Wipro fattened the overall pay package of its top brass last year, notwithstanding the industry slowdown, according to details available in its annual report for 2012-13.

The company has more than doubled Chairman Azim Premji’s annual remuneration, while that of Chief Executive Officer T.K. Kurien and Chief Financial Officer Suresh Senapaty went up by 19.5 per cent and 28.4 per cent, respectively.

Premji’s total annual remuneration went up to Rs 4 crore from Rs 1.97 crore in the year before, when he had taken a 47 per cent cut.

Interestingly, the salary and allowances paid to Premji have remained unchanged. The spike in overall pay has been on account of commissions and what the company terms as ‘deferred benefits’ and ‘other annual compensation’ in the annual report.

Sunil Goel, Director of HR consultancy firm GlobalHunt, says that both ‘deferred benefits’ and ‘other annual compensation’ refer to performance-linked payments that get paid out at pre-decided intervals.

An official with a multinational headhunting firm that works with Wipro said that despite average performances, the top management’s ability to get multi-million dollar deals from marquee names such as Citigroup has prompted the Wipro board to hike remuneration.

In the last fiscal, Wipro is said to have sealed a $500-million deal to provide Citigroup with application development, maintenance and infrastructure services for its global actions.

“We can imply that the company is trying to do well and hence it is motivating people to achieve certain performance related milestones,” said Goel, adding that the top brass would have been offered employee stock options, equity or cash bonuses as part of deferred payments and other annual compensation.

For Premji, deferred benefits more than doubled to Rs 52,67,990 from Rs 26,26,891 in the previous year.

Kurien, who whose total remuneration went up to Rs 6,13,17,674 from Rs 51,290,104, saw his ‘other annual compensation’ go up to Rs 13,203,837 from Rs 7,71,497.

According to Kris Lakshmikanth, CEO of Headhunters India, Kurien is paid a better cash component than most of his other peers in order to compensate for the few shares held by him in the company.

As on March 31, 2013, Kurien held 37,012 shares, one third of what Senapaty had in his kitty.

Interestingly, Kurien’s counterpart at Infosys S.D. Shibulal took a 26.5 per cent cut in compensation last fiscal.

Senapaty’s overall compensation rose 28.4 per cent to Rs 3,20,37,560 from Rs 2,49,35,880 last year.

In 2012-13, Wipro’s revenues rose by 17 per cent to Rs 37,685.1 crore from the previous fiscal.

adith.charlie@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 4, 2013)
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