Despite reporting massive losses in two subsequent financial years, e-commerce company Flipkart handed out huge pay-outs to its top employees. According to a report, the top six employees of the company were paid over Rs 10 crore in April 2015 to March 2016. As per the company’s filing with the Registrar of Companies, Flipkart had reported a loss of Rs 1,096 crore in 2015 which doubled to touch Rs 2,306 crore in the year ending March 2016. In a bid to attract customers in the highly competitive online space, the company had been on a sales and marketing overdrive in the last two years, offering heavy discounts to customers. This seems to have taken a huge toll on the company finances. During the year 2016, Flipkart was under stress to make sales profitable and reduce its cash burn. But the company’s salaries to its top employees do not give out the extent of financial losses the company has been accumulating over the last two years. “These remunerations include salary, allowances, leave travel allowances, company’s contribution to provident fund, superannuation fund, and gratuity fund, among other things, according to the filing made by Flipkart to the Registrar of Companies,” the report said. Among the top paying employees, the 36-year-old chief people officer Mr. Mekin Maheshwari gets a remuneration of Rs 35.3 crore. Meanwhile, Flipkart clarified that “the remuneration figures cited include a significant portion of liquidated ESOPs that had been accumulated over the years.”
Bharti Airtel announced the appointment of Mr. Rajeev Sethi as the Chief Commercial Officer for its Africa operations. He will report to Mr. Raghunath Mandava, MD and CEO of Airtel Africa, a company statement said. In his new role, Mr. Sethi will be responsible for the formulation and implementation of customer-centric commercial strategies across all the 15 African countries where Airtel operates. His key focus will be across consumer and enterprise businesses covering products and pricing, distribution, brand and customer experience. Announcing the appointment, Airtel Africa MD and CEO, Mr. Mandava said, "With his vast experience across a range of developing markets, Rajeev will contribute immensely in accelerating our growth journey." Mr. Sethi brings with him over 21 years of experience across sectors such as telecom, IT, paints and petroleum. He holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow and is an Electrical Engineer from Gujarat University.
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi is gearing up for the phase II of its campus placement, which is expected to begin from 9 January 2017. During the first phase of placements that started from 1 December 2016 nearly 200 firms offered 350 different job profiles. About 65% of undergraduate students and 50% of graduate students received offers from several companies. Overall, 60% of the students have already been placed through campus processes. Over 20 students bagged international offers with packages of over US $100,000 base pay (Rs 67, 99,000 approx.). Over 40 students bagged international offers spanning profiles from the USA, Singapore, Japan and Taiwan. In the first phase, several core Information Technology companies offered roles in computer science, electrical engineering, and mathematics. Several Public Sector Undertaking (PSUs) firms also participated in the placement process. In the second phase, more PSUs are expected to visit the campus, including the likes of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Coal India, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), etc. "The footfalls of core sector firms, apart from PSUs, have gone up in first phase of the placements. In the second phase too, we're expected more core sector firms. About 10 to 12 companies that could not turn up in first phase of the placements, have been scheduled to appear in Phase II," said a placement coordinator at IIT Delhi. Several startups are also expected to participate in the second phase of placements. "One trend that was noted was of the consulting sector offering fewer jobs per company on campus this year as compared to last year. Offers from start-ups were even sparser due to a smaller number registering for campus placements. Companies from the Core (Technical) / Information Technology streams have recruited in larger numbers this year," said a release from IIT Delhi.
Capgemini, a consulting, technology and outsourcing Services Company, has appointed Mr. Anil Jalali as Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) for its India operations, effective January 1. Mr. Anil Jalali joins Capgemini in India from IBM India where he was the Executive Director, HR. He took over from Mr. BL Narayan, Vice-President and the former HR Head, who joined the Business Services Strategic Business Unit as Head of Solutions & Sales Support from January 1. "With the successful acquisition and integration of IGATE, India is pivotal to the Group’s transformation plans. Strategic talent management will play a crucial role in building organisational agility going forward. Mr. Jalali will be a valuable asset to our HR team and I am confident that his rich experience, along with his understanding of the industry will further strengthen our people strategy in India," Mr. Srinivas Kandula, Head of Capgemini in India, said. Mr. Anil Jalali, CHRO, Capgemini in India, said: “As home to almost 100,000 team members, India is poised to play a defining role in driving competitive excellence for the Capgemini Group. I look forward to contributing to this vision.”
The Reserve Bank of India has appointed Ms. Surekha Marandi as its Executive Director (ED) in place of Mr. U S Paliwal, who retired on December 31 last year, the bank announced. Ms. Marandi will look after Consumer Education and Protection Department, Financial Inclusion and Development Department, and Secretary's Department, an RBI release said. "She has also served on the Boards of United Bank and Bank of Baroda. Prior to being promoted as ED, Ms. Marandi was Principal Chief General Manager and Chief Vigilance Officer in the Reserve Bank," it said. "She has, over a span of three decades, served in regulatory and supervisory, financial inclusion and development and human resource management areas in the Reserve Bank," the statement added.
Infosys Ltd offered $868,250 in severance pay to former chief compliance officer and executive vice-president Mr. David Kennedy, who quit the company, drawing flak for awarding such unusually high compensation to an outgoing executive. Mr. Kennedy, who joined the company in November 2014, is the eighth EVP to quit Infosys since Mr. Vishal Sikka took over as the company's first non-founder CEO in August 2014. Mr. Kennedy is only the second executive to whom Infosys decided to award such a generous severance payment. After agreeing to pay its former chief financial officer Mr. Rajiv Bansal Rs17.38 crore in 2015, Infosys was questioned by shareholders, proxy advisory firms and its founders on the rationale behind the step, forcing it to stop the payments. Infosys first disclosed that it will be making these payment over 10 instalments. However, it is not known how much money it has already paid to Mr. Bansal, before it decided to stop the payments. Infosys has still not disclosed the reason behind paying severance money to Mr. Bansal and why it halted the payments. “The company has entered into a separation agreement with Mr. Kennedy on December 23, 2016,” Infosys said in a statement on 31 December. “Mr. Kennedy was entitled to revoke his acceptance of the separation agreement within seven days of his signature of the agreement. Under his separation agreement, and in line with the employment agreement that it supersedes, Mr. Kennedy will receive aggregate severance payments of $868,250 plus reimbursements for COBRA (insurance) continuation coverage over a period of twelve months.”
IBM — the world's largest computer services firm — has appointed its Asia-Pacific executive for strategy and transformation, Mr. Karan Bajwa, as the new managing director of IBM India. The move has come as the company looks to expand its dominance in the Indian market. Mr. Bajwa is taking over from Ms. Vanitha Narayanan, who has been elevated as the chairman. "By constantly reinventing itself and investing in innovation, IBM today is in a sweet spot to help businesses and governments with their digital transformation journey," said Mr. Bajwa in a statement. Mr. Bajwa joined IBM last year as an executive for strategy and transformation in the Asia-Pacific region. Before this, he was leading India business and Cloud Transition at Microsoft. Before this role, Mr. Bajwa had worked for five years with IBM and spearheaded networking business till 2005. He will be responsible for all strategic and operational matters related to IBM's sales, marketing, services and delivery operations in the India/SA region, including Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. He will lead the team to win new business, shape market opportunities by building alliances and partnerships and solidify the company's position in the marketplace. He will lead IBM's partnership with clients for a cloud and cognitive led digital transformation of their businesses.
Public sector banks will have far more attractive pay packages with increased bonus, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and other performances-linked variables in 2017-18, Bank Board Bureau Chairman Mr. Vinod Rai said. "By next fiscal we are looking at a far more attractive package for public sector banks with bonus, ESOPs, performance linked variables -- monetary or non-monetary benefits to make it more attractive for professionals to enter PSBs," Mr. Rai said here at the 97th Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) Foundation Day. "We may not be able to change the fixed income but we are looking at making the variable part of the package more attractive," he added. The compensation package of the PSBs needs to be improved in some way, he added. Mr. Rai said that the government is also looking at appointing full-time director or executive director in the PSBs, apart from the post of chairman and managing director (CMD). The executive director or director post is being thought of so that he can be held accountable for the decisions taken at the bank, he said. "Those people will be appointed who have at least six or more years of service remaining," Mr. Rai said. The Bank Board Bureau is also working upon the proposal of formation of the government stake in the PSBs into a holding company, which will be run by professionals and will make selections of directors and CMDs for the bank. "Over a period of time, the PSBs may go into mergers," he added. In order to manage the non-performing assets (NPAs) of the banks, Mr. Rai said that he was looking at a scenario wherein the banks are run by boards, who take the risk of decision-making. "We are trying to collate people who will be willing to join the boards of PSBs. Effort is to ensure that the banks are indeed run by boards comprising of professionals," he said.
Tata Consultancy Services is looking at increasing its employees in the Philippines to 10,000, which is 4,000 currently, as it aims at to grow in new geographies to service clients. The Philippines unit is the company's fastest growing unit outside India and has grown at over 40% annually over the past three years. From a 400-member team in December 2012, TCS Philippines now employs 4,000 people and has set itself an ambitious target of increasing it up to 10,000 people in the near future. The companies prefer Philippines as a destination for looking to set up voice-based customer service, but TCS has been trying to diversify. Almost 70% of the revenue from the Philippines comes from business process outsourcing services, the rest comes from IT and IT Infrastructure Management Services. Towards the end of 2012, TCS made a conscious decision to diversify their portfolio of services in the Philippines to create a more varied offering for customers. So they decided to add a very important capability called IT Infrastructure Services as a separate horizontal in 2013. TCS' expansion in the Philippines comes at a time when the country is going through a rough patch. US headquartered BPO companies have found it difficult to set themselves up in Philippines. They have centres there and in other geographies, but now they are coming back and looking at India as a good option for their investments.
Myntra is shutting down two of its offices in Gurugram and is looking forward to shifting 200 or so employees to the premises of Jabong.com, the fashion ecommerce company it acquired in July for $70 million, in the same city. According to Myntra’s chief executive Mr. Ananth Narayanan Staff, working mostly on building international brands and cataloguing will move to an empty floor in Jabong's Sector 18 building. The offices that are being shut down are located on MG Road at Iffco Chowk and at Udyog Vihar. The Sector 18 building is also home to food-order startup Foodpanda. "It makes great economic sense to come here, instead of having three different offices operating,” said Mr. Rahul Taneja, chief business officer at Jabong. The management is trying to get both Myntra and Jabong to profitability at the EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) level by December 2017, Mr. Narayanan has said. "We are going to push for both and we are going to look for (ebitda profitability) together,” he said, adding that Jabong is expected to grow 30-50% in the financial year ending March 2018.
Deutsche Bank's head of fighting financial crime and money-laundering, Mr. Peter Hazlewood, is leaving his post after just six months, a source familiar with the matter. Germany's biggest bank is seeking to settle money-laundering allegations in Russia, faces further investigations into alleged U.S. sanction breaches in Iran and elsewhere, and into suspected manipulation of foreign exchange rates. As per reports, Mr. Hazlewood's planned departure is a more aggressive approach than his manager, global compliance officer Mr. Sylvie Matherat. Two weeks ago, Deutsche Bank agreed to a $7.2 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over its sale and pooling of toxic mortgage securities in the run-up to the 2007-2008 financial crisis. The source said a replacement for Mr. Hazlewood, who previously worked at HSBC, JP Morgan and Standard Chartered, should be announced this month. His predecessor, Mr. Ulrich Goeres, left the bank a year ago.
Medium is laying off one-third of its staff - roughly 50 people - as the company changes its course, according to a post from its founder and CEO Mr. Evan Williams. The Twitter cofounder announced that the publishing platform will be shuttering two offices in New York and Washington D.C. as part of the down-sizing. The majority of the employees let go are in sales or other business functions, leaving the engineering and product teams largely intact. The downsizing comes as the company looks to change its business model after it felt that it was "falling short" of its original goals. According to Mr. Williams' original mission, Medium was supposed to be a "new model for media on the internet." Yet the startup didn't exactly pioneer a new path when in October it announced that it was going to be rolling out native ad campaigns and sponsored posts on the site. Medium has now changed its mind about that direction and the startup says it will be looking at a new way to support the internet's writers and creators.
Early-stage venture capital fund advantEdge Partners has appointed Mr. Ridhish Talwar to head its newly-formed incubator programme. Mr. Talwar—who earlier co-founded gaming brand ‘The Shark’ and legal services startup ‘EasyLaw’—will be responsible for identifying new startups for the programme in his new role, the company said in a statement. He will also be responsible for creating an ecosystem of mentors, partners and business linkages for supporting the incubated startups. The VC firm, which was started in mid-2015, recently launched a six-month-long incubation programme for startups at its 10,000 sq. ft facility in Noida. The incubation programme will have rolling admissions and it will invest up to Rs 15 lakh upfront in every startup in exchange for 5-8% equity. advantEdge has tied up with IBM, Amazon, Zendesk and Razorpay to provide various services to startups. The startups will also get access to advantEdge’s infrastructure, on-call support services and free credits from these partners. “The programme is structured to provide one-to-one attention to startups coming on board, unlike many other programmes in India which run batches. We want selected startups to focus only on building products and delivering to customers. For everything else, the incubator ecosystem will provide all necessary support. We are looking at incubating up to 30 startups over the next few years,” Mr. Talwar said. Over the last 18 months, advantEdge Partners has invested in 18 startups, apart from eight-follow on investments in its portfolio companies. Its investments include companies such as Rapido, Shuttl, TrulyMadly, ScoopWoop, IndiaLends, Smartivity, OnlineTyari, IIM Jobs etc.
Digital payments firm MobiKwik said it will invest over Rs 50 crore and hire 1,000 people during this quarter as it looks to expand its footprint across cities like Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Vijayawada among others. Aimed at enabling 150 million users in India to transact on its platform by early 2018, MobiKwik is setting up offices in 13 cities by the end of the first quarter of 2017. "We will be investing over Rs 50 crore in setting up new offices to cater to regional requirements and will be hiring over 1,000 employees, pan India, across technical and non-technical requirements," MobiKwik co-founder Ms. Upasana Taku said in a statement. These cities include Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Noida, Lucknow, Vijayawada, Kochi, Jaipur and Chandigarh. "Post demonetisation, we have observed unprecedented growth and our expansion plans are in line with our vision to achieve Rs 1,000 crore GMV in 2017," she said. The Sequoia Capital-backed company has a network of over 10 lakh merchants and 45 million users.
The hike in allowances for Central Government employees, as per the revised recommendations of 7th Pay Commission, is expected to be delayed till mid-March. The decision to hike allowance is likely to be deferred at least March 8, due to the model code of conduct imposed by Election Commission of India. The much-awaited bonanza for Central Government employees would be implemented after the elections conclude in Punjab, Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. The five state polls begin on February 4. The results would be declared on March 11. A sources within the Finance Ministry has confirmed that allowances would be increased only after the conclusion of the assembly elections. The sources have further added that there are no plans to give arrears along with allowances to Central Government employees. While hiking the salaries of Central Government employees in July, arrears were also provided to Central Government employees of six months. The date of implementation of 7th Pay Commission was fixed as January 1, 2016. The 7th Pay Commission report submitted by Justice AK Mathur had suggested a total hike, inclusive of salary and allowance, of 23.5 per cent. The basic pay was increased by 14.27 per cent. Since the Central Government employee unions raised anomalies, the government decided to implement the hike only in basic pay, whereas, the increase in allowances was upheld.