News: Dailyhunt and Josh Parent Company VerSe reverses salary reductions and offers more ESOPs

Leadership

Dailyhunt and Josh Parent Company VerSe reverses salary reductions and offers more ESOPs

Due to the deteriorating macroeconomic conditions, the company implemented salary reductions of up to 11% for employees earning over Rs 10 lakh, and it also laid off approximately 150 workers in November.
Dailyhunt and Josh Parent Company VerSe reverses salary reductions and offers more ESOPs

In a recent move, VerSe Innovation, which owns news aggregator Dailyhunt and short video platform, Josh, expanded its employee stock option plan (ESOP) pool and reversed the pay cuts it had announced for its employees in November. This decision is a rarity in the current business climate, where cost-cutting measures are often the norm.

Amid challenging macroeconomic conditions, VerSe Innovation had previously implemented salary cuts of up to 11 per cent for employees earning more than Rs 10 lakh and also laid off about 150 employees in November.

According to Moneycontrol, Umang Bedi, co-founder of VerSe, announced during a town hall on April 11 that the company will reverse the salary cuts from next month due to the improved macroeconomic situation. Additionally, Bedi informed employees that the company plans to increase its ESOP pool and provide incentives to employees based on their performance for FY23 or the previous financial year.

Bedi confirmed this development via WhatsApp. "We are pleased to announce that we will be reversing the 11% pay cut that was implemented earlier for the entire company. We value the hard work and dedication of our employees, and this decision reflects our appreciation for their contributions to the success of VerSe," he told Moneycontrol.

Moreover, the company is all set to start the performance appraisal process for the current financial year, which will lead to the disbursement of the Performance Linked Incentive (PLI) and increased allocation of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) to all employees. This move is aimed at acknowledging and incentivising the hard work and commitment of the workforce, showcasing the company's devotion to their career development and triumph, as stated by Bedi.

VerSe's decision to reverse its cost-cutting measures is a departure from the trend among Indian startups, including well-funded ones, that are exercising caution in employee spending as the funding environment remains challenging. For instance, Unacademy, which is backed by SoftBank, announced that its founders and top management will take pay cuts, and the company will not provide cash appraisals for the current financial year (FY23).

Founded in 2007 by Virendra Gupta and Shailendra Sharma, VerSe Innovation received backing from ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, the world's largest short video platform. Umang Bedi became a part of the company in February 2018.

VerSe Innovation introduced Josh, a short video platform, in 2020 following the TikTok ban, and it has achieved substantial growth. Nevertheless, in June, ByteDance departed from VerSe Innovation at a considerable discount of 56%.

In FY22 (2021-22), VerSe Innovation incurred a substantial loss of Rs 2,563 crore, which was a significant increase from the previous year's loss of Rs 808 crore in FY21 (2020-21). Nevertheless, the company's operating revenue rose by 46% from Rs 666 crore to Rs 965 crore.

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Topics: Leadership, Compensation & Benefits, #HRTech, #HRCommunity

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