Online food delivery platform Zomato’s Founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal will be donating around USD 90 million (nearly ₹700 crore) from vested ESOPs to Zomato Future Foundation to help fund the education of children of its delivery partners.
In an internal memo shared with the employees of the company, Goyal said before Zomato went public, he was granted some ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) by the investors and board on the basis of his past performance and some of the ESOPs vested last month because there is a minimum one year vesting required as per law.
“At the average share price over the last month, these ESOPs are worth (around) USD 90 million (around ₹700 crore),” he wrote.
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Sharing how he planned to utilise the ESOPs, Goyal said, “I am donating all the proceeds from these ESOPs (net of taxes) towards the Zomato Future Foundation (ZFF). The ZFF will cover education of up to two children of all Zomato delivery partners, up to ₹50,000 per child per annum on actuals (above a certain service quality benchmark) who have been on our fleet for more than five years.”
He further said the amount will go up to ₹1 lakh per child per annum if the delivery partner completes 10 years with the company.
However, “Service thresholds of 5/10 years will be lower for women delivery partners. We will also have special programmes for girl children and introduce ‘prize money’ if a girl completes 12th grade, as well as her graduation,” he added.
When contacted, Zomato spokesperson declined to comment.
Goyal said there would also be higher education scholarships over and above these limits for children with higher performance and potential.
In case of the company’s delivery partners who meet with “unfortunate circumstances such as accidents, while on the job”, educational and livelihood support for the families will be provided irrespective of the service tenure, he said.
Reiterating that 100 per cent of the proceeds of this “ESOP vesting cycle” are committed towards ZFF, he said, “To reap the most benefit for ZFF, and protect the interests of our shareholders, I do not intend to liquidate all these shares immediately, but over the next few years.”
For the first year, less than 10 per cent of these ESOPs will be liquidated towards this fund, adding that the ZFF is also going to be open to donations from other Zomato employees.
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“We are also going to explore other fundraising opportunities for the ZFF. We will also set up an independent governance board for the ZFF,” he said, adding that education is the one and only thing that can give the delivery partners’ children “a chance to build a life much better than their previous generations”.
He further said, “I also hope that some of these kids grow up to leading the charge at various businesses that we build within Zomato over time, in addition to starting new companies that change the future course of our country.”