BharatPe, the B2B financial services company, has always chosen a different path - one that is not explored by many or even none. While startups race to earn that coveted unicorn tag, BharatPe founder and CEO Ashneer Grover did not share the same aspiration. His reasoning was quite valid too, as he said: "Don't enter a club where you are the smallest guy by becoming a unicorn at 1 billion valuation."
With the vaccination drive going in full force in India, many companies have come forward to offer free vaccines for their employees and their families as they bear the costs. Accenture, Infosys, Cognizant are a few bigwigs to take the generous step and recently Swiggy also offered to cover vaccination costs for all of its employees and their families.
The move has not only won a great deal of appreciation for companies coming forward with such an offer, but it has also helped them lead the headlines nationwide.
A PR stunt?
Making sure all of the employees and their families get vaccinated is a solid approach in bolstering the nation's vaccination drive. But BharatPe is of a different opinion on this whole "we got you covered" approach. Surprised?
Taking to LinkedIn, Grover clearly said that BharatPe won't cover vaccine cost for its employees. But the reason behind it, like his decision to drop out of unicorn race for BharatPe, is well justified. Grover pointed out how vaccines are currently being given for free or cost Rs 250, which is affordable for many. He also offered a better alternative that could have a bigger impact on the wellbeing of BharatPe employees and by extension their families.
"I see a lot of startups do PR Stunt on vaccinating their teams and families. Folks the vaccine is either free or costs Rs 250 depending on whether you get it govt or private. Everyone can afford it and one can't jump the queue either. So we at BharatPe are NOT going to do this optics. Instead we are going to do something meaningful and real. It's about year end appraisals and real wealth creation for the team," Grover said in a LinkedIn post.
The end result matters
Even though Grover is making an irrefutable point here as employees could benefit from appraisals after a challenging previous year, which brought upon pay cuts and layoffs. But companies, that have lakhs of employees on their payroll, taking the initiative to get them vaccinated for free creates a safe working environment. It is important to note that India has 1.3 billion people and the government is rolling out vaccines in phases. With private entities pitching in, this could fasten the process as and when it is time.
If the said companies who are vaccinating people are also offering timely appraisals, it certainly paints a different picture - one that is worthy of applause.