USL Raises a Toast to Crorepati Club, Pays Big to Keep Top Ex­ecs on a High

56 ex­ec­u­tives earn more than .₹ 1 cr in salary in FY17 as spir­its maker strives to push sales

The Economic Times - - Front Page -

Sa­gar Malviya & Sreer­adha D Basu

Mum­bai: United Spir­its may not be among the most pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions for job­seek­ers, but the coun­try’s largest spir­its maker has more crorepatis in its ranks than IT gi­ant In­fosys and all FMCG com­pa­nies ex­cept Hin­dus­tan Unilever.

As many as 56 ex­ec­u­tives at United Spir­its (USL) took home more than .₹ 1 crore in salary in the year ended March — against 52 in the pre­vi­ous year — ac­cord­ing to the firm’s an­nual re­port. This de­spite man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Anand Kri­palu de­scrib­ing FY17 as “the sin­gle-most chal­leng­ing year from a reg­u­la­tory per­spec­tive”. Con­sumer goods gi­ant Hin­dus­tan Unilever, which had 125 ex­ec­u­tives tak­ing home more than .₹ 1 crore in salaries last year, and IT ma­jor Wipro, with 51 such peo­ple, both saw the num­ber of crorepatis shrink from the pre­vi­ous year.

Di­a­geo, the world’s largest spir­its maker that owns United Spir­its, is look­ing to at­tract and re­tain tal­ent in In­dia as it pushes hard to build up sales and fend off com­pe­ti­tion in what’s emerg­ing as a key mar­ket, ex­perts said.

“The avi­a­tion min­istry is pur­su­ing the mat­ter with the fi­nance min­is­ter, as this will cush­ion the pas­sen­gers against an in­crease in fares on ac­count of PSF,” said a min­istry of­fi­cial, who did not want to be iden­ti­fied.

Rao’s Au­gust 2 let­ter to the CISF DG has also been marked to avi­a­tion sec­re­tary RN Choubey and other se­nior of­fi­cials in the home and avi­a­tion min­istries. His let­ter is a re­sponse to CISF DG Singh’s ear­lier note to Choubey that sought the lat­ter’s in­ter­ven­tion in get­ting CISF dues cleared, which was first re­ported by ET on Au­gust 2, 2017.

“A re­view of out­stand­ing dues against var­i­ous air­ports shows that an amount of .₹ 735.33 crore is out­stand­ing against 59 air­ports. More­over, dur­ing the last 12 months, to­tal dues have fur­ther in­creased from .₹ 542.57 crore to .₹ 753.33 crore. Out of the to­tal pend­ing dues of .₹ 735.33 crore, an amount of .₹ 655.40 crore re­lates to DIAL alone,” said Singh’s let­ter that was writ­ten in June.

DIAL had also clar­i­fied that the air­port does not owe any money to CISF. “It is un­fair that DIAL is be­ing pro­jected as re­spon­si­ble for non-pay­ment or de­layed pay­ment. The fact of the mat­ter is that air­port se­cu­rity is a sov­er­eign func­tion re­served for the gov­ern­ment of In­dia. Hence, it is the pri­mary re­spon­si­bil­ity of the avi­a­tion min­istry and gov­ern­ment of In­dia to en­sure pay­ment of CISF’s dues. Out­stand­ing dues have built up over a pe­riod of time due to the shortage of funds in PSF,” Rao’s let­ter said.


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