Amounting to a whopping Rs 130 crore, the hospitality firm OYO is granting employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) to all its furloughed employees impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as part of its efforts to minimize the disruption being experienced by them as stated in an e-mail from its founder Ritesh Agarwal on Monday.
Recently, OYO founder and CEO Ritesh Agarwal have stated in a letter and video message that the company will place a certain number of employees on furloughs or temporary leaves, globally.
In a recent report, it was revealed that the number of furloughed employees globally could run in thousands and that the company did not share any details regarding the number of employees impacted by the said scheme.
Agarwal in an internal town hall to its impacted employees said that while he hoped that the company can get as many employees back, he is cognizant of the practical reality that the uncertainty around the COVID-19 situation will continue for some time.
He further added that “I would like to recognize your contributions and this love and passion for OYO by making you a co-owner and shareholder of the company. I would like to inform you that all impacted OYOpreneurs would be eligible for ESOPs worth around Rs 130 crore.”
Agarwal further commented by stating that the details regarding the employees' specific grant would be share on e-mail separately and would be will be detailed as per their band and geographies.
He further announced, “In addition, we also understand that some of you may already have stock options. For those employees, we are dropping the one-year cliff on the vesting stock options for everyone we have hired in the past year. This will ensure that everyone departing, regardless of how long they have been with OYO, can become a shareholder.”
Elucidating on the said issue he added that the company would provide stocks to employees not impacted and that this would indeed make 100 percent team members co-owners.
Adding to the same he stated, “This is the first time in the history of the company that such a large part of the organization is being inducted as a stakeholder. That too at a time when some of you may decide not to be part of our future. This is a small token of gratitude from us for your contribution to building the company and for your unwavering support to us in good as well as bad times.”
The company has also announced placement support for furloughed employees, keen to explore opportunities outside of the company or industry given the uncertainty around the timelines for complete business revival.
Ritesh further said, “The organization will also come up with an institutionalized placement support system for those who wish to avail it.” He also commented that he was extremely sorry for the impact this pandemic had on his employees and that he wanted to re-emphasize that “this is not your fault in any way. This is a scary and tough time for all of us in different ways.”
He also added that he was happy to share the news that in Japan, the company has helped about 150 OYOpreneurs through this route and that the company has also formed an exigency fund for the employees who may need it for some critical illness cases.
Lastly, he remarked, “I am privileged to have worked with all of you. Thank you for helping the company get where it is today and for being an integral part of our company. Thank you for being a part of our lives. Thank you for coming to OYO. We all are better because of it.”