The largest companies which constitute the Nifty 50 index have tightened their purse-strings while rewarding their CEOs and Managing Directors in FY23. Even as profit-linked incentives were reduced due to lower profitability in some cases, there also seemed to be lower bonuses and other perquisites.

A businessline analysis of the annual reports of the Nifty 50 companies shows that Pawan Munjal, Managing Director and CEO, Hero MotoCorp, replaced C Vijayakumar the MD of HCL Technologies, as the highest paid honcho among the Nifty 50 companies in FY23. Munjal’s pay packet was, however, much smaller at ₹100 crore compared with the ₹137 crore that Vijayakumar took home in FY22.

In fact, the average salary of the top five highest paid heads of Nifty 50 companies was around 30 per cent lower than the top 5 CEO remuneration in FY22. In FY22 the top three CEO/MDs — C Vijayakumar, Sajjan Jindal and Murali K Divi received more than ₹100 crore while in FY23 none of the CEO/MDs received as much.

The second highest paid head in FY23 is Thierry Delaporte, the MD and CEO of Wipro, who took home more than ₹82 crore followed by Murali K Divi of Divi’s Laboratories (₹70.49 crore). Salil Parekh of Infosys ranks fourth with remuneration of ₹56 crore and Sajjan Jindal of JSW Steel is in fifth position with ₹51 crore.

Up and down

The heads of several companies witnessed a big jump in their pay-packet. Suneeta Reddy, the MDof Apollo Hospitals, received 73.6 per cent more than the previous year. From ₹3.87 crore in FY22 to ₹6.72 crore in FY23, her fixed as well as variable pay registered an increase.

Sashidhar Jagdishan, CEO and MD of HDFC Bank, witnessed a 62.1 per cent hike in pay due to a performance bonus which has increased his net remuneration in FY23. The other CEO/MDs who witnessed a big hike in their pays are Sanjiv Puri of ITC and KC Jhanwar of UltraTech Cement with an increase of 53 per cent and 41.6 per cent respectively.

A good number of company heads also witnessed a fall in remuneration. C Vijayakumar’s remuneration fell close to 80 per cent in FY23 because he had received a long-term incentive of $12.5 million from HCL America, which had boosted the total remuneration the previous year. The next big fall in remuneration of more than 61 per cent was in Sajjan Jindal’s pay. The profit-linked commission was reduced from ₹121.7 crore in FY22 to ₹33.58 crore in FY23. Tech Mahindra’s CEO and Managing Director, CP Gurnani’s remuneration was reduced by half in FY23 due to drop in value of perquisites received.

Sector-wise payouts

Analysing salaries sector wise, the automobile industry was the most generous salary giver, followed by information technology, healthcare and metals and mining. In construction, SN Subrahmanyan, CEO and MD of Larsen & Toubro, topped the sector with a remuneration of over ₹35 crore in FY23. Bajaj Finserv’s MD Sanjiv Bajaj topped the list among the financial services industry and in the FMCG industry, it was Sanjiv Mehta, former MD and CEO of Hindustan Unilever.