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Times of India seeks to retain its DNA through 'Intrapreneurship' scheme, and hefty mid-year increments

25-April-2005
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Times of India seeks to retain its DNA through 'Intrapreneurship' scheme, and hefty mid-year increments

The impending launch of the Zee-Bhaskar combine's DNA newspaper in Mumbai has not only created a storm of sorts, alarm bells have understandably begun to ring in the Old Lady of Bori Bunder. Sensing that it will be a prime target of poaching in this impending battle of the dailies, The Times of India has been quick to announce the 'Intrapreneurship Awards 2005' scheme to retain its senior managerial and editorial hands across establishments.

Not only that, in its Mumbai establishment, the majority of editorial staffers across all levels in The Times of India and The Economic Times have this month been given special increments ranging up to 30 per cent. What is unusual is that these increments have been announced by the management without any demand from the editorial staff. Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. has described these increments as "mid-course salary correction".

The 'intrapreneurship' scheme is an innovative one all right. It is a profit-sharing model with senior editorial and managerial resources - intrapreneurs -- which will come into effect "once a PBT (profit before tax) to net revenue ratio of 33 per cent is achieved for the year". The profit-sharing is for the year 2005, which may be renewed subsequently or a new incentive scheme announced, according to the notification sent out to those who are eligible to be an 'intrapreneur'.

The detailed memo points out that this scheme is aimed at "motivating and increasing the aspirational levels of our intrapreneurs". The award value will be paid in three tranches: first year - 25 per cent; second year - 25 per cent; and the balance 50 per cent in the third year.

So, who are the 288 eligible 'intrapreneurs' and how much do they stand to gain?

On the editorial side the ranks and maximum payouts are: 58 Senior Assistant Editors (Rs 4 lakh maximum payout); 19 Senior Editors (Rs 7 lakh max); 2 Associate Editors (Rs 11 lakh max); and one Executive Editor (Rs 45 lakh max). Senior Editors and Senior Assistant Editors who are either Resident Editors or Bureau Heads will get an additional 25 per cent.

On the managerial side, the ranks and maximum payouts are: 91 Assistant GMs/Chief Managers (Rs 5.5 lakh max); 42 Associate/Deputy GMs (Rs 8.5 lakh); 43 GMs (Rs 10 lakh max); 3 Associate VPs (Rs 15 lakh max); 17 VPs (Rs 16 lakh max); 2 Deputy Directors (Rs 20 lakh max); 9 Functional Directors (Rs 45 lakh max); and the Executive President (Rs 55 lakh max).

Now comes the catch. The financial reward mentioned against each category is the maximum possible payout. But how much each 'intrapreneur' journo or executive actually gets will be determined, as the memo clarifies, by function and individual performance. So, performance will be rated in five categories: A, B, C, D, and E. Those rated A will be entitled to 120 per cent of the max payout for their rank; for category B it is 110 per cent; for category C it is 100 per cent; those in category D get 50 per cent rating; and if one is an E, well, he or she gets nothing.

As for functions, there is a weightage system that has been devised. Response (development functions) has the highest weightage of 1.30 (after all, they bring in the moolah); RMD (sales) gets a weightage of 1.15; and Brand/Editorial/Corporate Group has a weightage of 1.10. Other functions like Board Directors/Finance/Operations and remaining Response and RMD personnel have a weightage of 1.0.

So how does an 'intrapreneur' calculate his/her monetary award value before he or she decides to overlook an offer from DNA? This is how: the max payout value x weightage x performance index. That's an awful lot of arithmetic, preceded of course by the all-important performance assessment. One gets zilch if rated E, and just half the max payout if it's a C.

To what extent these steps will work only time will tell. But the first batch of 'intapreneurs' from TOI's famed Response is set to migrate to DNA soon.

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