BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover announces voluntary leave till March

Grover was recently embroiled in a controversy after an audio clip surfaced of him allegedly abusing a Kotak employee over non-allocation of shares in Nykaa’s IPO.
File image of Ashneer Grover, BharatPe Co-founder and MD
File image of Ashneer Grover, BharatPe Co-founder and MD
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BharatPe on Wednesday, January 19, announced that co-founder and MD Ashneer Grover will be taking take a voluntary leave of absence from BharatPe till the end of March 2022. Grover’s decision has been accepted by the board, the fintech company said in a statement issued on Wednesday.  “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. BharatPe will continue to be ably led by our CEO Suhail Sameer and our strong management team,” the company said in a statement. 

Grover has also issued a statement on his leave. He wrote, "After much deliberation and introspection. I plan to take temporary leave of absence from BharatPe till March end. I will return on or before 1st April 2022. I'll be utilising this period to rejuvenate and refresh myself for our next sprint of value creation. I expect to spend the time thinking more deeply about our next phase of product development. and BharatPe's path to profitability and IPO," he said. 

The BharatPe co-founder was recently embroiled in a controversy after an audio clip surfaced on social media, allegedly of Grover and a family member abusing a Kotak Group employee over the non-allocation of shares in the fashion e-commerce firm Nykaa that recently went public. Grover had said that it was a "fake audio by some scamster" trying to "extort money from him in Bitcoins."

A few days after the audio emerged, Ashneer and his wife Madhuri Grover 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 has 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 in a statement 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."

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