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TCS CEO Chandrasekaran
NEW DELHI: Directors at India's largest technology services company, Tata Consultancy Services, received commissions four times their salaries, making them some of the highest paid in the IT industry. Executive directors at TCS were paid commissions ranging from Rs 95 lakh to a whopping Rs 2.5 crore, leading to a rise in their gross compensation package. 

Comparisons on a total salary basis reveal that TCS CEO earned almost thrice his counterpart at Infosys. For example, for the last fiscal, N Chandrasekaran earned Rs 2 crore as commission — as a board member — against a salary of Rs 46 lakh and Rs 51.1 lakh of perquisites, taking his annual salary to almost Rs 3 crore. 

On the other hand, Infosys' MD and CEO S Gopalakrishnan earned Rs 1.01 crore as annual compensation for the fiscal to March 31, 2010. This included an annual salary of Rs 32 lakh, perks and incentives of Rs 61 lakh, apart from contribution to provident and other funds of just Rs 8 lakh. Of course, Infosys CEO also holds a stake in the company, being a founder. 

While CFOs received almost the same amount, the packages were structured differently. TCS CFO S Mahalingam earns Rs 43.8 lakh as salary but Rs 1.5 crore as commission and Rs 42.2 lakh as perks, taking the total compensation to over Rs 2.36 crore. Infosys CFO V Balakrishnan earns almost 2.44 crore, with almost Rs 2 crore as incentive. 

Average commissions for non-executive directors at Infosys board was between Rs 49 lakh and Rs 65 lakh while the same for TCS had a higher upper limit of Rs 85 lakh. Interestingly, compensation as a proportion of total profit was almost the same at both the firms. TCS doled out Rs 15.2 crore as managerial remuneration on a profit of Rs 7,000 crore. While, Infosys gave Rs 16 crore as managerial remuneration, on a profit base of Rs 6,266 crore. 

While TV Mohandas Pai was also one of the highest paid at Infosys at Rs 3.13-crore annual package, non-executive director and Infosys chairman Narayana Murthy earned just Rs 57 lakh. At TCS, head of global corporate affairs and executive director, Phiroz Vandrevala, earned an annual package of Rs 1.69 crore. 

The highest earning executive at Infosys last year was Ashok Vemuri, who heads Infosys' US business. He earned almost Rs 4.88 crore, with an incentive of Rs 2.79 crore. BG Srinivas, head of European business at Infosys, who was last year top grosser is now relinquished to second spot with annual earnings of Rs 4.56 crore. HR experts explain the large difference in salaries of some executives. 

"There is a variable element in most compensation structures whose benchmarks are the profits. But in the case of Infosys and TCS, size of the businesses vary at different divisions, so its not quantifiable," says Sudhakar Balakrishnan, CEO, Adecco India. Of course, salaries in offshore locations can't be compared to onshore because of different living standards. Says Kunal Banerjie: CEO, Absolute HR international: "The ratio of variable salary of top executives may range from 50% to almost 90% in many cases."

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