PG Ginger is undoubtedly the most celebrated employee at Mumbai-based online education portal Pagalguy.com, where his colleagues queue up for selfies or just to pet him. He is also the laziest of the total 45 employees the company has in Mumbai.

What raises eyebrows is that Ginger is a three-year-old orange tomcat, who is practically an employee of the start-up, but without a salary or a swipe card. Ginger’s designation is Entertainer/Stress Buster at Pagalguy.com and employee number is 097.

Ginger is employed for his amiable personality as the firm thinks he can be a stress reliever to the staff who takes time out to play with the feline.

“We live in stressful times and nothing is as relaxing as having a pet, and that’s the whole idea. Initially, everybody was surprised but a lot of our employees have now become comfortable with him,” said Allwin Agnel, Chief Executive Officer and founder at Pagalguy.com.

Paws at work However, this also makes business sense. “Pets can improve productivity and help humans unwind, and I am sure Ginger brings some kind of attachment to the workplace, in turn, improving productivity,” Agnel added.

Cats are supposed to have a relaxing effect on humans. Realising this, many companies across the world permit pets on their premises, while in Japan there are coffee cafes with dozens of playful cats around. In 2007, Tama, a feline was appointed as the station master for the struggling Kishi station in Western Japan. Donning a station master’s cap, she sat at the ticket gate welcoming or seeing off passengers.

Tama, who became famous as a tourist attraction, helped improve the financials of the railway company and the local economy. The calico cat, which died in June this year, was enshrined as a goddess recently.

But Indian corporates are still not open to the idea of having a pet in the office.

PG Ginger (PG stands for Pagalguy) writes a blog (ghost written) and also has a Facebook account. On most days, he is the topic of debate in the office as to where he would sleep or why is he avoiding a particular person among others. “He seems to be doing more cool things than all of us here,” Agnel adds.

His medical, food and other expenses are met by Pagalguy from its P&L account, while a veterinary doctor makes a weekly round to check on his health. A dedicated employee, Ginger is always the first to walk into office in the morning and the last to leave.

During the day, Ginger is either playing with the employees or sleeping it out. He also conducts surprise checks on employees, by sneaking up on them and staring at their laptops. “It feels good to play with Ginger during breaks,” said Sameer Chhatre, an employee at Pagalguy. But why a cat, and not another pet? “We wanted to keep a tortoise, but he would have outlived all of us. Then, who would take care of him,” asks Agnel.

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