Infosys, India's second largest information technology services company, which had seen some top-level attrition last year, has both embarked on a leadership development programme and trying to ensure those targetted are contented with their compensation.
The company, which is gradually entrusting many a critical work such as handling of high-value clients and brand building to second-rung leaders, paid them salaries that beat those of even the founding team members during 2009-10.
During the year ended March 31, Ashok Vemuri, a member of the company's executive council and Senior Vice President heading the BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) practice at Infosys, got Rs 4.61 crore (close to $1.3 million at an exchange rate of Rs 44.9) of pay.
This meant Vemuri, a former investment banker (he worked with Bank of America and Deutsche Bank before moving to Infosys in 1999) was given average monthly emoluments of close to Rs 3.4 million (Rs 34 lakh), compared with Infosys' MD and CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan's monthly compensation of Rs 8,50,000.
Gopalakrishnan, a co-founder of the company, was one of the lowest paid among the top executives of Infosys, with an annual compensation of Rs 1.01 crore. Similarly, N R Narayana Murthy, co-founder and now chairman and chief mentor of the company, was given annual compensation of Rs 5.61 million (Rs 56.12 lakh). Both Murthy and Gopalakrishnan, however, earn much more in terms of dividends, as they are shareholders in the company, as part of the promoters' group.
In an earlier interview with Business Standard, Gopalakrishnan said the company was trying to fill the vacuum created by the exit of top executives, including a co-founder, Nandan Nilekani, by handing over critical jobs to a new generation of leaders, mostly from the company's executive council.
The annual compensation for 2009-10 shows the second-rung leaders, including Vemuri, B G Srinivas and Subhas Dhar, getting fat salaries.
Srinivas, a Sr VP who heads the manufacturing and product engineering business units at Infosys, was the second-highest paid Infosys executive after Vemuri. He was given annual compensation of close to Rs 4.1 crore ($9,04,239), which includes Rs 16 million (Rs 1.6 crore) under the head of salary, plus other benefits.
Next was T V Mohandas Pai, a director on Infosys' Board and head of human resources, administration and education & research, who received annual compensation of Rs 3.13 crore ($6,98,037) including Rs 3.6 million (Rs 35.9 lakh) towards salary and Rs 25.5 million (Rs 2.55 crore) towards bonus and incentives.
A chartered accountant, he is said to be in the race for the top post after the retirement of Gopalakrishnan towards the middle of 2011.
V Balakrishnan, CFO and member of the company's executive council, was given annual compensation of Rs 2.42 crore ($5,40,423). Srinath Batni, who joined the company way back in 1992 and is now serving as a director on the board, other than heading delivery excellence, got annual compensation of Rs 2.42 crore ($5,39,784).
Chandrashekhar Kakal, member of the executive council and Sr VP heading the enterprise solutions business unit, took home close to Rs 21 million (Rs 2.1 crore) during the year, including Rs 2.8 million (Rs 27.5 lakh) towards annual salary.