Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd., drew 'nil' salary for the second consecutive year in 2021-22 in the wake of the impact of Covid-19 on RIL and the Indian economy as a whole. Ambani also decided to forgo other allowances like perquisites, retiral benefits, commission payable and stock options, RIL’s annual report for 2021-22 shows.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Mukesh Ambani's total compensation, including salary, perquisites, allowances and commission, remained unchanged at ₹15 crore per annum from 2008-09. This was an attempt to set an example among the top managerial employees of the company.
Ambani's wife and a non-executive director on the RIL board, Nita Ambani, earned ₹5 lakh as a sitting fee, and ₹2 crore as commission. In FY2020-21, her sitting fee was ₹8 lakh while the commission stood at ₹1.65 crore.
Apart from Mukesh Ambani, the remuneration of Nikhil R. Meswani and Hital R. Meswani, the other executive directors, was ₹24 crore each for 2021-22. Another executive director P.M.S. Prasad and Pawan Kumar Kapil earned a total compensation worth ₹11.89 crore and ₹4.22 crore, respectively. No executive director of RIL availed of any stock options during FY22.
In his address to shareholders, Mukesh Ambani says that as India was about to heave a sigh of relief after two years of struggle with Covid, the rise in geopolitical tensions exposed the fault lines in the global economy. "Geopolitical conflict has caused significant dislocation in energy markets and disrupted traditional trade flows," he says.
Ambani thinks the globalisation process, which drove the global economic growth over the last four decades, appears to have hit a wall. "The cause of economic inter-dependence that globalisation promoted to help align every country’s interests and, thereby, help reduce conflicts, has taken a back seat," he opines.
But Reliance is better equipped to face these uncertainties, he says, adding that its three extremely agile and highly potent growth engines – Digital Services, Retail and O2C -- have propelled Reliance to deleverage its balance sheet to a net debt zero status in 2021.
He also talked about RIL's green transformation plan to become one of the world’s leaders in the fight against the crisis of climate change.
“Reliance played a leading role in caring for India and Indians in the last couple of years of the pandemic. We now aim to care for the planet as we embark on our most exciting transformation – the green transformation," says Ambani.
In green energy, Reliance is developing end-to-end green energy solutions to make them available for everyone at the most affordable price, he said.
In FY22, RIL set up the Reliance New Energy Council ('NEC') to identify opportunities and engage in partnerships worldwide. It is eying to reinvent itself to become a new energy major, with a focused tech roadmap of 5 to 15 years. RIL also has committed to a net carbon zero emission goal by 2035.