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BharatPe’s Co-founder Ashneer Grover Takes Voluntary Leave Amid Controversy

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BharatPe Co-founder and Managing Director Ashneer Grover, facing controversy over the alleged using inappropriate language against Kotak Mahindra Bank’s staff, has taken voluntary leave till March-end, the fintech company announced on Wednesday.

Grover informed the Board of the fintech platform about his decision to proceed on leave earlier in the day.

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“For now, the Board has accepted Ashneer’s decision which we agree is in the best interests of the company, our employees and investors, and the millions of merchants we support each day,” according to the company statement.

“Ashneer has co-built BharatPe from scratch and his decision is consistent with his passionate commitment to the future success of the company,” it said.

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In his absence, the fintech company “will continue to be ably led by our CEO Suhail Sameer and our strong management team”.

Grover’s decision to take a voluntary leave came after he allegedly used inappropriate language against Kotak Group staffers and an ongoing tussle with the bank.

He and his wife Madhuri Grover had sent a legal notice to Kotak Mahindra Bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Uday Kotak and to some of his senior management, accusing the bank of failing to secure financing and allocation of shares in an IPO launched by beauty firm Nykaa.

The notice sought damages for the gains Grover and his wife would have made after subscribing to shares worth Rs 500 crore in the company, besides Rs 1 lakh towards the cost of the legal notice.

Kotak Mahindra Bank had said: “This notice was received by us and was replied to appropriately at the time, including placing on record our objections to inappropriate language used by Mr. Grover.”

“Appropriate legal action is being pursued. We would like to confirm that there is no breach or violation by the Kotak Group in any manner whatsoever,” the bank had said.

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