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Unicorn Slice founder Rajan Bajaj earned ₹12 as annual salary in FY23

Rajan Bajaj, the founder of Slice, earned Rs 12 as his annual salary in FY23, per PrivateCircle Research. Despite regulatory challenges, Slice’s revenue tripled to Rs 847 crore.

By Rashaad Ather
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Rajan Bajaj - Founder At Slice

Rajan Bajaj - Founder At Slice

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Rajan Bajaj, founder of fintech unicorn Slice, earned just Rs 12 as his annual salary in FY23. In stark contrast, FirstCry CEO Supam Maheshwari took home Rs 200.7 crore during the same period, according to a report by market intelligence firm, PrivateCircle Research.

PrivateCircle Research highlighted significant salary disparities among unicorn founders.

Even in FY24, Maheshwari cut his salary by 49% in the first three-quarters of FY24 to Rs 77.5 crore. This reduction followed his sale of 6.2 million shares just before filing for an IPO in December.

Slice's Revenue Boost:

Slice reported Rs 847 crore in revenue from its payments and lending business in FY23, a threefold increase from the previous year. This growth came despite regulatory hurdles that forced the company to scrap its flagship credit line product early in the fiscal year.

Gender Pay Gap:

The report also revealed a substantial gender pay gap, with female unicorn founders earning 44% less than their male counterparts. The median salary for female founders was Rs 1 crore, compared to Rs 1.8 crore for male founders in FY23.

Sector Salary Differences:

Unicorn founders in media and entertainment had the highest median salaries at Rs 3.5 crore, followed by logistics at Rs 1.9 crore, and Edtech at Rs 1.6 crore. Logistics unicorns had the highest average salary of Rs 12.4 crore due to a few high earners.

Location-Based Disparities:

Salaries also varied by location, with Pune's unicorn founders earning the highest average and median salaries of Rs 20 crore and Rs 3.7 crore, respectively. 

Gender Disparity:

The report pointed out the lack of women directors in Indian unicorns, with 57 unicorns having no women on their boards as of March 2024.