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Benefits of ESOP for Indian Start-ups

Indian Start ups

Businesses utilise ESOPs in India and other countries to encourage staff to purchase shares and take ownership of the business while linking their efforts and performance with the same. Young Indian start-ups find it difficult to attract qualified human capital. As a result, they begin to lose employees when they become unable to provide excellent compensation packages to retain the employees even when they are eager to join in the company’s future growth. The implementation of ESOP in the firm as a component of the remuneration package, which not only plays a significant role in capital liquidation but also inspires employees to perform better and aids in the expansion of the company, could be a solution to this issue.  

Employee Stock Option Plan

Employee stock option plans are certainly familiar to you if you’re an employee. It is a type of stock ownership in which a business allows its staff to buy company stock. ESOP in Indian start-ups is a terrific way for companies to draw in and keep employees, and it gives staff members a reason to stick around. Additionally, ESOPs allow employees an opportunity to become shareholders and so gain more clout within the business.

For workers who desire to gain from the stock market[1], the Employee Stock Option Plan is a popular choice. It is a good strategy to invest in the stock market since it enables you to buy shares of a firm at a discounted price.

How does it Work?

Employees are interested in the features and advantages of employee stock ownership programmes, which are already widespread. This article will examine ESOPs, how they function, and the advantages they offer to staff members of major businesses or enterprises. 

The management of the ESOP Trust and the stock shares are contributions made by the employer. The only contribution made by the employee is their time and effort. The ESOP subsequently invests the contributed shares in Indian Start-ups Trust in a diverse range of equities, bonds, and other financial assets.

Objectives of issuing ESOP

Indian start-ups actively use ESOPs to accomplish the following goals. 

  • Since a startup requires capital, the capital requirement of the business might be enhanced by giving stocks of the company to the employees while retaining them. 
  • ESOP is the ideal replacement for luring, motivating, and keeping employees. 
  • It resembles a profit-sharing scheme. Employees who are aware that they are owners and shareholders are likely to work more and take ownership of the company’s expansion. 
  • Given the limited marketability, using the scheme is preferable to list the shares on a stock exchange. Consequently, there is a far stronger emotional connection to the Startup.

Understanding ESOPs in Indian start-ups

Employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) let employees buy company shares at a discount. Start-ups use this approach for certain workers based on their status and ability to influence the company.

The management of the ESOP Trust and the stock shares are contributions made by the employer. The only contribution made by the employee is their time and effort. The ESOP subsequently invests the contributed shares in Indian Start-ups Trust in a diverse range of equities, bonds, and other financial assets.

Even when the firm does not do well, the employee will still be able to profit from its success and will continue to get paid on a regular basis. Employees at Indian start-ups are given a chance to participate in expanding their business through the ESOP. Employees must have worked for the company for at least a year, be at least 21 years old, and be of retirement age in order to qualify for the programme. 

Shares of the corporation are made available to employees as options, and these shares are then kept in trust for them. The employee has two options: either sell the shares to a third party or accept the shares in exchange for cash.

Benefits of ESOPs for Indian Start-ups

Google was established in 1998 but didn’t go public until 2004. When it did, its IPO brought in $1.65 billion. Additionally, Google shares were selling for $85 per share at the time of its IPO. As you can see, setting up an ESOP programme for a private company on the stock market can be very successful. Now that you have a rough understanding of an ESOP, you might wonder how it would assist your business. The four most frequent advantages of offering your employees an ESOP are listed below:

Bring in and Keep Talented Employees – When businesses and start-ups abound today, finding and retaining qualified workers is more complex than ever. Businesses are competing for the best employees because of the intense competition in the business world. Offering employee stock option plans can do more than draw the top candidates; it can also inspire employees to perform at their highest level because they are aware that their contributions will affect their share value.

With an employee benefit programme like the ESOP, the company will ideally attract candidates and inspire current employees to work more and stay longer. Given that they own a portion of the business, they will typically be more devoted to their work and stay there longer. As a result of your employees cooperating to advance the business, your firm will be more effective and wealthy now and in the coming years.

Boost Employee Morale – Employee morale can be raised by giving them stock in the company where they work. They will feel like company owners and have a voice in key decisions rather than perceiving themselves as salaried employees. Given that receiving an ESOP is one of its benefits, which includes receiving a share of the company’s profits in the form of dividends, they will be more motivated and dedicated to the company’s best interests.

Cost-Effective – As previously noted, most businesses are seeking methods to lower employee benefits expenses and are looking for low-cost options that provide a good value for their employees. That is how including ESOP in employee perks becomes a great idea.

Even while your firm’s share option plans for employees are rarely thought of as a replacement for pay, they make up a large portion of your benefits packages because they can make job prospects with your company more desirable.

You may still get the most out of this benefit choice by keeping employees engaged and steadfast in their desire to remain with the company, despite the missed opportunity to sell the shares at the best market price and the cost of carrying out the plan. Managing an ESOP can be a cost-effective strategy for a small business owner to compete with more prominent companies in your area.

Offers Tax Benefits – Your business will also gain tax-wise if you include employee share option programmes in your benefits package. ESOPs are often treated as worthless on your company’s books until they are exercised. It implies that you are not required to include the cost of these choices in your cost list.

Additionally, after the employees exercise their options, your company is permitted to deduct from compensation costs a tax equal to the difference between the market price and the strike price (a predetermined price at which the owner can purchase the shares).

The following are a few additional benefits of ESOPs, or employee stock ownership programmes, for businesses:

  • ESOPs aid in increasing production.
  • They shield businesses from the sudden financial outflow.
  • They aid retiring owners in leaving the business.
  • ESOPs assist in changing ownership.
  • They improve staff retention.
  • They aid businesses in luring fresh employees.
  • They are a good option for new businesses and those with limited to moderate budgets.
  • The employee share option programmes also contribute to the company’s increased intrinsic value.

Employee Benefits from ESOP

ESOPs undoubtedly support business growth in a variety of ways, but they also benefit employees. After all, the foundation of ESOPs is centred around the employees. Therefore, ESOPs undoubtedly benefit employees in a significant way. Therefore, let’s look at how the employee stock option programme benefits them directly.

  • ESOPs improve employee job security.
  • ESOPs extend startup Retirement benefits.
  • ESOP in start-ups raises employees’ general level of dedication to their jobs
  • Employees who have share option plans are wealthy
  • Employees gain from ESOP by accelerating their professional development


ESOPs may be an excellent tool for companies trying to hire talented individuals and those who want to see their company expand and succeed. Because they give employees a way to own a stake in the company, ESOPs are a terrific perk for employers. They are known as Employee Stock Ownership Plans for this reason. They are an excellent method to honour workers for their dedication. In exchange, the employer offers the worker certain shares of company stock, which they can use to fund their retirement. The employee receives these shares gradually over a period of time, often ten years. 

Read our Article: Cost-Cutting Tips for a Manufacturing Startup

Swetha Dhinesh

I am a driven and meticulous professional who completed B.Com BL (Hons) from Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University and completed Master of Laws in specialization (Criminal Law with Cyber Crimes). I have extensive experience in Criminal Litigation and want to utilise my legal knowledge in writing also I have proficiency in writing legitimate content with comprehensive research. My core areas of interest are Business Law, Intellectual Property Rights, and Cyber crimes.

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