Ixigo reverses Covid-19 induced pay cuts, offers staffers discounted ESOPs

Ixigo reverses Covid-19 induced pay cuts, offers staffers discounted ESOPs
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8 Jul, 2020

Travel and hotel booking service provider Ixigo has rolled back employee salary cuts implemented in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Gurugram-based company has also offered employee stock option plans (ESOPs) to all its staffers and announced a remote-first working strategy till the end of the year.

Aloke Bajpai, CEO and co-founder of the company, made the announcement on social networking platform Twitter, adding that the startup had not fired anyone during the crisis.

Ixigo will offer about 2.3% of its shares as ESOPs to all its 150 employees, he said, adding that half of them would be available at deeply discounted prices, with a one year vesting period.

Bajpai said most of the company’s employees took a 25-60% pay cut for five months. In March, Ixigo announced that its co-founders Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar would take a 100% paycut, while its leadership team would see a 60% reduction in their salaries and the rest of the employees would have their salaries slashed between 20% and 50%.  

At the time, Bajpai said that the salaries would be reinstated as soon as the situation improved and that the accumulated deductions would be converted to ESOPs to ensure that employees benefited from future profits.

The company’s revenue in 2019 grew 50% to Rs 113.5 crore, while its gross burn rate -- the total amount of cash spent each year -- reduced 85%, Bajpai said during the layoff announcement, adding that Ixigo had been on course to hit profitability this year.

Last week, Mumbai-based edtech startup UpGrad too said it revoked salary cuts and would pay its employees the arrears in July. The company had announced employee pay cuts of upto 30% shortly after the national lockdown was announced in March. UpGrad Education, which owns and operates the platform, extended remote work for all of its employees until December 31.