A majority of the country's top-30 blue chip companies have given their chiefs a hefty pay hike, even as industry titans like Mukesh and Anil Ambani, Kumar Mangalam Birla and Sunil Mittal either capped their salaries or took a cut in their remuneration packages.
An analysis of remuneration paid by the 30 Sensex firms to their chiefs during the last fiscal shows that the pay packages rose for more than half of them -- including for Chanda Kochhar, A M Naik, Rahul Bajaj, Pawan Munjal, Nitin Paranjape, Anand Mahindra, Navin Agarwal and N Chandrasekaran.
On the other hand, industry leaders like Wipro's Azim Premji, Infosys' S D Shibulal and Bharti Airtel's Sunil Mittal took a cut in their total pay packages during 2011-12.
Besides, Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani and Hindalco Industries' Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla kept their respective remunerations unchanged. Mukesh's younger brother Anil Ambani also saw his total remuneration from the four main companies of Reliance Group fall by nearly two-third during the year, although none of his group firms are currently part of the Sensex.
Among the 30 companies forming part of the stock market barometer Sensex, the pay package was highest at Rs 73.42 crore for Jindal Steel & Power's chief Naveen Jindal, putting him in the front for being the country's top-paid executive for second consecutive year in 2011-12.
The pay packages for the last financial year have not been disclosed by many companies as yet, including at two Sensex entities -- PSU energy giant ONGC and private sector drugmaker Sun Pharmaceuticals.
After Jindal, Hero MotoCorp MD & CEO Pawan Munjal was the second highest paid (Rs 34.47 crore) among the Sensex firms in 2011-12, followed by Hero MotoCorp Chairman Brijmohan Lall Munjal (Rs 34.44 crore), Maruti Suzuki's Shinzo Nakanishi (Rs 28.14 crore), Tata Motors' former CEO Carl-Peter Forster (Rs 23.97 crore) and Bharti Airtel's Sunil Mittal (Rs 21.3 crore).
Forster's package included a termination payment of about Rs 14.02 crore. He stepped down as Managing Director and CEO with effect from September 9, 2011.
Other highly-paid top executives in last fiscal included Hindalco' Managing Director D Bhattacharya (Rs 19.5 crore), RIL's Mukesh Ambani (Rs 15 crore), Hindalco Chairman K M Birla (Rs 13.06 crore), Sterlite Industries' Navin Agarwal (Rs 12.5 crore), Rahul Bajaj (Rs 11.1 crore), ITC's Y C Deveswhar (Rs 9.85 crore) and HUL's Nitin Paranjape (Rs 9.74 crore).
The ten highest paid top executives at Sensex companies saw their combined pay package rise by about Rs 36 crore to Rs 276 crore, as just one (Sunil Mittal) took a pay cut and two (Mukesh Ambani and K M Birla) kept their packages unchanged among them during 2011-12
In percentage terms, Deveshwar saw his pay package rise by a marginal 0.2 per cent, but hike was much steeper for ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar, TCS CEO N Chandrasekaran, L&T Chairman A M Naik, Tata Steel MD H M Nerurkar, Tata Motors' former CEO Carl Forster and Bajaj Auto Chairman Rahul Bajaj.
Besides, Hindalco's Bhattacharya, Sterlite's Agarwal, Hero MotoCorp's Pawan and Brijmohan Lall Munjal, Cipla's Y K Hameid, M&M's Anand Mahindra, HUL's Paranjape, Maruti Suzuki's Nakanishi, HDFC's Keki Mistry and HDFC Bank's Aditya Puri also saw double-digit percent rise in respective remunerations.
The hike was relatively lower at 9.2 per cent for Naveen Jindal, the top-paid executive among all of them.
Among those witnessing a decline in their packages, Infosys chief S D Shibulal's remuneration fell by 32 per cent, while that of Wipro's Premji and Bharti's Mittal dropped by 32 per cent and 22.5 per cent, respectively.
Among PSUs, GAIL's B C Tripathi and NTPC's Arup Roy Choudhury also saw increase in their remunerations, but their pay packages are small compared to private sector peers.
The remunerations were not comparable for a few like SBI, Coal India and Tata Power, as these entities saw changes at their top leadership positions.
For Dr Reddy's Labs, the individual pay package of its business head could not be ascertained, as the company has only disclosed total remuneration of all Executive Directors in its annual report. The total remuneration for its EDs rose by 3.4 per cent to Rs 27.1 crore.