NDTV Cuts Salaries by 10-20%; 'We Shall Overcome', Says CEO Rao

Broadcaster NDTV Ltd has cut salaries of employees above a certain salary bracket by 10-20%. Employees earning more than Rs1 lakh a month will suffer a 10% cut, while those making above Rs2 lakh a month will face a 20% cut. The Bombay Stock Exchange-listed broadcaster, which started life as a news broadcaster and in the recent past diversified into lifestyle and entertainment programming, employs more than 2,000 people across its businesses. We have learned that some 500 of them will be affected by today’s development.

In an group-wide email titled “We shall overcome”, CEO KVL Narayan Rao announced the decision this afternoon. “This is one of the toughest decisions we have had to take in our 20 year history,” Rao wrote. He also clarified that community facilities such as the creche, medical schemes or drop backs for women employees etc., won’t be affected.

The full text of the email is below the fold.

From: KVL Narayan Rao
To: Everyone in NDTV Group

Subject: We shall overcome

Sent: Fri 3/13/2009 1:26pm

Dear All,

As you are aware, India and the world are in the midst of an economic crisis. NDTV, like all other media companies has also been affected by lower advertising revenues (the first thing that any corporate does at times of recession is to cut back on their advertising budget).

These are bad times indeed. While NDTV’s long term future is solid and sound, in the short term our results show an operating loss. These losses cannot, of course, continue.

We have all seen and enjoyed good times – and they will return.

In these tough times all of us need to come together and face the pressure as a team. I am afraid this means a cut in salary for all of us who earn over one lakh rupees a month.

From March 2009 onwards this means that:

1. The salary of anyone earning Rs 2 lakhs or more a month will be reduced by 20%;

2. The salary of anyone earning Rs 1 lakh or more a month up to Rs 2 lakhs will be reduced by 10%;

3. The salary of anyone earning less than Rs. 1 lakh a month will not be reduced.

Of course specific adjustments will be made at salaries that are around one lakh rupees and two lakh rupees to ensure fairness and that seniority levels are not affected.

If you have any queries please do contact Ajay Mankotia or Gagan Bhargava at the HR department. They are working closely with me on this.

Despite rumours, this is to confirm we will NOT be cutting back on many of our community facilities, like our crèche, NDTV’s doctor or medical schemes, drop backs for women after dark and many of the other facilities that are so important for NDTV.

This is one of the toughest decisions we have had to take in our 20 year history. It is being done because it is unavoidable. I look to everyone at NDTV for your understanding and a sense of urgency.

Let us all look forward to the storm passing and once again becoming a financially strong and vibrant NDTV.

We shall overcome and become stronger. That I promise.


Narayan Rao