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Considerations for Hiring Indian Interns by Foreign Startups

Written by: Gargi Sarma, Industry Analyst @Global Launch Base

Startups today are looking to scale internationally faster than ever before. Oftentimes product-based technology solutions can be scaled across different markets with some preparation and strategic planning. However one of the best techniques is still having the feet on the ground to test the new markets. While the current covid and travel restrictions are making this difficult, the ability to work remotely has allowed startups to test these strange new and interesting markets with low-cost resources which can be very effective. Hiring an intern in a foreign land can provide many valuable learnings for the startups before making any large resource commitments.

However, hiring an intern in a foreign land does require the startups to clear certain hurdles. This article helps us take a look at the option of hiring interns in India and we will talk about various topics such as the hiring process, requirements, eligibility, internship duration, salary, pros-cons of interns, hiring aspects and tips to connect with them.

Hiring process in India:

  1. You'll need a large pool of applicants at the top of the funnel if you want to hire excellent talented pupils. This will most likely take several days of posting your job description on job boards like:

  • Local university career centres;

  • Advertising on websites (Internshala, LetsIntern, Twenty19, HelloIntern, 10Internship, etc.);

  • Email to relevant university departments;

  • Career fairs;

  • Social-media posting (Facebook/ LinkedIn/ Twitter).

2. Send pre-interview material and follow-up work:

  • Directing the candidate to your website, asking them questions about your firm and the job;

  • Sending the candidate a brief presentation outlining the company, its vision, and the intern's perspective responsibilities

3. Watch them work through a challenge:

  • Send the candidate 20-40 minutes of "homework".

Hiring requirements:

  1. Foreign companies need to be sensitive to India’s different cultural and religious norms that affect HR practices.

  2. It’s your job to gain the interest of Indian intern candidates which can be done by:

(i) job board postings specific to India if you’re interested in hiring in

(ii) generating contact with Indian universities/ institutions

(iii) engaging your online talent community to drum up interest.

3. Under the Emigration Act, any Indian national can be recruited for a job abroad either through

(i) a recruiting agent registered under the Emigration Act; or

(ii) partnering with third-party agencies/ organizations like Global Launch Base; or

(iii) directly by an overseas employer having a valid permit under the statute.

4. For most industries in India, employees should not work more than 9 hours per day, and not more than 48 hours per week in total.

Eligibility of interns in India:

  • Should be 18 years of age or older

  • Must be a student from a recognized institution/ university

  • A recommendation letter from the respective college for pursuing an internship

  • Have completed a minimum of 2 years as a student at a degree, granting three/ four year College

  • Have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0, or equivalent to a B (varies from company to company)

Usual internship duration in India:

  • Short: 1-month

  • Medium: 3-months

  • Long: 6-months


  • Paid internship for students: Ranges from ₹2,500 ($33.58) a month (mostly for virtual internships) to ₹15,000 ($198.13) a month.

  • Unpaid internship: In the case of students (since internships are a part of coursework)/ NGO/ hiring an apprentice.

  • National average: ₹12,264 ($164.72) per month

  • Technical fields: ₹5,000 - ₹12,000 ($67.15 - $161.17) per month

  • Creative field: as high as ₹15,000 ($198.13) per month

Pros of hiring Indian interns:

  • Voracious learners - Interns who work in an open-minded organisation are more likely to give their best.

  • Addictive energy - Their boiling energy in the office produces an inspiring environment, which is essential for productivity.

  • Short-term project completion: Interns are frequently onboarded by startups in order to assist them with certain short-term, time-bound projects.

  • Eager to prove - Interns are always on their toes to acquire merit because they are new to the business world. They are unconcerned about pay or other benefits that many seasoned workers demand.

Cons of hiring Indian interns:

  • Not enough time to teach - You may need to educate the interns on a number of things because they have no prior work experience.

  • Lengthy processes - Not every piece of work completed by the interns will be perfect. It's possible that you'll have to scrap the whole thing and start over.

  • High rate of employee turnover - Intern students, whether hired temporarily or permanently, are found to depart their jobs more quickly as they typically take the job offer as a way to prepare for a better opportunity elsewhere.

  • Compatibility problem - At first, new grads may have compatibility concerns as they must acclimatise to their new surroundings and meet new individuals.

Hiring aspects in India:

The following chart shows the interns hiring scenario before and after the Covid-19 outbreak.

In the above graph, according to statistics, we can observe that virtual internships are being considered by a greater number of people than in-office internships. The reason behind such a scenario is that many students are already enrolled in various courses or prefer working from home and virtual internships receive as many applications as in-office internships.

This graph lays out the most in-demand roles in various sectors of the industry where the startups can look to dive in for hiring their interns. We can observe that management and media are the most popular internship industries, with roughly 47% and 15%, respectively, followed by internships in engineering and design.

Example of an Indian intern resume:

Tips to connect with the Indian interns:

  • Provide a sense of ownership in the learners. If you're going to give them genuine tasks to work on with full-time staff, you'll need to provide a feeling of accountability in them. This would, of course, impose upon them responsibility as well as a triumph when the plan comes to fruition.

  • Transparency is usually a good thing since it promotes work ethics and builds trust. Providing comprehensive transparency about corporate initiatives, existing and projected growth, and future plans to interns. It boosts an individual's self-worth by making them feel more committed to the organisation.

  • Training opportunities give an intern a well-rounded experience in which they can learn about the dynamics of the sector as well as the numerous aspects of working in a team. Allowing your interns to participate in courses, seminars, on-the-job training, and other required standard processes provide professionalism in them. When they see the time and resources their company invests in them, it even pushes them to work harder.

  • Assigning mentors is a highly effective strategy. Interns who shadow a full-time employee have a clear opportunity to learn and ask questions. It also assists them in establishing a relationship with someone within the organisation whom they can use as a reference in the future.

  • Working on interns' strengths is vital for determining their efficiency. Getting to know them is the greatest method to do so. Discover their passions, as well as any relevant professional skills or life experiences from a past position. This will assist you in placing them within the company framework in a logical manner.

  • Interns that are enthusiastic about their work will always be willing to learn and adapt to their surroundings. As a result, you must notice and harness their ideas and passion in the proper way. Rewarding them for their achievements provides them with a sense of satisfaction and encourages them to continue working hard.

We now know that the internship recruitment procedure must be top-notch if you want to hire the best interns and it is always better to test the waters before landing. Companies like Global Launch Base, an international management consultancy firm can help you set up a team of interns or junior resources to help you launch in the Indian market.

About Global Launch Base:

The Global Launch Base team consists of experienced entrepreneurs who have carved out new markets in many international markets themselves. Our experience includes working with some of the largest consulting firms from across the world. We have worked on ventures from the United States, Mexico, Europe, UK and India. We take special pride in working on sustainable solutions that can help the world become a better place.

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