Greedy bosses are not rare animals. But when the head of one of the largest and well-respected business groups becomes greedy, it indicates something is wrong with the way we do business in India.
In a poverty ridden country, the Chairman of Tata Sons has entered the upper ranks of well paid bosses with a compensation of Rs. 16 crores.
The Tata Group is well respected for good reasons. Its over 100 years old, operates in almost all industries, employs over 600,000 people, with revenues of about $108 billion. It is also perhaps the least corrupt. More importantly, 66% of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Group, is owned by philanthropic trusts, perhaps the largest in India, which have contributed significantly to the greater good of India and its people.
When the Chairman of a such a socially aware business group chooses to take home such a large salary, it smacks of hypocrisy and irresponsible behaviour.
Mistry’s family owns significant stake in Tata Sons, besides other business interests, and so he will not be impoverished if he forgoes his salary. That will set a great example to other business leaders, in a poor country with huge inequalities.
Many Indian CEOs earn huge salaries even as they talk about social & economic inequalities. Some of them earn many hundred times the average salary of their employees. The bosses at Reliance, Hero Motors & Birla Group take home massive salaries, even when they are compensated more than adequately through their ownership stakes in their businesses.
As the head of a well respected and socially responsible business group, Cyrus Mistry should set an good example, not a bad precedent.