The second wave of the pandemic is affecting us a lot more than the first wave of the deadly virus. This destructive second wave has devastated the entire country alike. Hospitals have run out of spaces to accommodate people. The crematorium has no more space left too. This dreadful scenario is not only limited to the metropolitan cities, but the virus has gripped the smaller towns and villages as well.
In these heartbreaking times, the country’s technology startups are coming forward with a helping hand towards their employees. The impact of Covid-19 on the startups in India might be devastating from the financial as well as the business continuity perspective too. The startups still continue to launch new programs to help and support their employees medically, financially, and in any other way possible.
Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma has stated that the online payments company will continue to pay salaries to the families of deceased employees in the current fiscal year. Meanwhile, the food delivery platform Zomato has stated that it will provide the family with 100% of the deceased employee’s income for two years.
Employee support funds have been developed by both the home and personal services marketplace Urban Company and the ed-tech giant Byju’s. “Mohit’s death has left a hole in our organization that will never be filled,” wrote Abhiraj Singh Bhal, cofounder of Urban Company, on Twitter.
Employees contributed Rs 1 crore, which the company matched, to create the Mohit Agrawal, Covid Relief Fund, which will provide medical assistance and bereavement support to service partners, their families, and the community. This Relief Fund has been established in the memory of the departed member of the organization. This fund will be assisted in helping the other members of the organization or their families in need.
“The company will continue to pay salaries to the families of deceased workers in the current financial year,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm, which lost eight employees to Covid-19 in April, stated, adding, “We don’t even know how to support families in such desperate need… We’re thinking about getting their families term insurance.”
Byju’s has set up a Rs 20-crore CEO’s fund for its 10,000+ employees to cover Covid-19-related medical expenses, according to an email sent to employees a week ago by founder Byju Raveendran.
Co-Founder of Byju, Raveendran, said, “The second wave of the pandemic is affecting a lot of us close to home.” “If you or a family member is hospitalized as a result of the coronavirus, you may apply for financial assistance from this fund.”
Zomato recently adopted a program that pays the employee’s family 100% of their earnings for the next two years.
Vaccination campaigns hold a significant priority for several other businesses. Unacademy, an ed-tech startup, has established a $1 million Covid fund to provide funding and free vaccination to its employees and educators. Flipkart is offering free vaccines to its workers and up to five of its dependents. A Flipkart spokesperson said, “We are covering the vaccine costs to help stop the spread of the pandemic.” “To assist those in need, we are also organizing plasma and blood donation drives.”
Covid 2.0 takes a toll.
Covid and Startups have proved to be a disastrous combination lately. Still, surprisingly the startups have been primarily adopting measures to ensure a smooth transition to working from home during the first phase of the pandemic in 2020 and provided psychological help. However, the second wave’s ferocity and increased deaths prompted a flurry of interventions in April, including Covid-19 emergency and insurance helpdesks, medical equipment, and work stress reduction to prevent burnout.
Vidit Aatrey, founder and CEO of social commerce startup Meesho, said, “The situation from last year to today is incomparable.” “Last year, there were fewer incidents, but we concentrated our energies on providing psychological assistance, and neither our workers nor their families were directly affected.” “(Now that) more people are being infected in clusters regularly… Many people are experiencing acute stress, depression, mental duress, and burnout… “Many (employees) are taking on the role of caretakers for their friends and families,” Aatrey explained.
Cred, a credit card repayment program, based its efforts last year on infrastructure support and community-building efforts for team members working from home. Cred launched a policy in April that allows staff to request up to six months’ pay in advance for medical emergencies.
When asked about the effect of the crisis on the industry, Paytm’s Sharma said, “I have not seen one startup founder speak about their business.” “Everyone is talking about what the next crisis will be because Covid-19 has shown us that we are unprepared, fatalities can rise quickly, and morale can plummet. “What if there’s a third wave?” says the narrator.
Companies catering to consumers’ needs also come forward to contribute.
Consumer goods firms are showing similar patterns. Borosil, Borosil Renewables, and their subsidiaries have announced a two-year salary payment to the families of workers who died due to Covid-19. “There is no way to compare the extent of the loss, but it will allow the family some time to absorb the loss and reorient,” says the Managing director Shreevar Kherukaof Borosil on LinkedIn.
L’Oréal India has provided a one-time Covid-19 insurance policy to its field ecosystem of distributors and sales representatives. According to a spokesman, the firm also offers three years’ pay as insurance coverage in the event of an employee’s death, which is not limited to Covid-related deaths.
Many rockstar companies and startups after Covid-19 are going the extra mile to help employees amid an unprecedented health crisis that shows us the sign of empathy. They are earning praise from across the globe, which is also very motivating for the other organization.
Despite the wavering levels of the pandemic, startups as well as well established business firms alike have come up to help their employees battle the crisis. The strong support and assistance from these firms has come across as a helping hand to employees helping the families still retain financial balance.