Urban Company Gives Rs 150 Cr ESOPs To Gig Workers Like Plumbers, Electricians & More

Urban Company Gives Rs 150 Cr ESOPs To Gig Workers Like Plumbers, Electricians & More
Urban Company Gives Rs 150 Cr ESOPs To Gig Workers Like Plumbers, Electricians & More

On 2nd March, the expert local services provider, Urban Company on Twitter announced that it will allot stock options in the company worth Rs 150 crore to its gig workers.

These gig workers comprise plumbers, electricians, cleaners, groomers and so on with the help of a ‘partner stock ownership plan’ (Psop). 

Psop For Gig Workers

Basically, these Psop would be similar to employee stock option plans (Esops) of companies across the world that use stock options to reward employees, said the founder, Raghav Chandra.

As part of this plan, Urban company will allot shares worth Rs 150 crore to thousands of service partners over the period of next five to seven years. 

The company will set up a trust to manage the Psop plan.

It is noteworthy here that the shares will be allotted to gig workers over and above what they already earn. 

The plan has already received a board approval for the first tranche of shares which is worth Rs 75 crore.

These shares will be disbursed over the next three to four years, according to the company.

Who Is Eligible For This Psop?

Interestingly, the Psop is only for employees present in India, where the company employs more than 32,000 gig workers. 

For those who are unaware, Urban company also operates in other countries including Australia, Singapore, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

How Many Shares Will Be Allotted?

So far, Chandra did not disclose the percentage of total shares that will be allotted to the Psop.

Although, he said that the number of shares will be “substantial”.

As of now, the company is yet to figure out the mechanics of the Psop means, how the stock options will be disbursed and redeemed. 

But, this programme would materialize over the next five to seven years, Chandra said.

He added, “It will be based on partners’ merit and on how long they have been with the company. With these two [factors] in mind we should be able to draft the structure,”. 

To start with, the company has shortlisted 15 gig workers to be part of this programme.

Further adding that “The entire process will be rule-based and transparent, with an advisory panel providing overall guidance,”.

How Did This Happen?

The decision of allotting shares comes at a time when tech companies have been facing protests from gig workers for what they claim is “unfair compensation and work practices” by ride-hailing, food-delivery and other firms. 

Earlier, during October last year, Hundreds of women beauticians protested against the company demanding better pay. 

Although, the company assured that it would not shy away from “doing the right thing for its stakeholders.”

The company claims that the Psop was in no way related to the protest. 

Adding that “It is disconnected with the protest. We have always maintained a very open dialogue with the partners. Covid made it harder. Even when the protest happens we take it in the spirit of building a business,”.

The move was welcomed by Shaik Salauddin, the national general secretary of the Indian Federation of App-Based Transport Workers.

He said that he wanted more clarity on how the stock options would be allotted, apart from a written agreement from Urban Company to all its gig workers.

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