India: Grofers to offer 33% hike in salary to tech team, allocate hefty ESOPs

Visual from www.groupon.co.in

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

This article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.