Administer ESOPs online, courtesy ESOP Direct

By : |January 2, 2001 0

Nanda Kasabe

PUNE: ESOP Direct, a Pune-based ESOP service provider, has launched an ESOP
administrator module called ESOP Manager for facilitating online administration
for companies.

ESOP Direct was recently spun off as a separate division from Kirtane and
Pandit Consultancy Services (KPCS), which is a part of the KPIT group. ESOP
Direct, headed by Harshu Ghate was hived off in September last year, primarily
to focus on the concept of Employee Stock Option Plans. "The focus at KPCS
was quite different. We were heavily into investment banking, mergers and
acquisitions, business restructuring solutions. Although we were designing ESOPs
for companies, we realized that the skill-sets required for these were quite
different from the usual financial set-ups," Ghate explained.

ESOP Direct recently launched its Web site www.esopdirect.com
with the intention of creating awareness about ESOPs. Significantly, ESOP Direct
is the first Indian company to provide an on-line ESOP administrator.

The company’s site explains details about the concept, the steps to ESOP,
the prevalent regulations and also how some companies have presented ESOP
related disclosures on their annual results. The Knowledge Center on the site
gives an insight into the ESOP structures, experiences of companies, opinions
and views of international experts.

The global trends, according to Ghate, reveal that more than 88 per cent
companies use software for ESOP administration and over 72 per cent companies
outsource ESOP administration. In India, ESOPs have been administered either
through manual records or Intranet. Both these options are not interactive and
are not useful for multi-locations. The ESOP Manager offers online
administration of ESOPs. Here, every user company has a personalized Bulletin
Board and every ESOP holder has his ESOP record. Moreover, every ESOP holder has
access to the ESOP Analyst to help in decision-making.

"We provide exhaustive query-based reporting to companies. This is done
on a Linux/Oracle framework. With on-going security audits, we ensure the
privacy of every client," he said. Thanks to the ESOP Manager, companies
can focus on their core activities in a cost-effective manner. For the
employees, the ESOP Manager provides 24 x 7 online access and service, the
interactive ESOP Analyst and forward links on personal finance.

Till date, the ESOP Direct has designed and structured ESOPs for around 40
companies. Some of the major clients include Tata Telecom, BSES Telecom,
Shoppers Stop, the UB Group, ESSEL Packaging, Geometric Software and Tata
Interactive Systems.

ESOP Direct is in the process of signing up with an IT company for ESOP
Manager. The company has planned another product, ESOP Review, that would assist
companies which have already gone in for ESOPs to revise their strategies. The
growth plan for the year would be to focus on promoting the ESOP Manager.
"We plan to target the SE Asian markets, Australia, New Zealand and
Japan," Ghate revealed. The company has targeted revenues of Rs 2.5 crore
next year.

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