Kerala’s much celebrated entrepreneurship story seems to be in trouble with a major spat between the two co-founders, who are also husband and wife. Demeita Marion D'cruz has levelled charges against her co-founder and husband Varun Chandran, claiming he illegally took the company away from her. She has also accused him of domestic violence.
Demeita took to Facebook on Tuesday pleading for help from Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, alleging that she was badly beaten up by Varun several times in 2017 and that he had forged her signatures to take over the company directly.
Corporate360, a SaaS-based sales-tech company was founded by Demeita and Varun in Singapore in 2008 and now has operations mainly based out of Pathanapuram in Kerala.
Varun meanwhile refuted all allegations of domestic violence claiming he never hit her or had any extra marital affairs. He further alleged that Demeita had stolen Rs 80 lakh from his bank account and filed five false cases against him. He said that he still loves her and that she’s the only woman he’s loved.
After Demeita published the video asking for help, Varun has filed a defamatory suit against Demeita and Leadbook, which is the company she currently works at, for 'publishing a defamatory video on Corporate360, making wrongful allegations against the business and employees'.
According to Demeita, Corporate360 was incorporated with her as the sole director of the company.
Demeita claims that Varun was never involved in the sales, or business development of the company, which was all handled by her. Varun only handled the backend work in Kerala.
Speaking to The News Minute, Demeita alleged that problems between them began in July 2017, when she ‘found out’ that he was having an affair with an employee.
“I saw a message from her on Facebook telling Varun she was pregnant and also came across pictures of him with another colleague. When I asked him to explain, he initially ignored me but then got furious and started hitting me till the point the police came,” Demeita says.
This incident took place in Singapore following which she was admitted in the hospital for four days claims Demeita. She has alleged that he threw her out of the house saying he didn’t want to be questioned.
Following this, Demeita went to live with her god parents in the US.
During this period as well, Demeita claims that Varun wanted her to keep working and talk to clients.
She claims that when she came back to Pathanapuram in August, he hit her for the second time on August 24. She claims that the police too, didn’t respond to her calls and didn’t turn up when she called for help and later dismissed the issue as a regular husband and wife scuffle.
Following this, as she says in the video as well, she was forced to go to Bengaluru to receive treatment for her injuries.
Demeita claims that it was during this time that Varun forged documents and took over the entire company and even changed the agreement of their house in Singapore and changed the locks to block her access.
Demeita filed an FIR on September 12, 2017 at Pathanapuram police station in Kollam Rural stating that Varun had been having extra marital affairs and mentally and physically harassed her at their home in Singapore and Pathanapuram. Demeita claims that no action has been taken since.
Demeita is currently in Singapore and has filed for an expedited personal protection order against Varun in the family justice court in Singapore.
In response to the allegations made by Demeita, Varun says that nothing of what Demeita claims has ever happened.
Varun claims that Demeita was never involved in the company and didn’t even come to office.
“She comes with a medical background with no technical skills. I involved her in the company as part of family. The company has been in existence with me as the main leader and founder,” he says.
Varun claims that she was allotted shares in the company only because she was his wife. However, he says that she signed them back to her after she was employed in another company.
“When you start a company you obviously start it with a co-director. Demita came with me to Singapore as a housewife since she was unemployed. I involved her in the paperwork as director. After a while she got employed in another company and you can’t be a director in the company when you're employed in another company so she signed the shares back,” Varun told TNM.
Calling Demeita’s allegations against him absolutely false, Varun says that for a known personality like him, he cannot afford to forge documents, given the company is driving a social impact model.
All this, he claims, is a strategy being played by her to tarnish his image and career due to family issues they have been facing in the past few years.