Ashneer Grover – Controversy’s favourite child
Ashneer Grover was recently seen as one of the sharks on the popular reality show Shark Tank whose first season has concluded last week.
Ashneer Grover, the co-founder and MD of the fintech giant BharatPe is tied in a battle with its Board and investor. Grover has demanded a payout of Rs 4000 crore for his 9.5% stake in BharatPe for his exit while the Board is trying to get him out without a payday. His demand is based on the company valuation at US$ 6 billion which is just double of its most recent valuation at US$ 3 billion while it raised US$ 370 million from Tiger Global and others.
“If the board thinks I don’t need to be the MD and someone else should run the company, please put my Rs 4000 crore on the table and take the keys away from me”, said Grover.
Grover landed himself in a controversy after an audiotape of him allegedly threatening a Kotak Mahindra Bank employee was leaked. As an immediate response, Grover claimed the tape to be fake but the attempt turned futile as now he is facing a lawsuit by Kotak Mahindra Bank for use of “inappropriate words”.
Grover has been on a voluntary leave of absence from January 19, 2022, till the end of March as a fallout of the above controversy. He however now claims it to be a conspiracy for sending him away by the board. Calling CEO Sohail Sameer “a puppet of investors”, Grover seeks Sameer’s removal from the Board.
The embattled co-founder is reported to have hired a New Delhi law firm amid the mounting pressure on his exit from BharatPe.
Things look gloomy for the tech giant which has come under the public scanner amid questions of weak due diligence due to allegations of embezzlement, payments to non-existing vendors. To heighten things up, Bhavik Koladiya, co-founder of BharatPe was convicted of credit card fraud in the US.
Grover was recently seen as one of the sharks on the reality show Shark Tank whose first season has concluded last week. The show has garnered a lot of attention from the new age unicorn founders while getting Grover the image of a brash and outspoken shark.
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