Indian CEOs could get the best salary hike in 5 years; and they already make ₹7 crore/yr on an average

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Indian CEOs could get the best salary hike in 5 years; and they already make ₹7 crore/yr on an average
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  • Top executives in Indian companies are projected to enjoy at least 8.9% salary hike this year as compared to 7.9% in 2021.
  • The same percentage was 5.1% in 2020 and 8.1% in 2019.
  • Top executives in the manufacturing sector with 9.3% and the information technology sector at 9.2% are likely to get the maximum salary hike this year.
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The top executives in India have something to celebrate about. Their salaries will grow by 8.9% this year - with a solid one percentage point increase from last year. This the highest upward movement seen in the last five years, as per a 2022 Executive Rewards Survey in India by Aon. The report also said that the average CEO compensation is at around ₹7 crore per year.

Nearly 60% of a CEO salary is pay at risk — which is the sum of variable pay and long-term incentives (LTI). For other top executives like CFO, HR head and others, this is at 50%.

“The annual long-term incentive for CEOs on average is 125% of the fixed pay. Most companies use a mix of performance and retention-based grants, with at least 50% of the grant amount linked to performance measures such as shareholder return, profit, revenue and cash flows,” says the report.

Manufacturing sector CEOs to get the best hikes


The salaries of the rest of the workforce is also expected to grow by 9.9%, said AON. “The organizations are expecting the salary increases to be ‘buoyant’ in the next 24 months as the salary budgets in the companies are steadily rising,” the report said.

The sectors which are giving the sharpest CEO salary hikes are manufacturing at 9.3% and IT at 9.2%. CEOs from other sectors like consumer goods, financial institutions and life sciences could get a little over 8%.

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This CEO salary hike could be driven by the pandemic when they could not attract overseas talent - making the domestic C suite more attractive.

“The cost of attracting, retaining and engaging leadership talent that grows business is rising rapidly. Not only is the average executive compensation increased the highest in five years, but variable pay and equity grants have also risen as companies cannot risk losing key talent at senior levels as this has implications on delivering business performance,” said Nitin Sethi, partner and CEO of Human Capital Solutions at Aon India.

The survey received responses from 475 organizations from over 15 sectors and covering over 40 executive positions.

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