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Tech Mahindra’s Gurnani took home five times as much as Wipro, TCS CEOs combined in FY18
CP Gurnani | Photo Credit: Reuters

Tech Mahindra Ltd managing director and chief executive CP Gurnani took a slightly lower amount home in the last financial year, but that was still nearly five times the combined remuneration of the CEOs at bigger rivals Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and Wipro Ltd.

Gurnani's total remuneration for the year through March 2018 was Rs 146.19 crore ($21.3 million at current exchange rates), keeping him in the list of India's highest-paid executives.

Gurnani, who joined India’s fifth-largest software services provider in 2004 and was elevated as MD and CEO five years later, drew the bulk of his remuneration as stock options. He earned as much as Rs 142.32 crore through stock options while his gross salary was Rs 2.77 crore, the company's annual report shows.

The stock options were granted to him earlier and exercised last year. This means his total remuneration is not a direct reflection of his or the company’s performance during the year.

Still, the company performed well during the year. Its consolidated net profit surged 33% for 2017-18 to Rs 3,786.20 crore from Rs 2,850.8 crore the previous year. This, despite consolidated revenue from operations growing only 5.6% to Rs 30,772.9 crore.

Investors, too, appear to be bullish on Tech Mahindra stock. The company's shares jumped 40% during 2017-18, outperforming the 9.2% rise in the benchmark BSE Sensex and the 15% gain in the BSE Information Technology index.

In comparison to Gurnani, Wipro CEO Abidali Neemuchwala earned a total remuneration of Rs 18.23 crore, including Rs 10.20 crore in stock options. TCS CEO Rajesh Gopinathan received a pay packet of Rs 12.49 crore. Salil Parekh, who took over CEO at Infosys Ltd in January, took home Rs 3.98 crore for the three months of the last financial year.

Outside the IT sector, several big paymasters are yet to disclose their management pay packets for 2017-18.

To be sure, Tech Mahindra has been rewarding its top executives highly for several years.

Gurnani had pocketed a remuneration of Rs 150.7 crore in 2016-17. This was far higher than the Rs 45.2 crore he had earned in the previous year, but lower than the Rs 165.5 crore remuneration for 2014-15.

Another highly paid Tech Mahindra executive is vice chairman Vineet Nayyar.

Nayyar, a former IAS officer who switched to the corporate world three decades ago, retired from the executive role in August 2015 and remains on the board as vice chairman. In 2017-18, his compensation was Rs 40.1 crore including Rs 36.1 crore in stock options.

In 2015-16, Tech Mahindra had doled out a record compensation of Rs 179.5 crore ($29 million then) to Nayyar.

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