CTC and In-Hand Salary


CTC and In-Hand Salary are two widespread terms in the Indian job landscape. However, many people consider both to be the same, failing to realize that CTC and in-hand salary are different. In reality, 

Your in-hand salary is part of the CTC or the salary package that also includes various other deductions. Therefore, the salary you receive at the month-end is significantly different from what the company 

offers you during the hiring process.


So, let’s get a clear picture of CTC and the salary you take home.

What Is CTC?

CTC stands for “Cost to Company”, which, in accounting and finance, means the total cost that a company incurs on hiring an employee. It is the amount that each company spends on its employees from the 

company’s point of view. CTC is cumulative of several smaller amounts. Some make up the salary that an employee receives in their account, while others are intangible expenses that a company spends on 

its employees.

Simply put,

CTC = Direct Benefits + Indirect Benefits + Savings Contributions

What Are the CTC Benefits and Allowances?

Direct Benefits:

1. Basic Salary :- The basic salary is an amount that makes the core of an employee’s salary. It constitutes a major chunk of the salary that an employee receives, sometimes more than 45% of the total amount.

2. Dearness Allowance :- Inflation is the phenomenon that causes the price of general goods to rise by a certain amount every year. If the general price increases, so should an employee’s salary if they are to 

survive comfortably. Hence, employers provide a dearness allowance – a basic cost of living adjustment that alleviates the pinch of inflationary pressure one might feel in their pockets.

3. Conveyance Allowance :- Employees have to travel to and from their residence to their workplace each day, and over the course of a year, the cost incurred for this commute racks up to a large amount. 

Therefore, most employers include a conveyance allowance to reimburse the cost that an employee incurs on their commute. It generally makes up a small percentage of the total salary. This allowance is 

provided only in cases where the employer does not provide a means of transportation to the employee.

 4. Complete the mystery shopping assignment, whether that is by phone, online, in-person, and so on. If you are supposed to buy something, make sure you keep your receipt as you will need it to complete 

the questionnaire you are given.

5. Submit the mystery shopping questions with your opinions, rate the customer experience, and any proof that they require.

6. Get paid for the mystery shopping job.

7. Finding mystery shopping gigs doesn’t have to be hard. Simply sign up for mystery shopping platforms such as Bestmark, and you’ll see a lot of different secret shopper jobs for you to check out and try.

Q3 Do secret shoppers keep what they buy?

Yes, secret shoppers get to keep what they buy.

I regularly would complete mystery shopping jobs just for this reason. So that I could get free restaurant meals, free makeup, free clothing, free oil changes, and so on.


Q4 Do mystery shoppers get paid upfront?

Mystery shoppers do not typically get paid upfront. Usually, you will have to pay for the item, and then the company will reimburse you after you leave your mystery shopping review. Companies do this so that the 

employee does not know that you are a mystery shopper, and so that the company knows that you will actually go in and complete the mystery shopping job, and not simply take the money and run.

# Best Top 5 Mystery Shopping Companies :

1. iShopFor Ipsos

Payment – Generous (some are unpaid, like restaurant visits, but you'll receive a free meal out of it)

Pros – Generous payment

Cons – Reporting process is time-consuming.

Ipsos is one of the biggest consumer panels in the world. There are a wealth of assignments on Ipsos Mystery Shopping covering the whole of the UK and often smaller UK suburbs as well as bigger cities.

2. Clickworker

Payment – Usually around €8 – €12 plus other bonuses

Pros – No purchases required, possibility to rework and resubmit jobs

Cons – Payment in Euros only, via PayPal or bank transfer.

Clickworker is a well-established micro-tasking company that has also expanded into the mystery shopper realm. Most of the assignments involve going to a shop in your area and taking pictures of product shelves.

The best part is that you can choose whichever shop from the chains provided. They don't make you go to specific addresses, so you have a lot of free choices. A short trip to the high street or nearest retail park 

is usually all that's required. What's even better is that there is no purchase necessary for these assignments. Clickworker regularly offers mystery photography jobs for most countries in Europe, the Middle East 

and the USA.

3. Nielsen Homescan

Payment – Depends on what products you scan and how often

Pros – Free to join, fun to do, established company

Cons – Can take a while to accumulate points and claim rewards.

This market research site, Homescan consumer panel, is more geared towards your shopping habits. When you sign up they'll send you a scanner that you have to use to record your household purchases, 

such as your grocery shopping.

4. Mystery Dining by HGEM

Payment – No payment offered for most jobs, but usually you get a big enough budget to pay for your entire meal and sometimes travel expenses covered

Pros – Free meals!

Cons – Reporting process takes longer than mystery shopping as requires more detail.

Mystery Dining offer free meals at certain restaurants to culinary experts who are willing to take the time to write a detailed report on their experience afterwards. To join up you need to first 'pass' an application 

process to see if you're the right fit. Rejection rates are quite high, so make sure you take the time to do this part properly. Also worth noting that the more you work and the better job you make of it, you'll be 

awarded a reviewer rating badge – go for gold and you could be awarded a Michelin star experience.

5. GBW (previously GAPbuster)

Payment – Between £5 – £35 per job

Pros – Paperwork is clear and easy to complete

Cons – Payment is quite low and reimbursement slow.

GBW used to be known as GAPbuster, but has quite a few famous clients. McDonald's is their biggest client so this company is a great choice if you fancy some free Happy Meals. They have been reported to 

send out repeat assignments to the same location as well to monitor improvements, so this might not be the best choice if you're looking for variety.

Pragati Agrawal MBA 

Business Analyst

AirCrews Aviation Pvt. Ltd.




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