Calling in sick? Meet the Indian executive who made nearly $3 million for leaves he didn’t take

  • A M Naik, the non-executive chairman of L&T, earned ₹194 million ($2.7 million) last year after encashing all his accumulated leaves.
  • His total payout, which included a base salary of ₹27.3 million, came to ₹1.37 billion for the year.
  • A son of a village primary school teacher in Gujarat, Naik joined L&T as junior engineer in 1965, rose through the ranks.

Indians are famous for not taking a break from work. And one of the biggest examples of that could be Anil Manibhai Naik.

On January 26, the now retired non-executive chairman of industrial conglomerate Larsen & Toubro (L&T), was awarded the Padma Vibhushan - India’s second-highest honour for civilians-- for his contribution to India’s corporate sector.

The government honour caps a terrific 12-month period for Naik who made a staggering $3 million last year for unused leaves in his career spanning five decades.

According to L&T’s annual report for 2017-18, Naik earned ₹194 million ($2.7 million) last year after encashing all his accumulated leaves. His total payout, which included a base salary of ₹27.3 million, came to ₹1.37 billion for the year. His retirement gratuity benefits and the exercise of his stock options netted him more than ₹1 billion of his total.

A son of a village primary school teacher in Gujarat, Naik joined L&T as junior engineer in 1965, rose through the ranks, and eventually steered the construction major’s entry into the defence. The ₹1.83 trillion L&T group today offers IT solutions and financial services too.

Naik famously fended off takeover bids from by the Ambani family in the late 1990s.

While he announced in August 2016 that he would give away 75% of his income to charitable causes over his lifetime-- that an executive’s unused leaves are worth $3 million will be an uncomfortable fact for millions more who slog through their lives without the assurance of a secured retirement.


SEE ALSO:

India’s billionaires saw their wealth grow by ₹22 billion every day last year while the poorest 50% only saw a 3% rise in income: Oxfam
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