Wipro Ltd, the second largest employer in India's information technology industry, will double the number of employees eligible for the company's employee stock option plan, according to Dileep K Ranjekar, its corporate executive vice-president – human resources. At present about 1,200 employees qualify for the company's ESOP. The company will eventually expand the ESOP coverage to 4,000 employees.
Currently Wipro's employees together have stock options for 50 lakh equity shares of a nominal value of Rs 2 each. The plan covers executive and non-executive directors but excludes promoter directors. The plan was approved at the company's annual general meeting held on 29 July 1999.
Wipro already has a stock award programme, which was introduced in 1983. Under this programme, stock at par value is awarded to an employee of the company selected by the management. Since its implementation, around 1,000 employees of the company have been benefited from this programme. The stock award programme is implemented selectively by a compensation committee appointed by the Wipro board.
The ESOP policy aims to reward, retain, and attract talent and create a sense among the company's employees. It seems to be working. According to Mr. Ranjekar, the staff turnover at Wipro is as low as four to five per cent against an industry rate of 18-20 per cent.