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The Insane Salaries of Indian IT CEOs

HCL Technologies’ C Vijayakumar is the highest paid CEO among Indian software companies, with a whopping $16.52 million remuneration
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C Vijayakumar, the CEO of Noida-based software giant HCL Technologies, is the highest paid IT CEO among Indian software companies, if one goes by the company’s annual report (2021-2022). Last year, the company paid him a whopping $16.52 million or  Rs 123.13 crore in remuneration. He received a long-term incentive (LTI) of $12.50 million, which made his remuneration shoot up to this figure.

The report also stated that there had been no change in his remuneration during FY 2021-22 except for a receipt of $ 12.5 million as LTI. This LTI is paid at fixed intervals after two years based on achievements/parameters that the Board fixes.

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An HCL veteran, C Vijayakumar has served the software giant for about three decades. He joined HCL in 1994 and rose to the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) in July 2016, and after a short stint as COO, he was made the company’s CEO in October 2016.

Let us take a sneak peek at the fat pay cheques the other tech giants pay their CEOs.

Infosys

For the last fiscal, Salil Parekh, the CEO and MD of Bengaluru-headquartered Infosys was paid Rs 71.02 crore as per the annual report released by the software giant. His compensation had Rs 5.69 crore base salary, Rs 0.38 crore retiral benefits, Rs 12.62 crore bonus and incentives and Rs 52.33 crore in perquisites on account of stock options exercised, the report showed. He held 2,29,792 stock units under the 2015 stock option plan and 1,48,434 units under the 2019 plan during the last fiscal. Parekh joined Infosys in 2018 after having worked over 25 years for Capgemini.

Image: Infosys

TCS

The Mumbai-based Tata Consultancy Services CEO and MD Rajesh Gopinathan took home a compensation of Rs 25.75 crore in FY22 as per the annual report released by the company for the financial year 2021-22. Gopinath’s salary saw a jump of 26.6 per cent. Gopinathan’s salary stood at Rs 1.5 crore, while his benefits and allowances were Rs 2.25 crore and the profit commission was Rs 22 crore. Gopinathan joined TCS in 2001 and has served the company for over 20 years in various leadership roles. Last year, he was re-appointed as CEO for a period of five years.

Wipro

According to Media reports, papers filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission have shown Thierry Delaporte, the CEO of Bengaluru-headquartered Wipro, to have received an annual pay package of Rs 79.8 crore for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022. Reports also said that in FY 21, his annual salary was Rs 64.3 crore (he had joined Wipro in July 2020). For FY22, he took home Rs 13.2 crore in salary and allowances, Rs 19.3 crore in the form of commissions and variable pay and Rs 31.8 crore for other benefits. Reports said that the remaining part of the pay package came from LTI or deferred benefits. 

Tech Mahindra

CP Gurnani, the managing director and CEO of Tech Mahindra, saw his remuneration reach Rs 63.4 crore for FY22 (a 189 per cent jump), as per the annual report released by the company. The tech giant added that Gurnani’s remuneration, which includes salary, stock compensation, and post-employment benefits, stood at Rs 21.9 crore in the last fiscal. Gurnani has served Tech Mahindra for over 17 years and has held this position since 2012.

Ironically, though the salaries of IT CEOs have increased massively, the remuneration of freshers (which IT companies hire in huge numbers) has not seen a noticeable jump. A recent Moneycontrol report says that the median salary package of freshers grew just 45 per cent from Rs 2.45 lakh to Rs 3.55 lakh — over a decade (FY 12-FY22) while the median annual pay of CEOs saw an astronomical jump of 835 per cent, i.e. from Rs 3.37 crore in FY12 to Rs 31.5 crore in FY22.

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Sreejani Bhattacharyya
I am a technology journalist at AIM. What gets me excited is deep-diving into new-age technologies and analysing how they impact us for the greater good. Reach me at sreejani.bhattacharyya@analyticsindiamag.com

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