Bangalore: Intrigued by the thick air of melancholy emanating from the Infosys campus, all local journalists rushed to the campus here asking ‘Who died?’. When news broke of the $ 5 million salary of new CEO Vishal Sikka, engineers dressed in luxurious, expensive formal clothes (recently bought in monsoon sales) collectively cried out in sympathetic agony. Recently, Infosys announced 6-7% salary hikes for its employees.
“Why is God, who gives so much to us, so unfair to some unfortunate few? Is this a joke? I mean how is the poor guy even supposed to run a household?” said Amir Engineer, who makes a hefty six-figure (rupee) salary. “What can you buy in 5 million these days? Not even a decent flat!” On being told that he was probably confusing currencies, Amir opened his laptop to write a program to convert $5 million into rupees.
A group of freshers held a protest outside the Board Room holding up signs, like the one below, showing how paltry the CEO’s salary was:
“This is unfair and unjust,” said Lakshmi, a recent recruit into Infosys from Seth Hiramal Motimal College of Engineering, Yavatmal, where she got admission by paying donation money obtained from selling her village, “How is he even going to pay off his student loan? Forget about liabilities for donation to engineering college and living expenses in the US.”
Another group has started an ongoing fund-raising campaign, “Sikka for Sikka”, for supplementing the CEO’s salary.
“After we pay for our luxurious lifestyle – rent, food, student loan EMI, housing loan EMI, autorickshaw fare EMI, sending money home, matrimony website subscription, phone and electricity, we still have several coins left in our pockets. What use do we have for those? We will contribute our every last sikka for the big Sikka!” said the secretary of the campaign.
The employees’ campaign is also making waves in other quarters. Management has realized that employees are flush with too much cash, and are considering a salary cut. Meanwhile, Bangalore autowallahs are considering asking for triple the fare instead of the standard double.