We are an unconventional company, no-one before us has put together their cost break-up on their product pouches and shown to their stakeholders and neither did anyone before us establish traceability and shown from which farmer have they sourced. That raises the bar very high for us to ensure that we have an uncompromising approach to uphold highest levels of governance and values. While it is critical for an organization to uphold highest levels of governance and values, it is also critical for us to share / communicate our values and governance that we seek to uphold:

1)    We believe it all starts at the top, so we have capped the CEO’s salary, bonus and all other benefits to not more than 20 times the salary of the least paid employee within the company. Most companies tend to disclose the average median salary, but in our opinion, the average median salary tends to be a bit superfluous and leaves a scope for mis-interpretation and not an easy way to calculate, so we wanted to be as straight forward and as simple as possible. Also, we can never understand why compare it to the median salary, it would be far more helpful to measure it against the lowest salary, so we pegged it to the lowest salary that an employee earns at TruTrade. For FY 2016-2017, the lowest salary for TruTrade employees is Rs. 8500 per month per employee ($130 USD, at an exchange rate of Rs. 65 per dollar).

America’s top CEO’s pocket 340 times more than average workers, and some Indian CEOs make more than 400 times what their employees are paid, and if we were to include the bonus and severance packages the average will just balloon up. The CEO’s have clauses wherein their severance packages are negotiated with hefty amounts and exit clauses, but an average employee probably gets severance packages of not more than a few months, and if we were to compare an average CEO’s salary to the lowest salary paid we reckon it would be far higher than the 340 times or the 400 times that are currently being reported.

2)    TruTrade will publish all income, expenses and claims paid to the CEO. Expenses and claims incurred could be for travel, fuel, hotel, food, mobile & internet expenses and any other allowances as claimed.

  1. Salary paid to Naveen Seri during FY16-FY17 : Nil
  2. Total expenses claimed for FY16-17 :
Row Labels Amount (in INR) Amount (in USD)
Food Allowances ₹ 4,418.00 $67.97
Fuel Charges ₹ 95,002.59 $1,461.58
Repair & Maintenance Charges ₹ 7,321.00 $112.63
Telephone Allowances ₹ 9,411.18 $144.79
Toll and Parking Charges ₹ 7,410.00 $114.00
Travelling Expenses ₹ 7,570.00 $116.46
Grand Total ₹ 1,31,132.77 ₹ 2,017.43


3)    Every employee will be provided with family health, personal accident insurance, provident fund and gratuity benefits as applicable. TruTrade will not sub-contract work unless critically necessary and will sub-contract only if it is not in the core list of activities as mandated by the company structure.

4)    Same pay for male and female employees – TruTrade will not discriminate based on gender, we will pay the same salary for both male and female employees who do the same work.

5)    TruTrade will not sub-contract work to circumvent having an employee on board, we will not sub-contract unless critically necessary and will sub-contract only if it is not in the core list of activities as mandated by the company strategy and structure. For example we have outsourced design work, which is not a core skill that we want to build on.

6)    Auditor R. Rajanna & Co., No.83, 2nd Floor, 8th Cross, 19th Main, 1st N Block, Rajajinagar, Bangalore -560 010, India. Registration number : 218922

7)    Economic democracy or stakeholder democracy is a socioeconomic philosophy that proposes to shift decision-making power from corporate managers and corporate shareholders to a larger group of public stakeholders that includes workers, customers, suppliers and the broader public. No single definition or approach encompasses economic democracy, but most proponents claim that modern property relations externalize costs, subordinate the general well-being to private profit, and deny the polity a democratic voice in economic policy decisions. In addition to these moral concerns, economic democracy makes practical claims, such as that it can compensate for capitalism‘s inherent effective demand gap. While Economic democracy sounds idealistic to get the philosophy incorporated into corporate governance and values is not an easy and the philosophy is still evolving. Traditional governance structures do not suit the governance structures that Economic Democracy seeks to uphold.

8)    Amy Cohen who is a Professor of Law at Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University, is passionate about Economic democracy and we requested Amy to help us put together governance structures that can help not-for-profit social enterprises like TruTrade to adopt to Economic democracy. We are excited to have Amy help us on this.

Please stay tuned to this page for the wonderful outcomes on Economic democracy from Amy.