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New Delhi, India: While the division of the Reliance empire two years ago may have made Anil Ambani smile, its elder brother and chairman of Reliance Industries Mukesh Ambani who is ultimately laughing all the way to the bank.With an annual package close to Rs 25 crore - over 10 times more than Anil's Rs 2.42 cr - Mukesh is also way ahead of the top brass of entire India Inc. In the latest fiscal year ending March 2007, Mukesh took home a total Rs 24.51 crore as CMD of RIL - the highest among more than 10,000 top executives and directors at about 1,200 companies. When the brothers were together, they took home a package of Rs 21.9 crore each at Reliance Industries in the financial year 2004-05, according to information available in the company's annual report. While Mukesh continues to hold the position of Chairman and Managing Director at Reliance Industries, Anil was the Vice-Chairman and Managing Director till June 18, 2005. Anil does not even figure in the top-100 list with a total remuneration of about Rs 2.42 crore from three of his group companies - Reliance Energy, Reliance Communications and Reliance National Resources Ltd (RNRL). Anil's package as REL Chairman was Rs 2.34 crore, while as R-COM and RNRL Chairman he got Rs 4.8 lakh and Rs 3.2 lakh respectively. Mukesh is closely followed by Sun TV CMD Kalanidhi Maran and Joint MD Kavery Kalanidhi, whose annual remuneration is close to Rs 23.26 crore each in 2006-07. Telecom giant Bharti Airtel's CMD Sunil Mittal ranks at fourth position with close to Rs 15 crore, followed by Dr Reddy's Labs Executive Chairman K Anji Reddy at the fifth rank with Rs 14.4 crore. "Success today is linked to the head of an organisation and movements happen quickly. In order to attract the best talent in the industry and retain them organisations have to loosen their purse strings," Partner with Elixir Web Solutions' Vipul Prakash commented on the high salaries, ""If a company performs well, the CEO gets a hike of 20 to 30 per cent on the fixed part of the salary. To add to it, the value of stock goes up and year after year the number of stocks also increases," Prakash added. Two-wheeler major Hero Honda's Chairman Brijmohan Lal Munjal and the company's MD and CEO Pawan Munjal are ranked at sixth and seventh positions with Rs 13.99 crore and Rs 13.88 crore each. Jindal Steel's Executive Vice-Chairman and MD Naveen Jindal comes at eighth position (Rs 13.5 crore), followed by Hero Honda's Joint MD Toshiaki Nakagawa (Rs 13.44 crore) and JSW Steel Vice Chairman & MD Sajjan Jindal (Rs 13.24 crore) in the top ten in terms of annual pay package. The annual remuneration of as many as 15 executives stood at more than Rs 10 crore. These executives also included Cadila Health CMD Pankaj R Patel (Rs 12.43 crore), Dr Reddy's Labs MD and Chief Operating Officer Satish Reddy (Rs 10.87 crore), Dr Reddy's Labs Executive Vice Chairman and CEO G V Prasad (Rs 10.87 crore), Mercator Lines CMD Harish Kumar Mittal (Rs 10.07 crore) and Mercator Lines Joint MD Atul J Agarwal (Rs 10.07 crore). More than 300 executives took home a package of more than Rs one crore, while those with salary in lakhs, but less than a crore, were about 3,000 in 2006-07. Another recruitment firm Matrix HR Solutions' CEO Narendra Kala said: "A CEO is placed at a high risk position, where delivery is very critical. He is the one answerable to the shareholders, he doesn't have an option of going wrong. Only an extraordinary person having complex competencies can be a CEO, and for such a gem of a person the company has to spend." However, there are others who feel that the salaries of CEOs in India is still not at par with the global standards. Indian CEOs are underpaid in comparison to their international counterparts, although slowly they are coming to a parity, Finesse PR's HR Practice head Saurabh Azad said. "Today when Indian economy is competing in the global market, the salaries will have to be in parity with the international salaries or else we will face the brain drain at the CEO level as well," he added.

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