Industry Inputs: Indian Startups Lend Support To Their Employees

Most of the startups landed a supporting hand to their employees and citizen to make the situation better as per the capabilities.

Industry Inputs: Indian Startups Lend Support To Their Employees
Industry Inputs: Indian Startups Lend Support To Their Employees

As India fights a noxious second wave of Covid-19,  Indian Startups have proclaimed a battle against Covid-19, and they are persistent to end this pandemic and help India recover faster. 

Most of the startups landed a supporting hand to their employees and citizen to make the situation better as per the capabilities.

Many Indian startups have stepped forward to give their employees optimal help during these tough times.  

We spoke to major startups leaders about their initiatives for their employees, here are all the inputs:

Gaurav Bajetha, Director Workplace & Administration, Urban Company:

As a company, we have always tried to do right for our service partners, customers and other stakeholders. Our goal is to safeguard our employees and service partners, and provide to the country a safe platform for their service needs.

This time too, like last year, we want to protect our community by taking all the necessary measures. We are committed to helping all our employees, their families and our network of service partners get vaccinated as soon as possible. Towards this goal, we are partnering with several healthcare providers to set up free vaccination camps for the Urban Company community.

In addition to setting up large-scale vaccination camps, we have also taken the enclosed steps:

● COVID-19 Organisation-wide Health Tracker: The company is maintaining an employee health tracker that everyone is required to fill twice a week reporting about their and their families’ health status.

● Partner & Employee Relief Fund: The proceeds from the fund will be used for extreme medical & other emergencies of our partners. We have raised INR 1.5 crores from employees and the company.

● COVID-19 Employee Task Force: The Company has formed a task force comprising senior leaders and volunteers from various teams. The team’s core responsibilities include:

○ Assisting in arranging medical assistance for employees ranging from remote doctor consultation, medication, hospital admissions, oxygen concentrator support and more.

○ Facilitating testing and vaccination for all full-time, contractual and part-time (intern) employees if they need help.

○ Tying up with mental wellness specialists to help team members cope with these tough times

○ Making daily check-in calls with team mates who have reported COVID-19-like symptoms

○ Educating everyone about the benefits of vaccination and urging them to get it done once it’s available to all

○ Setting up weekly townhalls wherein the founders address the all employees about the efforts and answer any questions that team members may have

● COVID-19 Partner Task Force: Similar to the Employee Task Force, the company has also formed a task force for the service partners. The team’s core responsibilities include:

○ Facilitating testing and vaccination for service partners if they need help.

○ Making regular check-ins to ensure partners are feeling safe and assured

○ Educating partners about the necessity and benefits of vaccination

Saumya Khare, Director – Human Capital, Moglix:

“While the second wave of the pandemic has taken a toll on diverse businesses and cross-sections of the community, start-ups being nimble-footed, have taken quick and innovative initiatives to stand by their employees. For instance, start-ups in the supply chain vertical like Moglix have enabled employees to access oxygen concentrators through an innovative group sharing model for greater reuse on a rotating basis. In fact Moglix has also leveraged its PPE supply chain collaboration with healthcare enterprises to arrange mass vaccination camps for its employees and their immediate family members. Some start-ups have also collaborated with hospitality enterprises to arrange COVID19 quarantine packages for affected employees and their spouses and children. In addition to physical health, a few start-ups have also collaborated with online mental health and wellness partners to arrange online psychological counselling sessions for their employees to stay energized, motivated, and agile. On the financial side, many start-ups including Moglix have extended the cap on sick leaves for their employees and have set up an internal corpus to provide for employees' medical expenses for their treatment of COVID19.”

Swiggy’s spokesperson  -

“As a mark of respect for the efforts and the month that May can be with the Covid cases escalating, we want to offer a 4 day work week to all of you. Please decide the 4 days that each of you would work and utilize the extra day to take rest, take care of yourself, take care of your family and friends. As many of you are aware, we have put together a Covid task force and we can definitely do more with more hands on the deck. Hence, if any of you would like to volunteer and actively help on the break day, you’re welcome.”

Varun Dubey, Ola Spokesperson: 

“We are happy to announce that Ola has decided to cover vaccination costs across the group. At Ola, we prioritize the health and well-being of not only our employees and their loved ones but also our extended family who work directly with us including advisors and consultants. While this vaccine is voluntary, it is also one of the most effective tools to fight against COVID-19. As the Government gears up for the next phase of the vaccination drive, we encourage all our employees and their families to opt for the vaccine and fight against COVID-19”.

Arjun Mohan, CEO - India, upGrad:

“upGrad is evaluating the Covid situation on a daily basis, and as the second wave intensifies, our utmost priority is the safety and comfort of our employees along with ensuring that they are mentally and emotionally at the right place in their lives. Especially for employees who were staying in rented accommodation or who returned to Mumbai to re-join the office, we have tied up with 5-star hotel properties such as JW Marriott, Hyatt, The Leela to provide them with accommodation and created a ‘Temporary Safe Workplace Bubbles’ for them. Additionally, we are aware of our employees who have been working round-the-clock to create impact at scale. By acknowledging their hard work and commitment, we have rolled out salary hikes during this appraisal cycle. 90% of our entire workforce has received increment in some form or the other – bonus, increment, promotion, etc., which is 10-15% higher than general industry standards.”

Preeti Kaul, President- HR, upGrad:

“The wellbeing and safety of our employees is of utmost importance to us. While our offerings and policies underwent an overhaul last year in March to help our employees deal with the havoc that COVID unleashed in our lives, we are continuously pivoting and introducing more resources to ease the burden for our teams. We constantly communicate with our employees and ensure that they feel supported and heard during this time.” 

Vidit Aatrey, Co-founder & CEO, Meesho:

“Entrepreneurs, employees, and suppliers are a huge part of Meesho’s support system and are instrumental to the company’s growth, especially as we scale up. They work in tandem with us as we set out to achieve our ambitious targets and we find it our responsibility to be by their side now, as they deal with COVID-related issues.”

Snapdeal Spokesperson:

"The well-being of the Snapdeal team and family members is of paramount importance. As an organization, timelines for activities have extended and made flexible, so that personal needs receive priority, time and due attention. Teams are pitching in to keep pace with time-bound work requirements.We have set up a COVID 19 task force and our teams are engaged 24/7 to help employees and their families with any emergencies and medical needs and are also connecting with internal & extended networks to source required help.

Employee wellness programs during COVID-19 have been prioritised and Snapdeal has partnered with health and wellness experts to offer a lineup of virtual events and resources to help colleagues and families stay healthy, including fitness and nutrition, meditation, breathwork sessions and more.Covid vaccination facility for team and their family members has also been scheduled and will commence as soon as vaccines are available. Ahead of the planned vaccination drive, a company-wide call was organised with a medical team to answer queries regarding vaccination. In addition, all team members also have access to unlimited e-consultations with doctors and assistance with the treatment of their family members."

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