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CRED CEO Kunal Shah's Monthly Salary of Rs 15,000 Sparks Debate

According to media reports, on average, a chief executive in India earns a salary of around Rs 8.4 crore per annum

CRED CEO Kunal Shah's Monthly Salary of Rs 15,000 Sparks Debate
Kunal Shah, CEO at CRED

Outlook Start-Up Desk

POSTED ON February 28, 2023 10:54 AM

Kunal Shah, the chief executive officer (CEO) of CRED, recently made headlines when he revealed in a 'ask me anything' session on Instagram that he earns a monthly salary of Rs 15,000. This revelation has sparked a debate in the corporate world, with many hailing him as a visionary leader who puts the company's interests before his own.

To put this in perspective, the average CEO salary in India is reportedly around Rs 8.4 crore per year, which is a staggering 900 times more than what Kunal Shah takes home. Moreover, in the US, the average CEO salary is more than $13 million per year, making Kunal Shah's salary seem almost insignificant in comparison.

CEOs who choose to draw a minimum salary are becoming more common in recent times. These CEOs believe that their salaries should reflect the performance of their company, and therefore, should not be high unless the company is profitable. In the case of Kunal Shah, he believes that he should not receive a high salary until CRED becomes profitable.

The response to Shah's revelation has been mixed. Some people appreciate his decision to not take a high salary until the company becomes profitable, while many others think that it is merely a way for him to save on taxes. For some, it simply doesn’t matter since he has various other ways of compensating it.

However, it is worth noting that Shah's decision to take a minimum salary could have a positive impact on the company and its employees. When CEOs take a high salary, it can create a perception that they are only interested in maximising their own profits rather than the success of the company. This can lead to a demoralised workforce, which can ultimately hurt the company's bottom line.

On the other hand, when CEOs take a minimum salary, it can create a perception that they are invested in the company's success and willing to share in the sacrifices that employees may have to make. This can lead to a more motivated workforce, which can ultimately lead to a more successful company.

It is also worth noting that taking a minimum salary does not mean that CEOs are not compensated in other ways. For example, Zuckerberg, Musk and Dorsey all receive compensation through bonuses and stock awards tied to their company's performance. In the case of Kunal Shah, he sold his previous company, FreeCharge, for a substantial sum, which could be another way of compensating for his low salary.

The decision to take a minimum salary is not limited to CEOs of tech companies. Warren Buffet, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, famously takes a salary of $100,000 per year, which is significantly lower than what other CEOs of his stature earn. Buffet has stated that he believes his compensation should be tied to the performance of his company and that he does not need a high salary to live comfortably.

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