to meeting key result areas (KRAs) or targets, but also to how innovative employees have been through the year. 

This year, the company doled out bonuses up to 200 per cent, a reflection of the firm notching up 200 patent applications to its name over the years, second only to the number of patents applied from its US office. 
The company has 40 per cent of its global research and development talent in India and one of its most profitable global business units, the firm has five in total, is fully managed here. 

"In India, the opportunity for us is talent arbitrage, not cost arbitrage. We choose the best people from the highest ranked colleges like the IITs and other tier I technology schools and make every effort to keep them together," says Jaleel Abdul, senior director, human resources, Adobe Asia-Pacific. 

To keep the flock together, the company is paying top dollar for top-notch talent, 50-60 per cent higher than most other tier I firms. It has promoted 30 per cent of its engineering staff last year and ensured that employees have full ownership of products that are commercialised and are not involved with just a part of the product, as is often the case with global technology firms which has research centres here. 

Employees also get customer feedback on products. Adobe pumps in significant resources to see a patent application through to its end, a process that could take several years and keeps its employees updated through the process. "A patent is a measure of technical excellence and that probably is the biggest high. It is about saying I invented something no one else thought of before," Abdul said. 

"The annual incentive plan or bonus payouts are based on the company's performance and individual performance. Performance is measured with reference to the Leading to Win criteria which includes thought leadership, results leadership, people leadership and personal leadership. The payouts are contingent on differentiated value added by recipients on all four quadrants of Leading to Win criteria. In addition to this, the company also gives out significant special bonuses to employees who work on innovative ideas that get patented," he added. 

The company has seen a significant increase in the number of patents it has been applying for every year. A growing headcount is also lifting the number of the patent filings, now at almost one every year. 
At a time when most technology firms have been a grappling with huge churn, Adobe says attrition has been in single digits and one sign of employees staying with the company for long periods is that today is because large part of its leadership team has come through the campus route. 

Adobe has also increased hiring significantly this year. It has 1,800 employees and has been increasing headcount at 15-17 per cent a year in the past. In the first three months of this year the company has already hired 350 people.

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