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Ashneer Grover: The Story of BharatPe Co-Founder & Managing Director

Ashneer Grover

Ye Sab Doglapan hai”,   “Bhai tu Naukri Dhoond, Tujhse nahi hopayega”, these memes have sparked in social media and still continues to dominate the social media world. Mr. Ashneer Grover the former co-founder and chief executive officer of Bharat Pe have used these dialogues unabashedly in the Shark Tank Season -1. 

It is the Indian Version of the American Business Reality Show which has now become a famous television show across the country.

Let us understand how Mr. Ashneer Grover stands out in the Entrepreneurs List

Mr. Ashneer Grover Biography

Name

Mr. Ashneer Grover

Profession

Entrepreneur, Businessman, Investor

Company Type

Fintech

Former Company

Bharat Pe

Designation

Co-founder and Ex MD

Date of Birth

14th June, 1982

Age

40 years

Birth Place

Delhi

Marital Status

Married to Mrs. Madhuri Jain Grover

Mr. Ashneer Grover Early Life and Education

  • Ashneer was born and also bought up in Delhi. He belonged to middle class family. His family members were working professionals. Mr. Ashneer completed is schooling from Apeejay School. After that he completed his graduation from Delhi.
  • After 12th Ashneer dropped the plan of becoming CA as his father and decided to join Indian Institute of Technology in the 2000-2004 batch in the B.Tech Civil Engineering Program. He was selected as an exchange student for the University of INSA-LYON in France. Mr. Ashneer Grover was awarded a scholarship of € 6000 by the French Embassy after which he completed his masters in MBA in Finance from IIM Ahmedabad in 2006

Ashneer Grover Family

  • Ashneer Grover Married Madhuri Jain Grover. He is the rank holder in his batch, and out of 450 students Ashneer and five others were chosen as overseas scholars by Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. Ashneer has two children Avy Grover and Mannat Grover. His father is a chartered accountant and mother is a teacher. Mrs. Madhuri formerly worked for companies like Satya Paul and Alok Industries before joining Bharat Pe. In addition this she owns furniture company named Mauve and Brown.

Mr. Ashneer Grover Career

Ashneer has done multiple roles in his career. Let us have a look at his journey

  • Investment Banker:

Ashneer Grover had got an opportunity to work as Vice President at Kotak Investment Banking after completing his MBA in Finance in 2006. Mr. Grover left Kotak after working there for almost 7 years in the year 2013 wherein he was part of IPO deals

  • Employee of Amix

In 2013, after leaving Kotak, Ashneer decided to join Amix (American Express) which is the multinational company as the director. He left this company after 2 years because he wanted to do something different in life.

  • Grofers

He joined Softbank Backed Grofers in the year 2017 as Chief Financial Officer. Grofers was founded in the year 2013, where it started as the hyperlocal delivery service provider wherein it picked the goods from the neighborhood grocery stores to deliver them to the consumers. It used to charge a commission on the value of goods delivered from the merchants. Ashneer left Grofers in August and decided to take a break in his career.

  • PC Jewellers Head

After a lot of meeting with investors and more networks, Ashneer joined PC Jewellers as Business Head. He helped them in Developing business strategies, payment options and developing the overall business.

  •  Bharat Pe Co-Founder

Mr. Ashneer Grover along with his two colleague Mr.Shashvat Nakrani and Bhavik Koladiya founded Bharat Pe , which is a  payment applications in the year 2018.  Initially these three were the shareholders of the company but later on, Sequoia became the lead investor and Bhavik Koladiya was removed from the list of investors.

  • Shark Tank India Season 1 Judge

Mr. Ashneer Grover appeared as Judge in the reality show Shark Tank India Season 1. This is where he gained more popularity because of his blatant comments to the startup business owners.

  • Third Unicorn

Ashneer Grover Quit Bharat Pe amid Controversies and decided to start all over again with his new company Name Third Unicorn which he incorporated on 6th July, 2022 which provides software related services. It is a bootstrapped company without being in limelight.

Ashneer Grover said in his Linked in Post for Third Unicorn Private Limited

  • “ So if you want to be part of the next TODU – FODU thing, here’s a sneak peek on HOW we are building ! WHAT we are building remains the billion dollar question!.” We are getting started – Sharted. Let’s begin the fun. VC – SheC’s Please stay away.
  • We use only Desi/self-earned capital. FAUJ – SHAUL nhi khadi karni (sic).” Talking about hiring plans and other startegies, he said, “Maximum 50 people team. KAAM – SHAAM se aukaat hogi. Feete to joote mein bhi hote hain, $1,000,00,00,000 Revenue – Shevenue. “106 unicorn to vaise bhi hain. No faaltu ka Board – SHOARD.
  • Uncles are advised to apply for their RWAs. 5 saal poore hone pe Mercedes-Shercedes. Gratuity to bezzati liye hoti hai.People who want to build BIG-SHIG,” he said. Further, Grover said, “Chhoti bachi ho kya? Kuch TODU-FODU karne ka man hai next? Join us: team@third-unicorn.com. FOMO-SHOMO ha rha hai kay? To get on the cap table, get hold of the man himself.”

Ashneer and Bharat Pe

  • As mentioned earlier Bharat Pe was founded by Bhavik Koladia , Shashvat Nakrani and Ashneer Grover. Bharat Pe is a QR Code based payment app for offline businessmen and retailers. The company is headquartered in New Delhi, but there are more than 5 offices across the country. Apart from interoperable QR Code for effortless UPI Payments, Bharat Pe also extends Bharat Swipe for card acceptance and small business financing. Also the company offers merchant loans.
  • Ashneer Grover served as MD and Co-founder of Bharat Pe until he resigned from the company and relinquished his position on February 28, 2022. He was asked by the Bharat Pe board to take a voluntary absence for two months on January 19, 2022 due to financial fraud for which he was allegedly connected. This mandatory leave raised concerns for Ashneer Grover and his family. His wife Madhuri Jain Grover was also put to leave amidst government probe. Both husband and wife were later on terminated from their services due to financial irregulaties.
  • The co-founder and MD was in media for a long time. This was not only because of the Bharat Pe issue, but also due to rude behavior of Ashneer in Shark Tank India Show and also call with Kotak Employee. Also there are many controversies which Ashneer denied , but he had to step down from Bharat Pe because misconduct was reported in double digit crores.There were reports which confirmed that Ashneer Grover had approached legal aid in the form of Karanjawala & Co a law firm from Delhi NCR, to secure his position in the company and keep his shareholding of 9.5% intact.
  • The former MD then demanded Rs 4000 crore from the investors to buy him out, which implied that he needs to be paid a fair market value for his 9.5% stake in the company. He said Either I will run the company or they buy me out; there is no third option”.
  • Ashneer Grover’s arbitration pleas  were rejected by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and the Key investors turned down his offer of selling 9.5% stake in the company. Finally he had to leave the organization.
  • According to the Bharat Pe Board the resignation of the Founder and MD came minutes after Mr.Ashneer Grover received Board Meeting Agenda which will include the PWC report submission containing the conduct of Mr.Ashneer and actions that will be taken against him. Mr.Ashneer Grover claimed that even though he has resigned he would continue to be single largest individual shareholder of the company.

Ashneer Grover Net Worth

The total net worth of Mr. Ashneer Grover Net Worth is $ 105 million. The net worth is estimated according to Wikipedia, Forbes and IMDB. His enormous luxury home is worth up to Rs. 30 crore, according to estimates. Also he owns a collection of high end luxury vehicle including the Porsche Cayman S Mercedes-Maybach S650 , Mercedes-Benz GLS 350, Audi A6 etc.

Rise and Failure of the Business Tycoon-Ashneer Grover

  • All was well for Mr. Ashneer Grover. His appearance in Shark Tank made him Public Figure. But then suddenly, one audio clip was leaked in which Ashneer and his wife was allegedly abusing a Kotak Bank Employee for not being able to secure Nykaa IPO shares.
  • Ashneer denied all the allegations and said that the audio was fake and the scamster is attempting to extort money from him blackmailing him with the fake audio clip.
  • The audio clip was then deleted from all social media platforms, but Kotak Mahindra Bank said it would take legal actions against him. This was not enough when another controversy came up because of an email which was exchanged from August 2020 between Ashneer and Sequoia India’s Harshjit Sethi where Mr.Ashneer used abusive language against Harshjit Sethi. This effected his brand image and on 19th January 2022 he announced that he is taking voluntary leave till end of March.
  • But the problems never ended for Mr. Ashneer. Just 10 days after this the board of BharatPe announced an independent audit in to company’s internal process and financials.  The preliminary audit report detected fraud in the company in recruitment processes and detected payment to non-existent vendors.
  • Madhuri Jain, the wife of Grover, also came under scrutiny for misappropriate use of funds to finance personal trips, beauty treatments, and to pay her personal staff at home.
  • First, Grover filed an arbitration plea in the Singapore International Arbitration Centre to protect his 9.5% stake in the stake, amounting to 4000 crore Rupees. He said that he was being forced to exit the company with a much lower amount.
  • But, on March 2nd, he resigned from his post of MD and board of directors of BharatPe via an email. He said that he was vilified and treated in the most disgraceful manner during the course of this investigation. He also accused the investors of treating the company’s founders like slaves.
  • Ashneer Grover built a company valued at billions from the ground up in just three years. That is his excellence and his forte. However, his fall from such high has been quite cinematic and unfortunate, to say the least.

Business Lessons To Learn from Mr. Ashneer Grover

  • The BharatPe Story includes Twists, claims and counter claims. Inspite of having successful founders with good track record , but ultimately it looks poor. The outcome is not so positive as it has destroyed the core value of the management, employees and the customers also.
  • Ashneer Grover has performed incredibly well in building BharatPe. It is his sheer hardwork and talent that gave him success. Though he is rough and tough while taking decisions, but somewhere he failed in team work and that landed him up in trouble. He did not work with the Board Members.
  • In todays world when media plays an very important role , Entrepreneur is a public icon and are role models for many. Mr.Ashneer Grover through his comments showed a lit amount of immaturity forgetting the fact that his own comments can create problems for him.
  • No Doubt, Mr.Ashneer Grover is capable of creating value , scaling and building big and large companies. He believes that his next company will be a huge success. Well some people believe he is honest or some believe he is rude. But he believes that over valuing oneself is setting oneself for failure.
  • Ashneer Grover has always adviced that if the product is good , then put money in to it, don’t go by the size, keep away from the secondary stocks, and be smart.
  • Lastly when Ashneer Grover was asked about how he spends his free time , he replied I don’t party, I don’t read, all I know is how to grow your business and make money.”
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