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The Offer : To take or not to take ?

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.

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The Offer : To take or not to take ?

Postby Palamon » Wed, 02 Mar 2005 10:00 am


I have an offer from a moving and relocating company in Singapore. The company itself is not very big. Has a total staff strength of 46 (18 in administration + 28 in operations). It was formed just 7-8 years back.

I am being offered the role of a Marketing Manager. I'll have to network with HR in different MNCs in Singapore who usually recruit expats. Plus, I also have to connect with different embassies in Singapore and make this company their preffered Mover.

I have over one year of post-MBA experience in Sales & Marketing, and currently earn around Rupees 4 Lakhs a year in India.

The package that is being offered is S$ 2500 + Car + Car Allowance of S$ 300. It's a monthly package, and I wonder whether this is good/bad/ugly.

Please help me in evaluating the offer and suggest whether I should take it up or bargain for more or simply forget it.



Postby yes, » Wed, 02 Mar 2005 10:32 am

take it. There are many Indian families living here on this pay.


Postby sav » Wed, 02 Mar 2005 9:05 pm

I think this salary is bit low...the living expense is very igh in singapore. So i dont think you can save much here. If you work in india , living exp is very loe. Try to negotiate more. Wats the name of the company?

are you a single? If you are a single you can manage to save something.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 02 Mar 2005 10:22 pm

You're best equipped to make the evaluation yourself. What do you want?

If it's cash, then the deal stinks... you're not getting much.

If it's opportunity, then it doesn't look so bad at all. Tons of people want to get into Singapore, many for the long term. If that's your goal, then you've got the opportunity. Once in, many other things can open up.

They are offering you an opportunity to build a network with MNC's. How valuable is that? Even if the pay is paltry right now, you could build a good reputation and the next thing you know, end up with an MNC as a relocation specialist. Networks are hugely valuable in a career, perhaps moreso than any other single item.

So, what are your goals? And what are you willing to sacrifice to attain those goals?

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Such is Life

Postby Palamon » Fri, 04 Mar 2005 10:19 am


Thanks all, for ur replies. I am a single, I dnt smoke or drink, I may marry in a year, but my wife will also look for a job.....she's an MBA with workex too.

Whereas, I def'ly look for a great career, I must also understand and respect the finance aspect of it. I mean, as correctly pointed out, 2500 S$ seems to be low. One of my friends is doing his MBA from Singapore, I think from NUS......and he told me that this offer is paltry.

I've decided to ask for an increase in the base much do u think I can ask for ? For instance, wud 4000 be gud enuff ?

Do write in.



a little bit info please

Postby yes, » Fri, 04 Mar 2005 11:04 am


Please give some info about you. for instance, where your MBA is from? Howmuch experience do you have? What was your last drawn salary? most importantly, what is the value-add you think you can contribute to the company?

You said your friend is doing an NUS MBA. There's a world of difference between NUS MBA and other non-IIM, ISB MBAs from India. NUS is AACSB accredited and consistently ranks among the world's best MBAs.

If you are from any of the IIMs or ISB or FMS or XLRI or the like, you can demand a higher pay. If not, I suggest you take up the current offer and perform exceptionally well in the job. Even then, if the company doesn't recognize your contributions, plenty of other companies will. By then you will have experience and possibly some career achievements, with which you can command a premium.

Income of Indian professionals working in Singapore varies across the spectrum. For those at the higher end, say, earning $50k per month, $2.5k is peanuts.

I believe the company offered you $2.5k, because that is the minimum salary to be eligible for Employment Pass. It was $2.2k few years ago. So imagine those who started for $2.2k.

Here is my estimate of living expenses.

Room rent : $300 per month for a common room in a HDB apt
Phone bill : $200 including international calls
Food : $400 if you eat in hawkers centres and food courts
Transport : $100
Others : $200 this include tax($50 approx), miscellaneous expenses

Total : $1200 per month.

You can save upto $1300 per month. It is possible and a lot people I know, did.

As your spouse also holds an MBA, if she can manage to get a similar or higher paying job, expenses will double, so will be the total household income and savings.


I read your previous msg

Postby yes, » Fri, 04 Mar 2005 11:10 am

I saw ur 1st message, you have 1-yr exp and earn 4lakhs per yr, which is about $1000 singapore dollars per month after tax.


Postby singapore » Fri, 04 Mar 2005 4:56 pm

hi palamon,

Read your message . can i have your e-mail id?


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Mail i.d.

Postby Palamon » Fri, 04 Mar 2005 10:04 pm


U may mail me at

As of now, I've asked for a raise of the base salary to S$ 4000. Let's see what comes up.



Postby 123 » Sat, 05 Mar 2005 12:48 pm

Hi palamon,

All the best ...........



Postby gue111 » Tue, 08 Mar 2005 1:01 am

hi palamon,

wat bout ur job? u asked for S$4000 rite? wat happened after that?

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Postby marriedwithkids » Tue, 08 Mar 2005 9:55 am

Palamon, I am from the relocation industry. Have worked many years in leading moving and relocation companies in senior sales and marketing roles.

You must note that the industry does not place a premium on a degree or MBA. It's one of the few which doesn't as the business is still very traditional, manpower intense, and needs bricks and mortar. For Sales and Marketing, the work experience you have and your ability to make people like you (Charisma) is far more important. If you're trying to look for a job where your MBA is a perceived benefit and can add value, look elsewhere.

Offer wise, the pay package and car is about right for a non-local starting with minimal work experience. That is because your 'competition' for the job will be expat housewives, and that is how the relative 'pricing' for the job works. $4000 will put you out of the market unless you're extremely charismatic and your prospective boss believes you're one hell of a charmer. You need to elaborate on the $300 car that a petrol allowance? That will not last very long when you're moving around places meeting prospects.

Comapnies wise, there are a few that you will need to avoid like the plague. The industry generally does not have a good reputation, and it's important that you work for a firm that does. The Top 4 companies leading the pack are KC Dat, Santa Fe, Allied Pickfords, and Crown. If you're not going to be working for any of these companies, make sure you discreetly ask around for the company's reputation in the marketplace. You don't want to join a company doing marketing when all your prospects have heard bad things about your company. It will be like pissing against the wind.

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Postby Palamon » Tue, 08 Mar 2005 3:05 pm

Hi all,

Thanxaton for all your replies. Frankly, I was in a big dilemma, and I think dilemma is one thing which is common to all first-posters in this forum. Well, the issue has come to an end. I had last asked for S$ 4000 along with the car & car allowance, giving my employer a detailed reason as to why I'm asking for such a package. He has mailed back saying that the max he can offer me is S$ 3000 + car (and no other allowance). He claims that this itself is at the higher end of the salary spectrum in Singapore. I'm not sure of THAT, but what I am sure abt is the fact that moving from a job which holds a bright future for me ahead, simply because S$ 1 = Indian Rs. 26, cannot be justified by the package my employer has offered me. It's ok to earn helluva lot of money, save and bring a foreign currency back home, multiplying all my savings by a factor of 26. But when this requires a compromise on my career prospects, it reminds me of the goose that laid the golden eggs. Therefore, I've mailed him back, profusely thanking him for the most enriching discussion with him, and regretting my inability to accept his offer.

Some of you have pointed out that the industry is not particularly a "glam" industry, whereas the company has good repute. Others have pointed out that although the industry is very fast growing because of the cosmopolitan nature of Singapore, the company is not one of the best ones. Frankly, both the situations should lead me to think twice before taking ANY god damn offer up from them. And we're talking peanuts here.

I must assert that my observations and feelings are purely a result of a "thinking aloud" process, and are not intended at hurting anybody's feelings or at creating a controversy. I have done enough research into cost-of-living, salary structure, the company, the industry, the market in general, the work environment, my future prospects in India and in Singapore etc. And I have finally come to one conclusion : It's not worth it.

Thank you, all, for all your inputs and counsels.

Warmest regards.

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