Indian model’s annual salary is more than that of a fresh IIM graduate

By | September 21, 2022
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While Indian models might not be earning as much as their foreign counterparts, they are surely raking in more moolah than many other professionals. The supermodel culture is not prevalent in our country anymore owing to the dominance of Bollywood and now the newly emerged fashion influencers taking the centerstage. Bollywood celebrities and fashion influencers grab more brand deals than models and make a fortune. But that doesn’t mean modelling jobs pay any less here.

We spoke to a few leading models and modelling agencies in India and on condition of anonymity, they shared the remuneration that a model draws from a project. 

On average, the annual package of a male model comes to around INR 30 lakhs per annum and female models get around 40 lakhs. This is certainly more than the annual salary of a fresh IIM graduate as they get somewhere around 25 to 30 lakhs per annum. Some of the highest-paid models in India among females are Rikee Chatterjee, Sonalika Sahay, Lakshmi Rana and Archana Akhil Kumar to name a few. However, among the newer lot of female models who are at par with these divas in terms of remuneration are Sonali Sharma, Jasmeet Devgan and Tamanna Katoch. The highest paid male models currently in India are Vivek Dhiman, Bardeep Dhiman, Nitin Gupta, Gaurav Chaudhary and Vaibhav Anand.

A Delhi-based leading modelling agency reveals on condition of anonymity, “Most of the established male models earn around 2 to 2.5 lakhs per month from commercial, campaigns and designer shoots. The average salary of female models go up to 3 to 3.5 lakhs per month.”

Shikhar Sidharth, owner of Talents Thesaurus, modelling agency opines that which brands increasing their digital presence, the work for models has increased tenfold. “Even fresher models are earning in lakhs every month. Modelling is no longer a short lived profession as it used to be earlier. With fashion becoming more inclusive there is work for all age groups in modelling,” 

A leading female model, who is a popular face among designers says, “I usually charge around 30 to 35 thousand per day for designer shoots. And I am most busy shooting. On average, I shoot for 15 days a month and earn around 5 lakhs a month excluding GST.”

A decade ago, this amount was still the same when it came to ramp modelling. A report published in The Times of India in 2011 said that with the numerous fashion weeks being organised in the country, apart from select campaigns the girls do every year, this roughly translates to 30-40 lakh in annual income for India’s top catwalk brigade.

Is there enough work in modelling?

Yes, there are so many modelling jobs in the market and with newer brands coming in every day, more shoots are happening.They all do shoots regularly for their website and social media to stay relevant. Instagram has completely changed everything. Those designers who used to do barely two campaigns every year, now do at least one campaign every month to stay relevant. Hence more opportunities for models to earn.

Ramp shows are not the only income source 

When it comes to runway shows, a male model can make around 7 to 10k per show, while a female model gets somewhere around 15 to 20k per show depending on the experience. Ramp models don’t make as much money as the models who do more campaign shoots and TV commercials. But the estalished ones can get upto 3 lakh for 3 days of ramp shows. 

Designer campaigns and brand commercials pay in lakhs

The biggest name in Indian fashion right now, Sabyasachi (Mukherjee) is known to give a handsome remuneration to his models for his unique campaigns. Be it male or female, they get paid around INR 80 thousand to 1 lakh for one day. But the biggest paymaster is Anita Dongre, who pays 2 lakhs to her female models for a day-long campaign shoot. 

Models these days are earning more than fashion photographers or stylists and whoever thought that modelling can’t be considered as a full-time career has been certainly living under the rock.

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