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Zerodha CEO announces bonus to employees for losing weight, netizens say ‘this isn’t healthy’

CEO Nithin Kamath has promised half a month's salary as bonus to all employees whose BMI is under 25.

zerodha, zerodha BMI bonus plan, Zerodha weight loss programme, zerodha weight loss incentive, viral news, indian expressZerodhan's 'fun' fitness programme left netizens divided online.

Zerodha founder and CEO Nithin Kamath announced a new health initiative for his company’s staff on World Health Day. Challenging all employees, Kamath said anyone with BMI (body mass index) of less than 25 will get half a month’s salary as bonus. He also announced benefits for staff members who will lose weight. However, not everyone is thrilled by the idea and netizens are weighing in if the initiative will push people toward fatphobia and body image issues.

Taking to social media, Kamath said anyone will be eligible to get half a month’s salary as a bonus, who has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 25. He further added that the average BMI of their team is 25.3 and if they can get it down to 24 by August, “everyone gets another 1/2 month as a bonus”.

Announcing the new ‘fun’ health program at the company on the occasion of World Health Day, he wrote: “It’d be fun to compete with other companies”. Explaining the initiative, he further wrote that the lowest average BMI or the largest change in average BMI will win the competition. “The winner chooses a charity everyone else contributes to. Maybe a health tech company can run the initiative,” the 43-year-old CEO wrote in his post.

The post soon got attention across social media sites as netizens shared their thoughts. Some also claimed that BMI may not be the healthiest parameter and may not be an inclusive idea. However, Kamath defended his stance saying that BMI is the easiest way to get started.

The challenge can be seen as an extension of the company’s existing wellness programme. Last year, Kamath had announced that they are starting a ’12-month get-healthy goal’ programme, encouraging people to prioritise health amid the pandemic when most people were leading a sedentary lifestyle.

To create accountability and to increase participation, the CEO had announced that everyone who reached the goal would get 1-month salary as bonus and would be eligible for a lucky draw for Rs 10 lakhs. Calling the previous effort a success but not “broad-based”, he assured this will be just an extra bonus over other incentives that employees get.

While the move last August was hailed by all, the current initiative generated a mixed response online. Here’s what netizens had to say about the health challenge.

First published on: 08-04-2022 at 16:43 IST
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