Many companies in India Inc now help their employees multiply their money or put away a little something for a rainy day through financial awareness sessions and by providing access to various financial tools and, in some cases, trustworthy financial advisors.
P&G India, NetApp, MG Motor and Dell Technologies are among organisations enhancing their employee wellbeing offerings to include financial wellness and awareness.
With a predominantly young workforce that is looking to understand not just personal finances better but also invest effectively for maximum returns, the focus is on driving knowledge around mutual funds, shares, derivatives, as well as government-provided investment plans, industry insiders said.
Companies are also educating employees – even freshers – about retirement plans and family financial decision-making. Other initiatives include helping employees with student loan repayment programmes, financing or providing loans for education, and providing access to various financial tools.
“While we do organise sessions which educate employees about government-run programmes like NPS and PPF, we’ve also partnered with banks and financial institutions to educate employees on how mutual funds work, what they need to keep in mind while investing, and how they can look at long-term investments like shares,” said Yeshwinder Patial, senior director of HR at MG Motor India.
Almost 1,800 employees of the carmaker, including blue-collar employees working on the shop floor, have been collectively part of the various financial awareness sessions organised by the firm over the last year or so.
Younger employees just a few years into their careers are especially interested in and request for sessions on investment options with more risk and quicker rewards – like mutual funds, share trading, as well as the viability of investment in real estate, etc, Patial said.
Such initiatives are crucial considering the lack of long-term social security measures like state-provided pension for private sector employees and poor financial literacy. Only 27% of the country’s adults are financially literate, as per a global survey by teenage-focused digital bank Streak in early 2022. In comparison, financial literacy rate of adults in the UK and the US stood at 67% and 57%, respectively. Emergency savings and financial seminars and webinars are the top financial wellbeing initiatives provided by employers in India, said Vinod VK, head of health and benefits – India at WTW, an advisory, broking, and solutions company. “Additionally, employers are also offering access to financial advisors including financial counselling, individual retirement planning for those approaching retirement, and family financial decision-making,” he said.
P&G India has designed a benefits portfolio for employees, and focuses on their long-term wealth creation by enhancing their financial wellbeing capability. It offers support like reimbursable financial advisory services and additional fixed allowance for meeting personal and family needs, among others.
“We also offer emergency financial assistance to our employees and their partners in case of natural calamity, demise, or hospitalisation of an immediate family member to cover expenses not covered in the company’s existing medical policy,” said Srinivas PM, head of human resources at P&G India. NetApp conducts regular sessions by external speakers on financial wellness and management.
The most recent one was by Atul Shinghal, cofounder of wealth management service provider Scripbox, who shared his learnings as an entrepreneur and advice on financial wellness through investments with employees, company officials said.
Dell Technologies is creating awareness among its multi-generational workforce on financial stability and market understanding. “We have employees in various stages of their careers, starting from college freshers to individuals approaching their retirement. Hence, the idea is to ensure that these sessions cater to all segments of our team members,” said Santosh TK, director of talent acquisition at Dell Technologies.
With the current macro-economic environment and the lack of long-term social security measures, research shows that employees in the private sector value financial security measures to be one of their top priorities, WTW’s Vinod said.