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Grofers unlocks 33% hike for tech team that kept operations running during lockdown

Online grocery store Grofers competes with Tata-backed online store BigBasket. The company plans to raise as much as $100 million from Zomato

Amid Covid-19 pandemic gloom, with all top sectors facing an existential crisis, the online grocery delivery platform Grofers has also helped in keeping the households running during lockdown has announced a 33% hike for its engineering, product, design, and data teams.

“The entire tech team gets a no-ifs-and-buts 33% increase in salary starting July,” Albinder Dhindsa, the company’s co-founder and CEO, said in a blog.

Online store Grofers competes with Tata-backed online grocery store BigBasket. Meanwhile, Dhindsa said the company’s next funding round was secure. As per recent reports, Grofers plans to raise as much as $100 million from Zomato. The investment is likely to be part of a larger financing round and may value the online grocery firm at around $1 billion.

“After coming out of the second wave, and at a point where our next funding round is secure, I think it is time to kickstart a lot of initiatives that I have been waiting for the right time to begin,” Dhindsa wrote.

In its bid to become a tech-focussed company, and to attract and retain top tech talent, Dhindsa added that the company will be allocating employee stock ownership plans to members of its tech team “depending on how much impact each of you has created over the last year.”

“We will only succeed as an organization if we invest heavily in tech. Our DNA needs to evolve to one of a tech company, and not an e-commerce company that utilizes technology. Everything from productivity to personalization to marketing is now a tech problem,” Dhindsa wrote.

Grofers – which was earlier contemplating to go public on the tech-heavy Nasdaq through a Cantor Fitzgerald blank-check firm – is now expected to scrap the IPO plan and remain a private firm. The development also comes amid increased competition and a massive surge in demand in metro and non-metro cities on the back of the Covid-19 second wave. The company is now looking to raise funds via private investment.

Last month, Tata Digital picked a 64% stake in grocery e-tailer BigBasket, in one of the largest such deals in India’s digital sector. Other large players in the space include Reliance’s JioMart, Amazon, and Walmart-owned Flipkart.

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