A paradigm shift has occurred in the turbulent Indian startup environment in FY23, as a result of a fundraising winter that has forced firms to put profitability ahead of rapid expansion. This change has prompted considerable cost-cutting measures in addition to raising concerns regarding founder compensation in the face of employee layoffs and pay reductions. The ‘Founder Salaries FY23 Tracker,’ which offers insights into the compensation trends of significant founders, was introduced by Inc42 in answer to these inquiries. Let’s examine the statistics and see how these financial decisions have affected the startup scene.
OYO’s Ritesh Agarwal: A Remarkable Pay Hike Amidst Turnaround
Remuneration: Ritesh Agarwal, the visionary behind OYO, emerges as the highest-paid founder in FY23, with an annual remuneration of INR 12 Cr, witnessing a staggering 114% increase from the previous fiscal year.
Financial Impact: With a 34% YoY decrease in net loss to INR 1,286.5 Cr and a 14% increase in operational revenue to INR 5,463.9 Cr, OYO’s financials show a turnaround. Agarwal’s pay rose in spite of a major impact on 600 employees, highlighting the company’s tenacity and tactical changes.
Nazara Games’ Nitish Mittersain: Sustaining Growth with Incremental Remuneration
Remuneration: Nitish Mittersain, CEO of Nazara Games, took home INR 4 Cr in FY23, marking a commendable 21% increase from the previous fiscal year.
Financial Impact: Nazara Technologies reported robust financials, with a 75% increase in operating revenue to INR 1,091 Cr and a net profit rise of 21% to INR 61.4 Cr. Mittersain’s remuneration reflects the company’s commitment to rewarding leadership amidst sustained growth.
Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma: Fintech Leader’s Incremental Compensation
Remuneration: Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of Paytm, witnessed an 8% increase in annual remuneration, reaching INR 4 Cr in FY23.
Financial Impact: With a strong 1.6X increase in operating revenue to INR 7,990.3 Cr and a 26% decrease in net loss to INR 1,766.5 Cr, Paytm’s financial performance is impressive. Sharma’s increasing pay is in line with Paytm’s goals of striking a balance between expansion and stability.
IndiaMART’s Dinesh Agarwal: Steady Growth Reflects in Founder’s Compensation
Remuneration: Dinesh Agarwal, the founder of IndiaMART, received a salary of INR 3.8 Cr in FY23, demonstrating an 11.8% increase from the previous fiscal year.
Financial Impact: IndiaMART’s financials exhibit a 31% increase in operating revenue to INR 985.3 Cr, although profit dipped around 5% to INR 283.8 Cr. Agarwal’s remuneration mirrors the company’s commitment to consistent growth amid market fluctuations.
Delhivery’s Sahil Barua and Kapil Bharati: Navigating Challenges with Incremental Compensation
Remuneration: Sahil Barua, CEO of Delhivery, and Kapil Bharati, CTO, witnessed increases in remuneration to INR 3.1 Cr and INR 3 Cr, respectively.
Financial Impact: Delhivery reported a 5% increase in operating revenue to INR 7,225.3 Cr, with a relatively flat loss of INR 1,007.7 Cr. The incremental compensations for Barua and Bharati signify resilience in steering the company through challenges while prioritizing employee welfare.
BlueStone’s Gaurav Singh Kushwaha: A Surge in Compensation Amidst Growth
Remuneration: Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, CEO of BlueStone, witnessed a remarkable 313% surge in annual remuneration to INR 3.1 Cr.
Financial Impact: BlueStone’s net loss increased by 183% to INR 167.2 Cr, despite a 67% increase in operating revenue to INR 771 Cr. Kushwaha’s pay raise is indicative of the company’s dedication to leadership in the face of difficult growth.
Conclusion: Navigating Challenges with Strategic Compensation Moves
The Founder Salaries FY23 Tracker sheds light on the dynamic nature of the startup landscape in India, where founders are strategically adjusting their compensation in response to both challenges and growth opportunities. While layoffs and pay cuts have impacted the workforce, the incremental remunerations for key founders highlight a commitment to leadership and navigating the uncertainties of the funding winter. As startups continue to focus on profitability, these compensation moves signal a delicate balance between sustaining growth, ensuring employee welfare, and steering through industry challenges. The tracker will remain a valuable resource for stakeholders, providing ongoing insights into the evolving financial dynamics of India’s startup ecosystem.