Wipro chief executive TK Kurien was rewarded with an impressive 32% salary jump and drew a pay package of nearly $1.5 million during the last financial year, a year during which Wipro performed marginally better than its previous fiscal but overall revenue growth still fell short of industry-level growth rates.
Kurien's pay package, however, does not include earnings from the shares he holds in Wipro.
Wipro's billionaire chairman Azim Premji, who next year will complete his 50th anniversary at the company that originally started out as a vegetable-oil maker, took home a package of $767,685 during the financial year ended March 2015. The salary of Premji, who currently holds 73.39% of Wipro's total shares, includes a 0.3% commission on incremental net profits of Wipro during a typical financial year.
"Azim H. Premji was paid a commission at the rate of 0.3% on incremental net profits of Wipro Ltd.BSE -1.04 % over the previous year computed based on the method approved by the Board Governance, Nomination and Compensation Committee and in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013," Wipro said in a regulatory filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission early on Wednesday morning.
During the financial year ended March 2015, Kurien's total package stood at $1.46 million, including variable pay, bonus and other long-term compensation payouts, according to the filing. Wipro's former finance Suresh Senapaty, who retired earlier this year, took home a pay package of $541,561 during the year.
Kurien's salary compares favorably with other CEOs in India's $146-billion information technology industry. Cross-town rival Infosys's CEO Vishal Sikka commands an annual pay package of $5.08 million, without stock options. On a pro rata basis, Sikka made $741,433 during 2014-15. N. Chandrasekaran, CEO of Tata Consultancy ServicesBSE 0.39 %, commanded a salary of nearly $3.15 million during 2013-14. His salary for the last financial year has not been disclosed yet.
Francisco D'Souza, CEO of US-based Cognizant Technology Solutions that has most of its 217,000 workers in India, took home a package of $1.1 million, excluding stock options. Including earnings from shareholdings, D'Souza commands a much higher payout than any of his Indian counterparts. in 2014-15, D'Souza's total package was $11.3 million, including stock earnings.
CEOs of India's IT industry have generally been among the best paid leaders across industries in the corporate sector over the past decade.
However, new-age e-commerce companies such as Flipkart and Snapdeal, flush with funds raised from generous investors, are also now splurging heavily on hiring the creme-de-la-creme of talent and are paying out multi-million dollar packages to their top executives.
For example, earlier this year in March, two of Google's engineering VPs — Piyush Ranjan and Punit Soni — relocated from the Bay Area to work with India's largest ecommerce company Flipkart. Both are being paid Valley salaries too — $5-6 million annual packages.