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Photo: iStockPhoto
Photo: iStockPhoto

For the love of the job

The perception that entrepreneurs and businessmen have riches to look forward to while professionals take solace in job stability is starting to change

Can working for someone else make you rich? Can a day job, in which you slog for up to 15 hours daily, earn you enough to retire in financial comfort? Perhaps it can. The perception that entrepreneurs and businessmen have riches to look forward to while professionals take solace in job stability is starting to change.

Over the past two decades, many millions of Indians have joined the job market, happy to be working for someone else. And as the service industry matured, never before has the prospect of becoming rich looked better for an employee.

Offers of equity stock options and other perks have made working in sectors such as information technology and financial services lucrative. Consumer goods and capital goods makers have caught up as well, and the offer of employee stock options to attract professional talent is common in such industries.

Think about this: In the year ended 31 March 2015, we saw some companies offering monetary benefits to their top employees that either matched or topped what their promoters earned. Marico Ltd’s managing director and chief executive officer Saugata Gupta drew a salary of 6.2 crore in the year ended March—higher than promoter Harsh Mariwala—who earned 5.08 crore, according to data from Capitaline . Britannia Industries Ltd managing director Varun Berry drew a salary of 4.71 crore in the same year; more than the 3.68 crore earned by promoter Nusli Wadia.

Kotak Wealth Management’s ‘Top of the Pyramid 2015’ report shows the number of ultra-high-net-worth households (UHNHs) in India rose 17% to 137,100 in financial year (FY) 2015, compared with 117,000 in the previous year.

The number of professionals who have entered the category of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNIs) has increased over 17%—higher than the number of entrepreneurs or inheritors, said Murali Balaraman, partner, advisory services, EY, who analysed the results of the survey conducted for the report. Professionals who have an annual income above 4 crore or a net worth of at least 25 crore were categorized as UHNIs.

This is a good time to document some of their stories.

In this issue, we look at professionals across a spectrum of industries, including chief executive officers of companies, doctors, actors and fashion designers, their success mantra, investment strategies and spending patterns.

While their professions may be diverse, almost all of them have two things in common—they all take a long-term view of their career and are passionate about what they do. Why else would they dedicate a large portion of their day fulfilling their professional responsibilities? Many of the CEOs have been putting in 10-15 hours every day, not just now but for decades.

The mindset of an employee who tastes success is very different. They want to give back more to their organizations, whose growth they see as their own success. And this expanding breed of rich professionals has led to a boom in demand for wealth management companies. When it comes to investing, most of them look for professional advice because they don’t have the time to research on their own. To get a sense of how they invested or spent money, we compared professionals with inheritors and entrepreneurs. One thing stood out: most professionals were reluctant to speak about their wealth.

Hopefully, the people and their stories will inspire you the way they inspired us.

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