Sunday, November 05, 2006

India's highest paid professionals

The latest issue of Business India is on the stands-and presents their annual survey of India’s best paid executives.

The salient points

  • The survey is based on the annual reports of companies for the year 2005-06. A list of over 850 executives –and their employers/designations –have salaries above the cutoff figure of Rs 50lacs pa. The highest is Rs 24crores –Mr Mukesh Ambani!
  • The average pay increase in the last five 5yrs is 11.5% in India (compared to 7.5% in China)
  • Indian companies are increasingly imitating American style pay practices, particularly performance based compensation like bonuses and stock options- to retain their top employees. One can expect more innovativeness and increase on the variable salary side rather than the fixed compensation.
  • Increasing trend of ‘signing bonus’ –especially in the financial sector. The flip side-candidates are misbehaving –backing out at the last minute.
  • CEO compensation is approaching world levels-as India is now seen as a major market and not just as a back office operation.

Interesting to note :

  • Many of India’s largest companies are in the public sector. The salaries of the CEOs are pathetic. In fact, the difference in CEO pay between the private and public sector is as much as 100 times!
  • Many of the Indian companies are privately held and so their annual remuneration is a secret affair. Almost every industry ( commercial banking, investment banking, private equity, insurance, telecom,and media) have hundreds of them hidden in their midst!
  • The survey doesn’t cover MNC salaries, management consultants, advertising agencies…and clearly the cutoff of 50lacs would have had many more numbers.
  • Curiosly, hefty compensation alone cannot guarantee retention and loyalty. Many executives are choosing job content and company culture over big bucks! HR professionals are in a dilemma balancing rapid business growth amidst high attrition levels.
  • Yes, there is a wide chasm between the highest and the lowest paid employees within a company..often the disparity is about 100 times… the super rich are becoming marvelously rich !!!


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