OYO founder Ritesh Agarwal announces ESOPs worth ₹130 crore for furloughed employees

Ritesh Agarwal, founder and CEO, OYOOYO
  • OYO has allotted ESOPs (employee stock ownership plan) worth ₹130 crore ($18 million) for its furloughed employees, founder Ritesh Agarwal announced in an email to employees.
  • Earlier in April, OYO had announced a 25% pay cut for all employees and also said that it will be placing a number of employees in furloughs.
  • Agarwal addressed the same in his email and said that furloughed employees are free to look for job opportunities in different companies.
Indian hospitality unicorn OYO has allotted ESOPs (employee stock ownership plan) worth ₹130 crore ($18 million) for its furloughed employees. In an email to the employees, OYO founder and CEO Ritesh Agarwal announced the move.

“We understand that some of you may already have stock options. For those employees, we are dropping the one-year cliff on the vesting of 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. We will also be providing stocks to OYOpreneurs not impacted, thereby making 100% team members co-owners,” wrote Agarwal in the email.

“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,” he further wrote.

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Earlier in April, OYO had announced a 25% pay cut for all employees and also said that it will be placing a number of employees in furloughs.

Agarwal addressed the same in his email and said that furloughed employees are free to look for job opportunities in different companies. The founder also said that a placement cell is being put in place for the employees.

“Some of our initial thoughts revolve around providing B2B placement opportunities for those who suggest strong interest; enabling monthly connect with furloughed OYOpreneurs to upskill; sharing workshop/course links, mentorship programs focused towards entrepreneurship, guidance and support from OYO leadership in addition to offering references and recommendations,” he wrote.

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Through a similar initiative, OYO has found job opportunities for 150 employees in Japan.

In a video message to its employees in April, founder Ritesh Agarwal said that he cannot imagine any other industry being worse impacted than travel, tourism and hospitality due to coronavirus. Earlier, Agarwal had estimated a 15-20% drop in revenues and occupancy over Covid-19. Later he himself said that its revenues dropped by over 50%-60% globally.

In the email sent to employees today (June 1), he said that they had tried to cut down expenses by reducing marketing costs by 88%, general administrative expenses by 43% and so on.

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OYO, whose hotels have been shut since March 25 with the lockdown, will now be able to open its hotels from June 8.

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