Executive Compensation in India
HANDBOOK ON EXECUTIVE COMPNSATION, Randall Thomas and Jennifer Hill, eds., Edgar Elgar
55 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2011 Last revised: 27 Oct 2011
Date Written: September 28, 2011
We present an introductory regulatory and empirical analysis of executive compensation in listed companies in India.Our descriptive overview of levels and trends leads to several interesting conclusions. First, executive pay in the echelon representing the largest firms is several times greater than in smaller firms. It also includes a much greater component of variable pay, is much more sensitive to stock market movements, and exhibits much greater dispersion both across time and across firms. For this echelon of the largest firms, the features of executive pay are not qualitatively different from those documented for the US by Frydman and Saks (2010). However, for even upto the 75th percentile firm by size, there is little variable component in executive pay. CEO pay is considerably greater than the pay other executive directors (i.e., CXOs), and the ratio of CEO to CXO pay also displays high dispersion both across time and across firms. CXO pay displays a much lower variable component and much lower sensitivity to stock market movements, and hence a much lower variation across time. The real values of both CEO and CXO compensation have been following a sharply increasing trend in recent years in India.
Second, CEO and CXO pay is considerably higher (about 30% for both CEOs and CXOs) for firms that are part of business groups, and increase significantly with the proportion of promoters’ equity. These results are qualitatively similar to the inferences that currently exist in the literature for the impact of vertical agency costs on executive pay.Questions must now be asked to better assure that international standards implemented in India are tailored and fit for the specific risks generated, such that disclosure, corporate oversight, and say-on-pay, are meaningful and fulfill the intended regulatory rationales.
Keywords: Executive compensation, India
JEL Classification: J33, O53
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation