News: Weekly roundup (June 2-8): News you cannot miss

C-Suite

Weekly roundup (June 2-8): News you cannot miss

  When Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy retired from Infosys Ltd in August 2011 at the age of 60, it was difficult for insiders and those tracking the firm from outside to believe that the company’s iconic founder would actually manage to step aside completely, Mint reported. Murthy always described Infosys as his third child and chose to take a non-executive title of chairman emeritus, retaining the umbilical cord.

 

When Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy retired from Infosys Ltd in August 2011 at the age of 60, it was difficult for insiders and those tracking the firm from outside to believe that the company’s iconic founder would actually manage to step aside completely, Mint reported. Murthy always described Infosys as his third child and chose to take a non-executive title of chairman emeritus, retaining the umbilical cord.

Three more senior executives of Kingfisher Airlines (KFA), including its chief information officer, have quit the grounded carrier even as a section of its pilots are set to revive their agitation over non-payment of salaries. “The airlines’ chief information officer Saurav Sinha, flight operations head Capt. Ronald Nagar and cabin crew head Ajit Bagchi have put in their papers recently,” Kingfisher Airlines sources told PTI.

Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chief executive and managing director of Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, received a 46% hike in his total compensation package in the 2012-13 fiscal, when the company further cemented its place at the top of India’s $108-billion information technology (IT) sector. Chandrasekaran received a package of about Rs.11.7 crore, including all allowances and commissions, against Rs.8.01 crore in the preceding year. Former chief financial officer S. Mahalingam’s package increased 14% to Rs.4.02 crore. This does not include dividends earned from stock options. Rajesh Gopinathan took over from Mahalingam as CFO in February this year.

The government’s top companies can look for better working conditions and governance norms to compete with private sector as the Centre is set to allow fixed tenures to CMDs (chairman and managing directors) of the Maharatna and Navratna to be selected by a committee having experts. A Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) has decided that age for appointment of independent directors in these public sector companies would be 45 to 70 years as compared to norm of 45 to 65 years.

India's largest shipbuilder by value, Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Company, is set to name private equity veteran Rajiv Shukla as its CEO, filling in the top post that has been lying vacant for nearly two years, a Times of India report said. The appointment of Shukla, a partner with Citigroup's private equity arm, is expected to be ratified by Pipavav board soon, said a person familiar with the matter.

India’s third largest software exporter Wipro Ltd plans to give high single-digit pay hikes on average across the company and has put in place a new incentive structure that will reward junior programmers based on billable hours and senior managers based on client satisfaction. Junior-level programmers form more than 70% of the workforce. Employees and teams filing patents for software that are eventually granted could get incentives worth $500-2,000.

Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Communications (RCom) plans to shift more than 5,500 employees from its call centre functions for post paid, enterprise, international calling and Reliance India back offices to third-party business process outsourcing companies, an Economic Times report said. RCom chief executive officer Gurdeep Singh confirmed the move. Two persons aware of the development said deals with existing and new BPO companies were almost finalised and contracts will be announced in the next three to four weeks.

The Delhi Police have decided to go after the top bosses if the women employed in their companies are not dropped home safely after a night shift, Hindustan Times reported. Up until now, it was only the cab driver who was arrested if he was found violating guidelines set by the police on safety of women working night shifts. These guidelines make it mandatory for employers to have their women employees dropped at their doorstep, have a security guard accompanying them and install GPS technology in the cabs.

Companies are withdrawing health insurance cover facility for employees' parents under group mediclaim policies citing rising costs, an Economic Times report said. Parental cover, routinely provided by companies around five to six years ago, is now sponsored by employers in just 36 per cent of group covers. In almost every employee benefit group policy where parental cover is included, a bulk of the claims is not from employees, but for treating their parents. It is obvious that companies are discontinuing the cover to prevent their premium bills from galloping every year.

Indian manufacturing growth nearly stalled in May as factory output shrank for the first time in over four years, a survey showed on Monday, suggesting the economy remained frail at the start of the new fiscal year, Mint reported. The sombre PMI findings came hard on the heels of data released on Friday that confirmed Asia’s third largest economy grew at its slowest pace in a decade in the fiscal year that ended in March.

Cracking the whip on the promoters of over 100 private sector companies having failed to attain minimum 25 per cent public holding, Sebi on Tuesday ordered freezing their voting rights and corporate benefits and barred them from holding any new position on boards of listed firms, Mint reported. The promoters and directors of non-compliant companies have also been barred from dealings in the market and holding new positions on the boards of listed entities till the time those companies comply with the minimum public shareholding requirements.

Youth aspiring for jobs in the services sector could soon pick up the necessary skills through on the-job training with India Inc agreeing to a mandate for services firms to hire at least 2.5 per cent of their workforce as apprentice, an Economic Times report said. Traditionally used in India for imparting technical and manufacturing skills, the apprenticeship model has had limited success due to a very rigid 52 year-old law governing such training.

When it comes to getting ahead in the workplace, women are their own worst enemy, a new survey has claimed. This was reported by PTI. Women’s reluctance to ask for a raise acts as a roadblock when it comes to advancements in the workplace, according to the survey. The survey, which was conducted in March among 954 members of LinkedIn's Professional Women's Network Group, showed that women workers may be creating their own blockades when it comes to career advancement and salary raises, PTI quoted a New York Daily News report.

An MBA is no longer a cherished degree for only professionals from the private sector. An increasing number of employees from state-owned undertakings are enrolling for the degree to hone their managerial acumen, gain global exposure and fasttrack their career, which would have taken much longer in the public sector. In fact for most, it is a passport to move out of public sector undertakings (PSUs) to private corporations or consulting firms, according to an ET report.

Former Kingfisher Airlines Ltd executive vice-president Manoj Chacko has been appointed chief operating officer (COO) at Kuoni Business Travel, a unit of travel firm Kuoni India, Mint reported. Chacko succeeds Malvinder Singh Rikhy, who’s left the travel company, Kuoni said in a press statement. Before joining Kuoni Business Travel, Chacko ran a consultancy and was Kingfisher Airlines executive vice-president (commercial).

Employees need not be glued to their desktops at work. They could be sitting in different countries, but working on the same project by creating presentations, sharing documents or even editing them in real time with the help of cloud-based or online office productivity solutions, which can be licensed for an annual fee at a fraction of the price of an off-the-shelf software product with similar functions, Mint reported. For instance, the 400 employees of technology firm Unilog Content Solutions Pvt. Ltd, spread across Philadelphia in the US, Mysore and Bangalore, use Microsoft’s subscription-based Office 365 service and “experienced significant improvement in the reliability of our messaging system, document sharing, and communication capabilities while reducing IT (information technology) costs and administration”, said Suchit Bachalli, executive vice-president.

A public interest suit has been filed against the directors of pharmaceuticals major Ranbaxy Laboratories for allegedly manufacturing adulterated drugs, Business Standard reported. The petition filed in the Supreme Court sought prosecution of all current and former directors of the company. Manohar Lal Sharma, the petitioner, also sought sealing of the company’s manufacturing facilities at Paonta Sahib and Devas in Madhya Pradesh. Sharma has mentioned the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as one of the respondents in the case.

The induction of Rohan Murty into Infosys could undermine succession planning to choose a new CEO if his interactions are not handled with tact and integrity, experts have warned, Economic Times reported. The presence of Rohan, whose father NR Narayana Murthy returned from retirement as its executive chairman on June 1, could unsettle senior executives with aspirations for the top job, cautioned HR experts and analysts tracking Infosys.

Zynga Inc., the biggest maker of online social games, said it will cut 520 jobs, or 18 per cent of its staff, and close some offices amid disappointing results from its titles outside the Farmville series, Bloomberg reported. The reductions will save an estimated $70-80 million in pre-tax expenses annually, the San Francisco-based company said on Monday in a statement. The cuts will be completed by August, and will result in restructuring charges of $24-26 million in the second quarter and $2-5 million in the third quarter.

Millions of workers associated with some of the key welfare schemes that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government showcases as its achievements will have to wait longer to be considered permanent employees and enjoy benefits such as minimum wage, Mint reported. A proposal of the labour ministry to provide minimum wages and social security benefits such as pension, gratuity and provident fund to workers associated with schemes including the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and the mid-day-meal programme under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has faced opposition from concerned ministries, according to government document, a copy of which has been reviewed by Mint.

Reliance Industries' telecom arm will increase its staff strength by nearly three-fold this year to 10,000 as it gears up to launch fourth generation (4G) services, PTI reported. Company Chairman Mukesh Ambani, however, did not give any timeframe for the launch of services and said he would give more details only in next AGM about the product and the launch.

SpiceJet Ltd’s chief commercial officer Harish Moideen Kutty has resigned a little over a year after he joined the budget airline. The resignation comes days after the Kalanithi Maran-promoted airline announced a bigger-than-expected loss of Rs.191 crore for the fiscal year ended March. Kutty is the second chief commercial officer to quit SpiceJet in 18 months.

Tata Consultancy Services, India's biggest outsourcer, has raised the salary of its chief executive and managing director N Chandrasekaran by 50 per cent to Rs. 15 lakh per month effective from April 2014. The hike is subject to approval by the shareholders. Mr Chandrasekaran, who became chief executive in October 2009, had received a pay hike of about 40 per cent to Rs. 10 lakh in July 2011 earlier.

The Indian Banks' Association (IBA) announced on Thursday that it has re-elected K R Kamath, chairman and managing director of Punjab National Bank (PNB), as its chairman for 2013-14, PTI reported. The association at its 66th annual general meeting also elected Aditya Puri, managing director and CEO of HDFC Bank, as deputy chairman, while State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Pratip Chaudhuri was named as honorary secretary.

From being seen beside their billionaire parents and grandmother Kokilaben Ambani at the annual general meetings of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), the Ambani twins - Akash and Isha - might soon graduate to being RIL employee, a Business Standard report said. With RIL entering a new growth phase in telecom and retail, gen-next, say RIL executives, could soon be seen holding the reins of the firm, assisting their father, Chairman Mukesh Ambani.

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Topics: C-Suite, #Updates

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