Marking the highest annual pay hikes worldwide, Indian companies doled out as much as 9.8 per cent increase in salaries this year even though average executive compensation remained lower than many other countries, says a report.
The substantial hike in executive pay by Indian companies comes even as corporates are grappling with uncertain global economic conditions and sluggish growth prospects.
The latest findings by executive search firm Pedersen & Partners show that Indian companies gave 9.8 per cent annual salary hikes.
Going by the study, top executive compensation is currently increasing by 7-10 per cent on average in emerging markets and between 4 per cent and 5 per cent on average in Western countries.
However, in absolute terms, the findings reveal that the average compensation of top executive in India is much lower than other nations.
India is followed by South Africa at the second place, where top executives pay package has risen by 8.8 per cent, China (6.8 per cent), the UK (4.4 per cent) and other western European countries (4.1 per cent) and four per cent each in the US and Germany.
Globally, average executive compensation is still the highest in the US and Western European countries.
"Top earners in large enterprises in emerging markets, like China, India, or South Africa receive compensation on the level of Western countries," Pedersen & Partners Head (Compensation Consulting) and Project manager of the survey Conrad Pramboeck said.
"However, executive compensation is on average still below the remuneration of their counterparts in Western Europe and the US," he added.
The survey also noted the total compensation (including base salary and bonus) of top executives in companies with 20,000 to 50,000 employees was highest in Germany (814,000 euros), followed by the US (780,400 euros) the UK (773,000 euros), Japan (771,200 euros) and other Western economies (759,800 euros).
On the other hand, average pay packages are among the lowest in India (116,800 euros), China (258,700 euros) and South Africa (399,400 euros).
"International comparisons of executive compensation must always be regarded with a certain amount of caution," Pramboeck said.
"China, for example, is a huge country with a great variety of compensation levels. Salaries in Shanghai, Hong Kong, or Guangzhou have reached similar levels to Western Europe, while many other regions have substantially lower compensation levels," he added.
The global survey was conducted among 1,700 executives in 330 companies in 17 countries.