MUMBAI, April 3 Text of Narayan Murthy's letter
to the media about COO Pravin Rao's compensation.
If you use the contents of this mail, please quote me verbatim
and in full. Please do not paraphrase.
I have lots of affection for Pravin. Let me state you the
I recruited Pravin in 1985 and had nurtured him throughout my
stay at Infosys since then.
He had been sidelined. He was not even a member of the Executive
Council at Infosys in 2013 when I came back. Kris, Shibu snd I
encouraged him, elevated him to the board, and made him the COO
when we recruited Vishal as the CEO. So, this abstention has
nothing to do with Pravin.
Those of us who have always stood for fairness in compensation
and practised it, right from the day Infosys was founded, will
have to demonstrate it when needed. This is a time when it is
needed. Nothing more and nothing less.
I believe in striving towards reducing differences in
compensation and equity in a corporation. You may not know that
my Infosys salary at the time of the founding of Infosys was
just 10% of my salary in my previous job. I ensured that my
younger, co-founder colleagues got 20% higher salary over their
salaries in their previous job even though I was 7 levels above
them in my previous job and was 11 years older than them. I gave
them huge equity compensation the like of which has never been
replicated in this world. So, this abstention comes from
somebody who has walked the talk.
I have always felt that every senior management person of an
Indian corporation has to show self restraint in his or her
compensation and perquisites. He or she has to fight for
maintaining a reasonable ratio between the lowest salary and the
highest salary in a corporation in a poor country like India.
The board has to create a climate of opinion for such a fairness
by their actions.
This is necessary if we have to make compassionate capitalism
acceptable to a majority of Indians who are poor. Without
compassionate capitalism, this country cannot create jobs and
solve the problem of poverty. Experts tell me that capitalism
may come to an end in the not-so-distant future if the current
corporate leaders do not heed this advice in India.
Further, giving nearly 60% to 70% increase in compensation for a
top level person (even including performance-based variable pay)
when the compensation for most of the employees in the company
was increased by just 6% to 8% is, in my opinion, not proper.
This is grossly unfair to the majority of the Infosys employees
including project managers, delivery managers, analysts,
programmers, sales people in the field, entry level engineers,
clerks and office boys who are toiling hard to make the company
better. The impact of such a decision will likely erode the
trust and faith of the employees in the management and the
board. With what conscience can a decent person like Pravin ( a
man schooled in Infosys values for over 30 years) tell his
juniors that they should work hard and make sacrifice to reduce
cost and protect margin? I have got so many mails from these
people asking whether this resolution is fair. No previous
resolution in the history of the company has received such a low
Finally, given the current poor governance standards at Infosys,
let us also remember that these targets for variable pay may not
be adhered to if the board wants to favor a top management
(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal)