Are ESOPs all that they’re cracked up to be?

Now that the funding winter has set in and dizzying startup valuations have cooled down, how should employees evaluate stock options?

When I worked in a Chennai-based tech company from 2018 to late 2021, I got front-row seats to the rise of Freshworks: from being the first software-as-a-service provider to achieving the ‘unicorn’ valuation in 2019 to getting listed on the NASDAQ. The week that Freshworks got listed, my LinkedIn feed (and probably that of all my peers who were either working in SAAS or in Chennai) had amalgamated into broadly three types of posts: videos of Girish Mathrubootham ringing the NASDAQ opening bell while quoting Rajnikanth song lyrics, photos from excited employees who had had their face flashing on the …


Lavanya Mohan

Lavanya Mohan is a chartered accountant and writer from Chennai.