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Pathao to Implement ‘Progressive Pay Cut’ in Response To COVID-19: Full CEO Memo

Pathao, the Dhaka-based ride-hailing company, is implementing a progressive salary restructuring amid the coronavirus pandemic, with the executive leadership team not taking any salaries during this crisis, Chief Executive Officer Husain M Elius told all employees in an email on Sunday shared with Future Startup by the company. 

Pathao’s main business ride-hailing remains suspended in the wake of COVID-19 lockdown in Bangladesh. The company has since launched a host of initiatives, including the relaunching its daily essentials and grocery delivery service Pathao Tong and pharmaceuticals delivery, amid a growing need for such services in lockdown in Dhaka. The recently announced salary restructuring is aimed at improving the company’s chance to sustain the pandemic.

See the full memo below.

From: Hussain Elius _____

Date: Sun, Apr 19, 2020 at 6:33 PM

Subject: Pathao COVID19 BCP: Salary Restructure Plan

To: ___________

Hello All,

We hope you and your family are safe and at home during this time of this unprecedented global health and economic crisis. Our highest priority is the health and safety of our team members - which is why we have started our work-from-home program long before the lockdown has been generally enforced. As we are reaching the first month of our work-from-home, we see how things are evolving all over the country - and we see both the breadth and intensity of the lockdown has continued to increase.

As you may know, the lockdown has affected our business significantly. Our ride-sharing business has been temporarily suspended according to the government mandate. Food deliveries have decreased significantly as more and more restaurants are asked to either not operate or be open for a short time. Geographic lockdown has also affected our ecommerce business because many delivery men cannot enter certain areas.  At the same time, we are amazed by the grit and resilience of our team - we have innovated by launching Tong, Pharmacy and Groceries, and continued to operate as a critical service in the face of adversity.

The greater economic shock that continues to ripple through our country and the globe is beyond our control. What is in our control are the tough decisions we take now to ensure business continuity.  We have, accordingly, already implemented extensive measures to reduce our non-payroll expenses, including in marketing, technology, and facilities overhead.

At Pathao, we strongly believe that our assets are our people.  In order to address this crisis many others in Bangladesh and around the globe - long-established companies and startups alike - have undertaken severe measures such as job cuts and unpaid leaves.  We are committed to making every effort so that none of our people are left without a job or without pay at this time of crisis. 

The Pathao executive leadership team (i.e. CEO, CTO and CFO) have opted not to take any salary since last month. Over the past week, we have also sought advice from and discussed extensively with our senior management, heads of departments and line managers on the way forward.  We all recognize that while the timeline for a return to normalcy is uncertain, what is absolutely certain is that we must take decisive action immediately.  

We are, accordingly, asking you to join us in making a personal sacrifice, with senior leaders and higher-paid team members bearing a greater share of the burden, so we can reduce the impact on those who are more vulnerable, and ensure our continued sustainability. 

Here are the details of our Salary Restructure Plan

  • Impact on salaries
    • 0% up to the first BDT 30,000 amount
    • 30% for BDT 30,001-80,000 
    • 40% for BDT 80,001-120,000 
    • 50% for BDT 120,001-160,000
    • 60% for BDT 160,001-200,000
    • 70% for BDT 200,000+
  • Impact on festival bonuses
    • No bonus payout for Eid-ul-Fitr
    • No bonus payout for Eid-ul-Adha
  • Revised salary structure to be effective from April 01, 2020 to September 30, 2020.

Other employee benefits, including health insurance (which provides coverage, among others, for any COVID-19 related incidents) will continue as before.

Your line managers have already reached out or will soon reach out to you to explain more about the details of the changes that you would expect in terms of your pay, and answer any questions. We may also organize smaller sessions with your HoDs, HR colleagues and CXOs to address any further questions. We hope to reevaluate this decision as the global situation evolves. 

This is a tough time for everyone, and we hope to rise from this together. Please stay home, and stay safe!

Thank you.

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