Chennai-based Kasturi & Sons Ltd. (KSL), publishers of The Hindu and its Group publications, has announced a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) for the first time in its 136-year-old history.
While the group is facing financial constraints and overhauled its structure based on KPMG recommendations, the move to trim staff came as a surprise for the company that held employees’ welfare above all.
Known as Mecca for Indian journalists, The Hindu has been held in high esteem for over a century as the most authentic source of information for historians and researchers devoid of bias in India.
In 1989 when the family feud rocked the company first time, never did any employee open the mouth nor reveal anything about the tussle. The loyalty of the company impressed every ‘other’ journalist across the country.
The shocker came to the employees when the company said in a statement: “We are committed to ensuring that our transformation is led by our people initiatives. To that end, we are rolling out a voluntary retirement scheme to support our employees desiring to opt for the scheme with a compelling retirement corpus. This initiative is consistent with our commitment to ensuring a performance-oriented culture within KSL.”
The new scheme of VRS is reportedly a part of the company’s ongoing restructuring to trim down on staff and focus on turning around the performance of the company.
The VRS scheme has been offered to all employees above the age of 40 years and with over 10 years of service. The company assured its employees that those opting for VRS will receive, perhaps, the most generous package ever announced in the industry.
It promised to provide all normal retirement benefits such as provident fund, gratuity, superannuation, encashment of unavailed leave, unclaimed leave travel allowance and other performance-linked incentives, in addition to the “generous package”.
So, the ‘Maha Vishnu of Mount Road‘ is under duress with Internet media mushrooming all over the country.