Grofers to raise tech team pay by 33%, promises hefty ESOP allocation

Grofers on Monday said it will offer a 33 per cent hike in salary to its tech team effective July, along with a “hefty ESOP allocation” as the online grocery delivery platform looks to retain staff and woo more tech talent.

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Grofers | Esops | retailers

Grofers on Monday said it will offer a 33 per cent hike in salary to its tech team effective July, along with a “hefty ESOP allocation” as the online grocery delivery platform looks to retain staff and woo more tech talent.

The SoftBank-backed company, which plans to launch an initial public offering (IPO), also hinted that it has secured a new funding round.

“After coming out of the second wave, and at a point where our next funding round is secure, I think it is time to kickstart a lot of initiatives that I have been waiting for the right time to begin.

“We have done well so far, but we need to do better. And in hindsight, one of the most important things we could have done in the past in order to do way better is focus and invest more in tech than we have so far,” Grofers CEO Albinder Dhindsa said in a blogpost.

He added that tech will always be the “number one priority going forward”.

As per reports, Grofers is in talks for a $100-120 million fund raise.

Admitting that Grofers has been sub-par in terms of compensating its tech team, Dhindsa said this has resulted in the company not being able to attract the best talent.

“I also realise that we are sub-par in terms of compensating our tech team compared to other technology companies in the country. That has two repercussions — we are not able to attract the best of talent, and we fail to motivate our existing tech team…The entire tech team gets a no-ifs-and-buts 33 per cent increase in salary starting July,” he said.

He added that depending on the impact created by the employee over the last year, “there will also be a hefty ESOP (employee stock ownership) allocation” that will be communicated to them in the next few weeks.

“We will only succeed as an organisation if we invest heavily in tech. Our DNA needs to evolve to one of a tech company, and not an e-commerce company that utilises technology…Let’s start thinking of our team in two parts — ‘tech and ops’, and not ‘business and tech’,” he said.

Interestingly, Grofers co-founder Saurabh Kumar had last week announced that he has decided to leave the company. Kumar will continue to be a board member and shareholder in the company.

Grofers has seen strong growth in business amid the pandemic as containment measures introduced millions to the convenience of online shopping, and prompted seasoned online shoppers to buy more, including everyday grocery items.

Social distancing compulsions, massive smartphone base and reliable broadband have galvanised e-commerce uptake beyond metros, deep into smaller cities and towns.

Grofers competes against players like Amazon, Flipkart, BigBasket and billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s upstart JioMart in this space.

India’s $950 billion retail market is predicted to grow to $1.3 trillion by 2025-26. Of this, e-commerce business is estimated at around $78 billion and is projected to cross $100 billion by 2025. Grocery is the latest category where e-commerce firms are now slugging it out.

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