Furloughed OYO employees become shareholders; Ritesh Agarwal’s Rs 130 crore plan for laid-off staff

By: |
June 1, 2020 6:29 PM

Thousands of furloughed employees of Ritesh Agarwal’s hospitality firm OYO will be granted ESOPs as the company looks to minimise the disruptions being experienced by employees hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

OYO, OYO indian employees, oyo salary cuts, covid 19, coronavirsu outbreak, oyo employees on leave, hospitality industry, covid 19 impactOn April 8, Ritesh Agarwal had said in a letter and video message that the company will place a certain number of employees on furloughs or temporary leaves, globally.

Thousands of furloughed employees of Ritesh Agarwal’s hospitality firm OYO will be granted employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) as the company looks to minimise the disruptions being experienced by employees who were hit during the coronavirus pandemic. OYO founder and Group CEO Ritesh Agarwal, in an internal email unveiled the Rs 130 crore plan, news agency PTI reported. Earlier on April 8, Ritesh Agarwal had said in a letter and video message that the company will place a certain number of employees on furloughs or temporary leaves, globally.

According to the report, the number of employees furloughed by the hospitality firm could be thousands. OYO, the hotel chain which now owns properties across the globe, has faced business disruptions owing to the coronavirus pandemic and the resultant lockdown. In the internal email to those who have been furloughed, Agarwal said that he hoped the company gets back on its feet and helps the return of as many employees as possible. Agarwal said that he is cognisant of the practical reality that the uncertainty around the COVID-19 situation will continue for sometime.

“I would like to recognise 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 ( around USD 18 million),” he added. For those employees who already hold stock options, OYO said it will be dropping the one-year cliff on the vesting of stock options for everyone that was hired by the hospitality firm in the past year. “This will ensure that everyone departing, regardless of how long they have been with OYO, can become a shareholder,” Agarwal said.

Additionally, the company has also announced that stock options will also be provided to employees who have not been impacted in any way.  “This is the first time in the history of the company that such a large part of the organisation 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 in building this company and for your unwavering support to us in good as well as bad times,” Agarwal said.

OYO, similar to many startups has been helping furloughed employees get jobs, in Japan OYO claims to have helped 150 former employees land new jobs. The firm has also set up a fund to help furloughed employees in case of medical emergencies. 

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