After a month-long quarrel, Ashneer Grover resigns as MD of BharatPe

Grover also questioned media leaks when excerpts from Alvarez and Marsal’s audit report began circulating on social media.

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Ashneer Grover, who has been at odds with the board of fintech BharatPe, has resigned as MD and director, only days after his wife Madhuri Jain Grover was fired as head of controls on charges of money misuse, according to CNBC-TV18.

Ashneer Grover stated in his resignation letter to the board: “I write this with a heavy heart as today I am being forced to bid adieu to a company of which I am a founder. I say with my head held high that today this company stands as a leader in the fintech world. Since the beginning of 2022, unfortunately, I’ve been embroiled in baseless and targeted attacks on me and my family by a few individuals who are ready not only to harm me and my reputation but also harm the reputation of the company, which ostensibly they are trying to protect.”

Grover also questioned media leaks when excerpts from Alvarez and Marsal’s audit report began circulating on social media.

In his resignation letter, Grover wrote: “From being celebrated as the face of Indian entrepreneurship and an inspiration to the Indian youth to build their own businesses, I am now wasting myself fighting a long, lonely battle against my own investors and management. Unfortunately, in this battle, the management has lost what is actually at stake – BharatPe.”

BharatPe announced on January 28 that it has retained Alvarez to perform a governance assessment of the firm. The following week, it confirmed the addition of PwC.

Inconsistencies in vendor relations were discovered, according to a preliminary assessment completed by Alvarez in January. Non-existent payments to suppliers and consultants were noted in the study.

At the ailing fintech BharatPe, allegations and counter-allegations have become the new routine. Soon after the embattled co-founder, Ashneer Grover made an allegation on the chairman of the board of directors Rajnish Kumar and co-founder Bhavik Koladiya, alleging that the governance assessment was riddled with bias, the company alleged him of spreading false information, which it says is inappropriate for a managing director.

“You have been indulging in spreading false and accusatory information about the senior management of the company to the family members and/or spouses of the said members of the senior management. Such abhorrent conduct on your part is completely unwarranted, and the company takes strong objection to the same. You are again called upon to cease and desist from spreading false and inflammatory content about the members of the senior management of the company. Your conduct in this regard is completely unbecoming of a managing director of the company,” the firm said in its response letter to Grover’s email on February 22.

The business did not disclose whatever information it was referring to when it said Grover had contacted the partners of those under investigation. However, Grover made the charge after accusing Kumar, a veteran of the banking sector and former chairman of SBI, of bias and prejudice. He indicated over the phone that Koladiya had contacted him for a meeting and was hostile with him over a verbal chat and that he reserves the right to take necessary legal action.

While the business accepted the call between Grover and Koladiya, it denied Grover’s assertion that it occurred from Kumar’s apartment. BharatPe said that the audio recording he provided was a personal chat between Koladiya and Grover and had nothing to do with any “official contact” of the corporation with him.

Grover has taken a leave of absence until the end of March due to his reaction to his aggressive words to a Kotak employee, the unhealthy culture at BharatPe, and his brash behaviour. His wife was likewise placed on leave.

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