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Urban Company awards stock options worth Rs 5.2 crore to 500 gig workers

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Urban Company said it has awarded stock options worth Rs 5.2 crore to about 500 of its ‘service partners’ — or gig workers — across India under its partner stock option plan (Psop).
When it announced the plan in March, the company said it aimed to award stock options worth Rs 150 crore to thousands of service partners over the next five to seven years. It also said it had received board approval for the first tranche of stock options worth Rs 75 crore, to be disbursed over the next three to four years.

Seven partners who were part of the first cohort of stock option recipients in March received Psops for the second time due to their consistent high performance, Urban Company said.

It added that 30% of Psop recipients were women partners from its beauty & wellness vertical. Bangalore had the most number of partner shareholders at 26%, followed by Delhi-NCR (22%), Mumbai and Pune (16% combined), and Hyderabad (15%).
Urban Company’s decision to set aside stock options for gig workers came a few months after hundreds of women beauticians protested against the company in October 2021, demanding better pay. The company had told ET then that it would not shy away from “doing the right thing for its stakeholders”.
But founder Raghav Chandra said in March that the Psop was in no way related to the protest. “It is disconnected with the protest. We have always maintained a very open dialogue with the partners. Covid made it harder. Even when the protest happens we take it in the spirit of building a business,” he told ET. Chandra also said the Psop would be similar to employee stock option plans (Esops) that companies use to reward employees.

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According to Urban Company’s recent H1 2022 UC Earnings Index, the top 20% service partners earned an average of about Rs 38,000 a month after commissions, fees and other costs. Partners who completed more than 30 orders in a month earned over Rs 31,000 a month, the company said.

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