Startups Are Going To Pay Their Top Performers Big Hikes To Retain Talent


Top performers in the e-commerce and startup ecosystem are likely to get bigger hikes than their counterparts in the corporate world this appraisal cycle, as per reports. Experts feel that the organisations are trying everything to retain key employees while pursuing an aggressive growth strategy.


These employees could get 40% along with other rewards to ensure that hard-to-find talent doesn’t move on, said CEOs, HR chiefs, and consultants.

The extras may include bonuses, employee stock options (ESOPs), cash awards, domestic and foreign travel, fast-track promotion and educational assistance.

Anandorup Ghose, a partner at Aon India Consulting opines,

“These companies are very clear. Given the size of the talent pool, they’ll do whatever it takes to hold on to key players.”

Companies are required to keep costs under control amid pressure to turn profitable, so they have turned the focus on those in critical posts.

Doctor Insta, a virtual healthcare company, is giving those in engineering roles average increments of 20% while top performers are getting 30-40%, said founder Amit Munjal. Such employees are being lured by outsourcing companies that pay generous, dollar-denominated salaries.

Online broking firm Zerodha has rewarded 12 high-performing employees with Royal Enfield motorcycles. Another eight, who did not want the bikes, were given the opportunity to invest an equivalent amount in gold.

Online software service provider Mettl is also giving 30% hikes to top performers, compared with 12% for the average ones. At online grocer, those ranked high will get 15-20% more, twice the average, said Tanuja Tewari, general manager, HR.

“Startups are struggling for top talent, particularly on the tech side. There’s a dearth of people in roles such as data, product management, UI/UX, artificial intelligence, machine learning etc.,”

said Rajeev Banduni, chief executive of advisory services firm GrowthEnabler.

Hikes of even 40% and above are viable for the tech experts. For the rest, it now ranges between 8-12%. UI/UX refers to user interface and user experience design. The sector faces a challenge in attracting talent because of the turbulence the sector has been through in recent times, thus making it even more necessary to hold on to the existing workers, Banduni said.

Other benefits

Apart from hikes, home accessory, and furniture marketplace, Pepperfry also offers spot cash awards, housing assistance, foreign travel and educational assistance. Employees demonstrating project-based success can get spot awards to the tune of Rs 25,000 to Rs 1 lakh.

Some of the most substantial assignments at these firms are also handed over to top performers, given that they thrive on challenges. NoBroker rewards top performers with either the responsibility of leading a large team or the chance to build a new business vertical from scratch while Bigbasket lets them take on new roles in accelerated time frames, apart from promotions and stock grants.

Online automobile marketplace Droom gives  ESOPs to top performers besides performance and retention incentives. Droom is expanding in several countries and will be ensuring that its top performing employees get make foreign trips and work amidst the best of the environments.

Sandeep Aggarwal, CEO, Droom said,

“This year our 46-member business development team overachieved their goals so they will be getting a three-day, all-expenses-paid trip to Phuket.”

Top increments at Droom are as much as 35-40%.

All these techniques are made keeping in mind the scarcity of good and dedicated employees and it is clear how the companies are trying their best to retain talent.

Also Read: Data Scientists Get Paid The Most In Startups, Says Report