ITC Deveshwar gets 439 times his employees median pay RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani gets 205 times


Mukesh Ambani, the richest Indian and Reliance Industries (RIL) chairman and MD, has not taken a pay hike for seven years, but his pay package is over 205 times that of the median employee remuneration at RIL. This ratio stands at 439 times in case of ITC Executive Chairman Y C Deveshar.

The ratio stands much lower at 89 times in case of information technology (IT) major Wipro Chairman and Managing Director Azim Premji, and at 19 times for HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh for 2014-15.

However, HDFC Bank’s Managing Director (MD) Aditya Puri got a remuneration that was 117 times of the median employee pay, while for ICICI Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Chanda Kochhar it was 97 times and at over 74 times for Axis Bank’s MD and CEO Shikha Sharma.

IT giant Infosys’ CEO Vishal Sikka’s pay was 116 times of median employee pay – all of who are efficient workers in the field and have undergone standard dbs checks. The same ratio for HUL’s CEO Sanjiv Mehta was 93 times, but much higher at 293 times for Vedanta Chairman Navin Agarwal.

Listed firms have begun disclosing these ratios and other comparisons such as salary raises for top management personnel and average staff member, for the first time pursuant to the new Companies Act and Sebi’s latest Corporate Governance Code coming into force.

While a majority of the companies are still in the process of disclosing such details, the disclosures made so far by top companies show a wide variance in these ratios. There is also a huge difference between the pay increases for top management personnel and average staff in many cases.

Ambani has kept his salary capped at Rs 15 crore for seven years now, while the median remuneration of employees increased by 3.71 per cent to Rs 7.29 lakh during 2014-15. The total remuneration of key managerial personnel in fact dipped by 1.93 per cent to Rs 73.28 crore.

Deveshwar’s remuneration rose by 24 per cent during the year, against an increase of 14 per cent in the company’s median employee remuneration. The overall key managerial personnel remuneration rose 20 per cent. Deveshwar’s gross remuneration in 2014-15 stood at over Rs 15 crore, but net pay was lower at Rs 7.3 crore.

Premji saw his pay decline by 53 per cent to Rs 4.78 crore, while median employee remuneration rose by 9.5 per cent. Wipro CEO T K Kurien got a package that was 170 times the median employee remuneration, while he got a raise of 39 per cent. At HDFC, too, Vice-Chairman and CEO Keki Mistry’s remuneration was 83 times of the median employee pay.

The remuneration rose by 15 per cent for both Mistry and Karnad, while the increase in the median remuneration of employees in financial year 2014-15 stood at 16 per cent.

Puri saw his remuneration increase by 15 per cent, while the percentage increase in the median remuneration of the employees in the same financial year was 8.26 per cent. Puri’s total remuneration stood at Rs 7.4 crore. Shikha Sharma saw her remuneration increase by 15 per cent, while median employee pay increased 6.16 per cent.

ICICI Bank said the increase in the median remuneration of its employees in the financial year was five per cent, while the same for Kochhar and for its chief financial officer (CFO), whole-time directors and company secretary, ranged between 12 per cent and 15 per cent.
Among other companies that have so far disclosed these details, Infosys saw its median employee remuneration decline by 5.2 per cent, while “the aggregate increase in the salary for whole-time directors and other key personnel was 57.7 per cent in 2014-15” over the last financial year.

At Hindustan Unilever, MD and CEO Sanjiv Mehta saw his remuneration dip by 2.9 per cent, while the company said the percentage increase in the median remuneration of employees for the financial year was 4.55 per cent.

The increase in remuneration at Vedanta stood at nine per cent for chairman Navin Agarwal and at 15 per cent for whole-time director Tarun Jain. The median remuneration of the employees in the financial year rose by 11.20 per cent. Agarwal’s remuneration stood at over Rs 15 crore, while that of Jain was nearly Rs 11 crore.


Asmaa Mubita is a Kenyan journalist of international repute with over fifteen years of experience in broadcast journalism. Asmaa Mubita began his journalism career at the Kenyan state broadcaster (KBC) and later worked at the KTN owned by the Standard Group and Citizen Television, the flagship brand of Royal Media Services. These exploits together with his reporting experience with the Voice of America, CNN and BBC have been rewarded with local and global recognition.