Adapting to the new reality
The following blog post originally went out as an email from Ankush Sachdeva (Co-founder & CEO, ShareChat) to all ShareChat employees, on 20 May, 2020.
I hope all of you are safe and healthy. Today, even as the world is going through truly unprecedented times; I’m incredibly proud of how each one of you came together and adapted quickly to ensure we give our users the best possible experience! Thank you for your amazing efforts.
When we got together for our last Town Hall, I had communicated to all of you about how the lockdown would impact us both in terms of engagement as well as revenue. I had also mentioned, we were fortunate to have raised another round of capital last year. However today with the market uncertainties due to COVID-19, we are compelled to take a relook at our business. We have had to make a few decisions that would allow us to become leaner and position the company better for the future.
Some of the key decisions we need to take to adapt to the new reality are along the following lines -
- We have to focus on our core product and feed recommendation driven growth levers while scaling back on the others. We need to go back to our fundamentals in terms of only picking bets that move the needle for growth.
- We believe the Ad Market would remain unpredictable this year. We are streamlining our revenue teams to these new expectations yet will keep working towards building the necessary technology infrastructure.
- We have adapted well to the remote working environment. Hence, we have relooked at the requirement of physical office spaces. We would be partially remote at all times in the future.
- We have worked aggressively on reducing our server costs.
Amongst all the things that we would need to do, the hardest and the saddest one for any leader would be parting ways with some of the most incredible talent they have been fortunate to work with! The joy the three of us have had seeing this company grow, and the sheer talent we have boasted about, is unparalleled! And today, it is equally heart wrenching to take the decision of parting ways with the very same talent! We would be saying goodbye to 101 of our ShareChatwasis today.
ShareChat is built through the relentless hard work and sincerity that our people bring to work every day. This is a very tough call for us. I hope you understand that we had to do it for the organization to sustain and see it through to the other side of this pandemic.
We have deliberated internally on how we can make sure that this transition happens as respectfully and humanely as possible. Hence, we are ensuring the following for the impacted associates -
- Feeling secure financially is an important aspect and while we understand a decision like this has an impact on it; we are extending what we can at this point to help through this phase. The impacted ShareChatwasis will have the option to go on a garden leave for two months with 100% pay or opt for four months with 50% pay while utilizing the period to look for a new job. During this period, the associates will continue to be on our payrolls so that there won’t be any employment gaps.
- Additionally, there will be a 1-month ex gratia for every year that the ShareChatwasi has been with us. For example — If you have been with us for 3 years — you would be eligible for an additional 3 months over and above the 2 months notice pay.
- Job search can be a challenge in times like these. Our TA team will be assisting all the impacted associates with not only finding relevant openings available in the market but also connecting them across other organisations/ recruiters/agencies.
- Getting the resume done is often a daunting task; hence we have tied up with a professional resume builder to help with your resume/Linkedin profile, The company will bear the cost and the associates are free to avail the services.
- Many of us use the company laptops for our personal requirements. And it is an important tool during the period of your job search. Hence, the laptops that you have from the company can be retained by you and does not have to be returned to us.
Healthcare & Wellness Benefits
- In times like this, it is a reassurance to know that you & your direct dependents are covered medically. Our impacted associates will continue to be covered by our health insurance policy until the end of 2020.
- Many of you took a bet on us early and one of the most incredible part of a startup journey is being able to own a part of the company and see it grow. While this journey is ending abruptly we want to extend the timeline for the stocks you own till the end of the year. What that means is that the options that vest by end of the year 31st Dec 2020 will continue to be retained by you. Additionally, we would waive off the first year cliff.
- Today’s times are tough all around and with the additional stress of this decision; please know that we want to help you to take care of yourself in every way possible. Nothing in this world is worth your happiness and peace of mind. We are extending a dedicated one to one counselling facility to help anyone who would need assistance in coping with these tough times.
During the day today, the People team along with the respective function leads would set up 1–1 with the impacted ShareChatwasis via a video call and communicate the message and also take them through the process.
While I understand that no amount of benefits can assuage what you will go through; we are committed to handling this as respectfully as we can. I also sincerely urge all ShareChatwasis to be empathetic about the situation.
Lastly, I want to thank all of you who will be leaving us, for your commitment to the company’s vision during these growing years. Please accept my apologies as we haven’t been able to ensure that everyone of you continued on this journey.
ShareChat and I wish you the very best.