Ola rewards employees with Rs 400-cr stocks

The initiative by the SoftBank-backed mobility firm is aimed at long term meaningful wealth creation in the run up to IPO.

SoftBank-backed mobility firm Ola, announced expansion of its employee stock options (ESOP) pool to Rs 3000 crore.

Ola is also allocating an additional Rs 400 crore worth of stocks to employees in the run up to its IPO.

The allocation rewards Ola’s high impact employees and will lead to long term wealth creation for them.

“At Ola, we’re focused on creating the industries of tomorrow with the ambition to build globally competitive, high impact businesses at global scale,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, Ola’s Founder.

“Our expanded ESOP programme, along with the fresh stock allocation of Rs 400 crore, enables our key talent to participate in the long term wealth creation opportunities generated by their innovations and the impact they create.“

Aggarwal said this will also reinforce their sense of ownership and align their growth with that of the company as it continues to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable mobility.

Over the last several months Ola said it has seen strong recovery in its ride hailing business as customers look for safer ways to move.

Ola has invested significant resources in customer safety including frequent fumigation, temperature checks and more, cementing its position as the consumer’s preferred mobility choice.

Many companies in India are offering wealth creation opportunities for their employees amid the pandemic.

In February, Walmart-owned digital payments firm PhonePe distributed ESOPs (employee stock ownership plans) worth $200 million (about Rs 1500 crore) among its 2,200 employees.

This was done after the company had raised $700 million in primary capital at a post-money valuation of $5.5 billion from the existing Flipkart investors, including Tiger Global, led by Walmart.

This month Flipkart offered a wealth creation opportunity under which its employees will have the option to liquidate their vested Esops (employees stock ownership plan) under the buyback worth Rs 600 crore.

The option was provided at a time when the Bengaluru-based firm raised $3.6 billion in funding from global investors at a valuation of $37.6 billion.

Also, B2B commerce unicorn Moglix completed an employee stock option buyback programme worth $3 million, in which employees could sell up to 25 per cent of their vested shares.

The company also expanded its ESOP pool further by $10 million to include more than 300 employees under the programme.

Photograph: Shailesh Andrade/Reuters

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