Nithin Kamath, Founder & CEO, Zerodha, has issued a clarification on the company’s BMI (Body Mass Index) challenge a day after the programme received a backlash from users across social media. 

Kamath earlier this week announced a new challenge at Zerodha where anyone on the team with a BMI <25 will get half a month’s salary as a bonus. 

Kamath had further said that the average BMI of the team was 25.3 and if they could get to <24 by August, everyone will receive another half month as a bonus. 

“The lowest average BMI or the largest change in average BMI wins. The winner chooses a charity everyone else contributes to. Maybe a health tech company can run the initiative,” Kamath had said.

“PS: I know BMI isn’t the best measure to track health & fitness, but it is the easiest way to get started. With health & most other things in life, the most important bit is to get started.

Btw, walking 10,000 steps daily is a great start if you’ve been wanting to get healthy,” he had further added.

Kamath in a social media post had further issued a clarification on the challenge adding that the company had experimented with various ideas since Covid and WFH (work from Home) to help the team think about their health. 

He further added that the average age of the team had gone up and the health levels had dipped in the past two years due to WFH and pandemic stress. He further added that the onus was on the company to “nudge everyone on the team to think about their health.”

The Zerodha founder further said this incentive was an added bonus over and above all other bonuses and incentives.

The initiative had received backlash from users across social media with many stating that the challenge was not appropriate and that BMI was not a good indicator of health. Users further pointed out that higher BMI can be caused due to several health reasons.