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Ashneer Grover controversy: Fintech is an amazingly fast growing industry all over the world today. The CEOs of these company are really keeping pace with the dynamic financial trends as well as technological advancements of the world. These companies are using emerging technology to improve upon the financial activities, making the world of digital currency grow bigger and better.
BharatPe, currently valued at $2.8 billion, is a huge name in the list of fintech companies. It offers fintech products such as QR codes for payments and small business funding. Recently, the company’s co-founder, Ashneer Grover has been in news for all the wrong reasons. The controversy began when an audio clip of Mr Grover surfaced earlier in January 2022. In the audio, he could be seen abusing an employee of Kotak Mahindra Bank for not being able to secure funds enough to reach the targets of the company (secure enough funds to buy shares of Nykaa, an ecommerce company). There were loud noises about the toxic work culture of the company and so on. The leaked video was remarked as fake by the co-founder.
The controversies were boiling up and on March 2, the company removed Ashneer Grover from all positions of the company, accusing him and his family of extensive misappropriation of funds. It was even pointed out by the advisors that he created fake vendors to siphon off the company funds. The external advisors reviewed the internal finances of the company and no sooner did Ashneer was informed that they will be presented to the company’s board, that he resigned. He alleged that he is being treated in a very disgraceful manner and the investors of the company are treating the founders as slaves. He resigned from his posts of Managing Director and director of boards but added that he will continue as the single-largest ‘individual’ shareholder of the company. The company had hired an independent consultant, A&M, to look into the company’s internal affairs.
Ashneer Grover, who has earlier worked as a Chief Financial Officer at Grofers (now called Blinkit) and as an investment banker, filed an emergency plea against this company review which was rejected by SIAC, Singapore International Arbitration Centre. He alleged in his plea that the members of the review committee seemed biased. He also accused that he did not get a chance to present his case and the move was planned to tarnish his image in public and to remove him as a shareholder of the company. He sought to dissolve the investigation committee and set up a new one. He pleaded to stop the ‘governance review’ of the company. He also sought suspension of Suhail Sameer as the company director. SIAC refused all his pleas sighting that it is the power of the board to call for governance review.
Madhuri Jain Grover, wife of Ashneer Grover is the head of controls at BharatPe. It was observed that she was using the company’s money for family trips abroad and even to pay her personal staff. The family enjoyed a luxury lifestyle at the expense of the company.
In a slew of disrespectful comments on social media, Suhail Sameer responded to Ashneer’s sister that the company doesn’t have enough capital to pay salaries to the terminated employees since her brother stole it all.
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