BharatPe cofounder and MD Ashneer Grover

Ashneer Grover has resigned from the positions of Managing Director, Director of BharatPe, but continues to hold his 9.5% stake in the company

Bengaluru, NFAPost: BharatPe MD and cofounder Ashneer Grover has resigned from the company, after months of ongoing tussle between the board and Grover.

According to reports in a resignation letter sent to the board, Ashneer Grover said he is being forced to bid adieu to a company of which he is a founder.

“I say with my head held high that today this company stands as a leader in the fintech world. Since the beginning of 2022, unfortunately, I’ve been embroiled in baseless and targeted attacks on me and my family by a few individuals who are ready not only to harm me and my reputation but also harm the reputation of the company, which ostensibly they are trying to protect,” said Ashneer Grover.

Ashneer Grover added that BharatPe investors are far removed from reality and have forgotten what real businesses look like. He noted that he has become a liability for the company, which is why he is being made into a villain. Grover has resigned from the positions of Managing Director and Director of BharatPe, but continues to hold his 9.5% stake in the company.

Filed arbitration plea

Last week, Ashneer Grover filed an arbitration plea in the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) and sought exemption from any future legal liabilities in the ongoing settlement discussions with BharatPe.

He reportedly also signalled an intent for a settlement with the board after weeks of public spat between the two parties. However, SIAC rejected Grover’s plea to stop the governance review and said that it was premature for it to give any conclusive decision making as the governance review is still not finalised.

On January 29, 2022, BharatPe’s board had announced that they are conducting an independent audit of the company’s internal processes and systems and had appointed Alvarez & Marsal to advise the board on its recommendations. The report is expected to come in this week or so.

On February 22, BharatPe terminated Ashneer Grover’s wife and company’s head of controls Madhuri Jain because of the financial irregularities found by the company. According to BusinessLine, Jain’s termination featured examples of her using the company’s money for personal expenses, wellness and skin treatment, among other things.

A source also added that Ashneer Grover signed off on Rs 1.5 crore of penalty for GST. “Because they knew that recruitment invoices had GST on it and officials came asking for the money because money was not deposited. To push it under the carpet, they paid the penalty to the GST officials. So, in effect, the company ended up paying both the GST and penalty on fake invoices,” the source said.

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