Reliance Industries' Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani has kept his annual salary capped at Rs 15 crore for the seventh year in a row. It helps that he is one of the richest men in the world, worth $20.2 billion, so this 'cap' is really small change.
A statement by the company says that Ambani wanted to set a personal example for moderation in managerial compensation levels. He sure could have earned much more, but he is not setting an example given the market cap of the company.
For instance, compare that with TCS, the company with the largest market cap — Rs 500,974.06 crore — in the country. CEO N. Chandrasekaran took home Rs 18.18 crore. Ambani's pay comes close but his company's market cap is way lower at Rs 290,245.66 crore. HDFC Bank's Aditya Puri took home Rs 6.07 crore and the company has a market cap of Rs 257,104.39 crore, comparable with that of Reliance. Again, Ambani's pay is much larger in comparison. That's not exactly setting a standard for low executive compensation.
And for the lowest compensation of all, which sets an example for wealthy founders, look at Narayana Murthy's pay at Infosys. Murthy receives Rs 1 as token salary after he came back in the company as chairman to steady a wobbly ship.
Ambani's remuneration for 2013-14 included Rs 4.16 crore as salary, perquisites and allowances of Rs 60 lakh, retirement benefits of Rs 83 lakh and Rs 9.41 crore as commission on profit. In the previous year, while his salary and perquisites and allowances were the same, he got commission of Rs 9.42 crore and Rs 82 lakh in retirement benefits.
The salaries of most of his senior executives either fell or stayed the same. Executive Director P M S Prasad saw his remuneration remain unchanged at Rs 6.03 crore. Refinery chief Pawan Kumar Kapil saw his compensation dip marginally to Rs 2.41 crore in 2014-15 as compared to Rs 2.49 crore previously.
Ambani's cousins Nikhil R Meswani and Hital R Meswani saw their compensation dip marginally to Rs 12.03 crore from Rs 12.12 crore a year ago. RIL's non-executive directors also got up to Rs 1 crore each as commission, besides sitting fees ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 36 lakh. Ambani's wife Nita Ambani, who is a non-executive director on the company's board, earned Rs 5 lakh sitting fee and a commission of Rs 78.64 lakh, according to the annual report.