BharatPe MD Grover opts for voluntary leave after spat with bank

The fintech founder had slapped a legal notice on Kotak Mahindra Bank after the Grover couple failed to get the Nykaa IPO

BharatPe founder Ashneer Grover

Days after an open tussle with Kotak Mahindra Bank, founder and Managing Director of BharatPe Ashneer Grover has decided to go on voluntary leave of absence, according to a statement issued by the fintech company.

On January 10, BharatPe founder Ashneer Grover had sent a legal notice to Kotak Mahindra Bank after the Grover couple failed to get the Nykaa IPO (initial public offering).

On Wednesday (January 19), BharatPe issued a statement which read: “Ashneer Grover has informed the board of his decision to take voluntary leave of absence from BharatPe till March-end. Ashneer has co-built BharatPe from scratch and his decision is consistent with his passionate commitment to the future success of the company.”

The board of directors at BharatPe has accepted Grover’s decision. “We agree it is in the best interest of the company, our employees and investors, and the millions of merchants we support each day,” the statement added.

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Also read: BharatPe owner sends legal notice to Kotak Mahindra Bank over Nykaa IPO

CEO Suhail Sameer will be in-charge in the absence of Grover.

The fintech company founder couple, Ashneer and Madhuri Grover, had alleged that Kotak Mahindra Bank went back on its promise to get them shares worth ₹ 500 crore in FSN E-Commerce Ventures Ltd, which owns the e-tailer Nykaa.

Nykaa had raised 5,352 crore last year through its IPO and the issue got subscribed 81.78 times.

The bank responded by saying it is looking at legal options against Grover for using “inappropriate language” in a call with a Kotak Mahindra Bank relationship manager. The audio clip went viral where a couple is purportedly speaking to who appeared to be a relationship manager from a bank. The man was abusive while and the bank executive was heard pacifying him.

Kotak Mahindra Bank has claimed that “there’s no breach or violation by the Kotak Group in any manner whatsoever”. “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,” the bank statement read.

BharatPe is a fintech company that caters to small merchants and kirana store owners in India. It serves over 75 lakh merchants across 150 cities. The company offers a range of fintech products including interoperable QR code for UPI payments, Bharat Swipe for card acceptance, and small business financing.

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