A box from is pictured on the porch of a house in Golden, Colorado July 23, 2008. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

In an attempt to boost its Indian presence, online retail giant Amazon is offering salaries that are nearly 50 percent higher than the market average for graduates of top engineering and business schools in the country, Indian business daily Mint reported Tuesday.

This has pitted it directly against Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart, which has also increased the salaries it offers graduates by over 40 percent in the last six months, the report said. The competition for top candidates typically fresh out of college, or with a maximum of two years work experience, among the two online retailers, has pushed salaries at Flipkart from a base of 900,000 rupees ($14,800) to as much as 1.8 million rupees, according to the report.

“Candidates from India’s leading engineering institutes and business schools form a major part of the talent pool at Amazon in India... Amazon is one of the preferred employers of choice in majority of them,” Amazon India’s human resources director Raj Raghavan told Mint.

In July, Amazon had announced that it will invest an additional $2 billion in its India business just a day after Flipkart announced that it had raised $1 billion in fresh capital. This has left the two companies with enough funds to significantly raise the pay scale of their employees while continuing to expand their operations in India.

“Over the past three-four months, SAP, Oracle and a couple of other software firms have suddenly had to deal with the increased aggression of Flipkart and Amazon, and since they don’t want to pay these kind of astronomical salaries, they have lost out, to an extent,” a person familiar with the workings of the companies told Mint.

Earlier in June, an Amazon official reportedly said that the company was looking to hire nearly 1,200 engineers by the end of the year.