Why your Startup is Destined to Succeed with a Developer from India

Building a startup is a tough thing. In most cases, you have to find the balance between great ideas and budget constraints — especially when it comes to finding a cool senior developer who’ll implement your ideas. If you’ve ever tried to find one, you’re certainly familiar with the situation when a specialist that’s your perfect match slips right out from under your nose. And that’s all because they were hunted down by a big company that offered more money. Sad and simple. As for me, I once found a compromise by hiring a developer from India.

Eventually I’d hired everyone I needed for my startup except for the most important: the development team. I spent five long months looking for one, but it always ended up the same way: as soon as the perfect candidate came along, the chance of hiring them slipped away at the last minute, all because a role in a big company with a higher salary looked much more attractive. A lot of my friends who are founders as well have admitted that this is a common problem for American startups. One of them suggested turning to the Indian tech labor market, and it worked out! In a few weeks, I got what I’d wanted for so long: an amazing team of senior developers.

Here are some reasons you should look to sourcing developers from India too, and stop underrating them as many still do.

Why India?

No, it’s not about the well-known stereotypes — it’s about facts and figures. In the 21st century, it is wrong to be guided by prejudices, just as it is wrong to limit oneself to a single country when looking for employees. Over the past several years, India has become a leader in tech outsourcing. More than 7.2 million Indian users created repositories on GitHub in 2021. Every year, Indian colleges graduate 1.5 million software engineers. By 2023, India is expected to have 5.2 million developers, which is almost twice the US’s number. Although there are lots of IT hubs there in India, the supply/demand ratio is still an issue. Many cool Indian developers are struggling to find a job in their home country. So hiring a developer from India is a win-win: you get a great specialist, and they get a great job. Here’s why this is the case.


Developers in India have the lowest hourly rates among their peers. For example, you would pay $25–30 per hour to a specialist from Eastern Europe and $20–25 to one from Northern Asia. The average rates for India are about $18–25.

But the cost difference doesn’t mean you’ll get a careless worker and shoddy code at all. Indian devs are highly educated due to their strong and STEM-focused education system, which gives a solid technical base and lots of self-study and practice.

So if you hire from India, you’re very likely to get a top-notch developer who knows what they’re doing but who doesn’t cost a boatload.

Diligence and amazing speed of work

You’ve definitely run into those viral memes about Indian programmers who have the answers to any questions. Yes, they’re completely true. Now, you may be wondering: What do these memes have in common with diligence? The point is that there wouldn’t be so many coding tutorials on YouTube and, of course, memes on the topic, if Indian developers weren’t truly that meticulous in what they do.

You’ll never see these guys just sitting and chilling in their workplaces. If you give them an urgent task that must be done by the afternoon, they’ll definitely get it done on time, no matter how complicated it is. They’ll find all the necessary data themselves or cooperate with colleagues in a pinch. In a word, they’ll figure out the best way and won’t let you down.

The truth is that tech training and work in India is an extremely competitive environment. The competition among tech specialists is arguably fiercer than in any other field in India. So the fact that a person managed to achieve a high level in development and earn their senior status speaks volumes.

Innovative thinking

You may hire a highly skilled developer with a brilliant CV, but that doesn’t guarantee they’ll be proactive and eager to come up with fresh solutions, unless you’re lucky enough to work with an Indian tech person. And these are exactly the qualities that every startup CEO would be incredibly glad to see in their employees, aren’t they?

How to find and hire a developer in India?

Now that you know the particular benefits of hiring an Indian dev, the next problem to solve is the abyss of several how-to questions that lie between you and the perfect technician.

How to find developers in India?

There are two main ways:

  1. Regional job boards
  2. Employment platforms that match tech specialists with employers Job boards are a classic and time-tested way to seek employees. Their key drawback, though, is that you may get thousands of responses, run hundreds of interviews, and have no worthwhile candidates at the end of this exhausting process. However, there’s a more convenient way: the third-party companies. They specialize in helping startups and even corporations find the best developers. For instance, Insquad facilitates the hiring process by providing a vast pool of vetted tech talent from around the world and takes care of all the paperwork. You only have to choose a perfect candidate from the base, and they’re yours in a couple of weeks.

How to evaluate a candidate’s soft skills?

As a founder, CEO, or CTO, you probably already have clear expectations for a candidate’s hard skills, since you know what you’re building. With soft skills though, things can be a little more complicated. Every nation has its own cultural peculiarities, which may be to some extent unusual for you. For example, because even now most Indian companies are quite hierarchical, some candidates may have difficulty taking on unfamiliar tasks. Yes, they can come up with a lot of innovative ideas, but not all developers from India will be ready to implement them themselves. Furthermore, not all Indians are familiar with the remote working format.

So the priority items you need to focus on when conducting a soft skills review are cultural fit and a candidate’s ability to work remotely.

To make sure a candidate shares your company’s approach to work, you can ask some questions about their professional values, what could be improved in your project, or design a situation that would require particular soft skills you’d like a developer to have. Check out our list of the best cultural fit questions and these great examples from other founders so you can feel more confident about what to ask and how to interpret the answers.

Another thing you definitely need to evaluate when hiring a developer from India is whether they’re remote-ready or not. Nowadays, it’s a soft skill that needs to be tested, too. It consists of three elements:

  • Proactivity. Working from home makes it easier to lock yourself in your own shell. Maybe that’s acceptable for a big company, but not for a startup where collaboration and ambition are crucial. For instance, ask a candidate to give a couple examples of when they took initiative.
  • Concentration. It’s crucial for remote work. Roommates, relatives, phone notifications, food etc. — working remotely means being surrounded by multiple distractions. Ask a candidate how they plan their day and how they deal with the productivity killers mentioned above.
  • Reliability. The ability to meet a deadline and cope with emergencies at work and in everyday life can be tested with behavioral questions. For example, ask a candidate to tell you about a situation when they decided to be absolutely honest with their boss and team despite the potential risks. The hiring process is a necessary experience, but it takes a lot of time and effort. And it’s not only the candidate who needs to prepare for an interview, but you too. Wouldn’t it be great if somebody could relieve you of these chores? That’s why hiring platforms like Insquad exist — to serve you and make your life as a CEO easier.

How to settle legal aspects like contract and payment terms?

There are a couple of important things you need to know before hiring from abroad to prevent trouble and misunderstanding down the line. They key questions are:

What currency to pay in?

The answer to this is simple: Indian citizens employed by foreign companies must be paid in rupees (INR). It’s obligatory.

Do I need to pay taxes for my remote full-time Indian developers?

Probably. This is the trickiest aspect of working with remote employees from abroad. There are two possible solutions for overcoming the regulatory hurdles and avoiding severe penalties:

  1. Establishing an entity for your company in the country you want to hire developers from, which is a long, pricey journey.
  2. Using an EOR (employer-off-record), a company that takes the burden of all the payroll and taxation matters.

Wrapping up

Are you convinced, or still not sure whether hiring developers from India is the best way to build an efficient team for your startup? In case you have any questions or doubts, Insquad’s here at your service. 300+ tech startups in need of developers have found their ideal candidates and are now successfully building the products of the future. You can be one of them.

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