Sun TV Network's promoters Kalanithi Maran and his wife Kavery Kalanithi Maran were corporate India's highest-paid executives in FY20. Where Kalanithi Maran is promoter-chairman of the Chennai-headquartered company, Kavery Kalanithi is its executive director. The couple took home Rs 175 crore (in FY20), earning around Rs 87.50 crore each.
A break up of the (Rs 87.50 crore) amount includes a salary of Rs 13.87 crore and Rs 73.63 crore ex-gratia/bonus each of them (Kalanithi and Kaveri) received in FY20, according to Sun TV's annual report.
The remuneration earned by the couple makes them the highest-paid executives in the country. The owners also decided to not take a salary hike and keep their remuneration at the current level three years ago, which means they earned the same salary in FY18 and FY19.
Kalanithi and Kavery are just ahead of Dr. Pawan Munjal, MD & CEO, Hero Motocorp who earned Rs 84.59 crore as salary in FY20. Mukesh Ambani, India's richest man, and Reliance Industries Chairman, kept his annual pay capped at Rs 15 crore for the fiscal ended March 31. He continues to retain his salary, commission, allowances, and perquisites at the same level (Rs 15 crore) for the twelfth year in a row, i.e., since 2008-09. Ambani has also decided to forego his entire salary for the current year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, the other highest-paid executives of Sun TV are its Managing Director R Mahesh Kumar and Maran's daughter and company's executive director Kaviya Kalanithi Maran.
Where Kumar earned Rs 1.78 crore, comprising Rs 1.16 crore salary and an ex-gratia/bonus payment of Rs 0.62 crore, Kaviya received Rs 1.22 crore, including a salary of Rs 0.80 crore and an ex-gratia/bonus payment of Rs 0.42 crore.
Sun TV's standalone total income was at Rs 3,653.35 crore in FY20 as compared to Rs 3,883.22 crore in the previous year, while the company's profit before tax stood at Rs 1,797.88 crore as against Rs 2,135.94 crore in the year-ago period.
The COVID-19 outbreak and consequent lockdown have affected Sun TV's business significantly. In the coming years, they expect revenue to rise from the increased DTH subscriber base in South India.