Technology firm Quest Global offers ESOPs to retain employees

Technology firm Quest Global offers ESOPs to retain employees
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28 Jul, 2020

Product engineering company Quest Global said it has offered equity-based compensation, comprising Employee Stock Options (ESOPs), for its staff members to “develop and retain its best employees”.

The Bengaluru based company said that the plan aims to reward employees for their commitment to the company during the Covid-19 pandemic and will also provide them an opportunity to generate and share the organisation's wealth. Quest Global has nearly 12,000 employees globally, most of whom are based in Bengaluru.

The eligibility for the compensation is based on employee roles, performance and growth potential, the statement said. The ESOP grants, which will be vested over three to five years, will help the company align shareholder and employee interests, it said.

Founded in 1997, Quest has rolled out multiple equity-linked incentive plans so far. This is the company’s fourth ESOP grant cycle after similar initiatives in 2004, 2011 and 2017. 

The latest plan will enroll twice the number of participants compared to previous years, provide greater flexibility and adopt several good practices in terms of design, such as plan vehicles, vesting and performance conditions, the company said.

“It is not just the founding families and private equity firms who are the owners of the company but also our employees, who double up during crises to rebuild the business. This is to reward them with ownership by rolling out ESOP for their loyalty and commitment, providing them with a great opportunity to participate in generating and sharing the wealth,” Ajit Prabhu, chairman and CEO of Quest Global, said.   

Quest provides product engineering services for companies in the aerospace, high technology, defence, transportation power, industrial, and oil and gas industries. According to the company, it has a presence in 14 countries and helps its clients accelerate product development and innovation cycles, create alternate revenue streams, enhance consumer experience and make manufacturing processes and operations more efficient.

As Covid-19 forces companies to put salary hikes on hold or even cut employee salaries, organisations have been allotting ESOPs to retain valuable employees.

This week, New Delhi-based BharatPe allotted 6% (more than $25 million) of its overall equity to the ESOP pool, giving all ESOP holders the option to sell shares from their first vesting back to BharatPe. 

Late last month, Innoviti Payment Solutions announced that it has expanded its ESOP pool to $10 million following its recent Series C round of funding from entrepreneurial development bank FMO and returning investor Bessemer Venture Partners. 

Online stock trading startup Zerodha will spend Rs 60-65 crore to buy back ESOPs and provide senior management and long-term staffers with liquidity options. 

In early June, budget hotel chain OYO offered $18 million worth of company stocks to employees, both active and furloughed.