Team Reliance is growing. After Rajeev Karwal, it's Raghu Pillai, CEO, Home Solutions, Pantaloon, who's all set to join the top management at Reliance as President and Chief Executive, Retail Operations and Strategy.
Reliance recently roped in Mr Karwal, formerly of Philips and Electrolux, to head its consumer electronics vertical. Sources in the executive recruitment industry say that retail giants in India are getting ready for the tough battle ahead, when FDI will be allowed, by offering million-dollar salaries. Mr Pillai, however, denied that he had been offered a Rs 5-crore pay packet. "I'll only say the salary is good, but so it was in Pantaloon," he told Business Line.
Mr K. Sudarshan, Managing Partner of EMA Partners International, an international executive search firm, explains the rationale behind fat pay packets: "The current set of retail players are offering mind-boggling salaries only to corner all the big talent and make entry barriers very high for foreign players, if and when they arrive."
FDI is also the reason why Indian retailers are blocking real estate in prime localities in all major cities, says Mr Sudarshan. "They will build all aspects of the business to such an extent that when FDI is finally allowed, it may not be competitive for foreign players to operate here." Another industry source said that Pantaloon has adopted the same strategy in recruitment and real estate. Prior to joining Pantaloon in May last year, Mr Raghu Pillai, was the President, Retail, RPG Enterprises.