BharatPe controversy

A full-stack servicing app, known as BharatPe was founded by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Bakrani in 2018. This services app aims to connect merchants, shop owners, and consumers on a fintech platform. BharatPe was a huge success in just two years. Along with seamless transactions, it also provides financial services ranging from offering loans and investments to insurance services. The start-up grew well. In just two years, it became the top offline acquirer for UPI QR transactions in India. But, from January 2022, the media is focusing on BharatPe founder Controversy. What is the BharatPe founder controversy? To whom does it relate? Who all are part of the BharatPe controversy? All the questions related to the BharatPe founder controversy are resolved below.

In the present era, the cashless transaction seems to be pretty easy and handy for everyone. You don’t have to carry notes and currency in your pockets. The tech-savvy device that stays with you like a magnet has everything inside it; data, money, sources, and more. Transactions are easier and, more reliable with technology. Every time, we plan to purchase anything, we can just scan the QR code and complete the transaction.

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Problems faced by vendors and shop owners

Before 2018, platforms like Paytm provided this facility. Shop owners kept QR Scanners to hold the customers in hand. But the major problem that everybody faced was that the mode of payment was limited to a specific range.

Interoperable zero MDI UPI QR scanner

The scanner either belonged to Paytm or any other app. Later Ashneer Grover observed this area of weakness and thought to own a monopoly in the market with strength. He along with Shashvat Nakrani built BharatPe which is an interoperable zero MDR UPI OR scanner. The main aim to create this network was to universalize digital payment.

Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani, founders of BharatPe

BharatPe controversy
Source: fortune

Ashneer Grover was the Managing Director and Co-founder of one of the highest growing start-up BharatPe. He has also been a judge of one of the most popular shows, Shark Tank. Grover wanted to be something different. He opted for engineering and went to IIT Delhi. Later, he received a call from an exchange company in France. Ashneer went to France for a year. Looking at his progress, The French Embassy rewarded a scholarship of $60,000 to Grover. Ashneer used the scholarship to learn more and returned to India later. He entered IIM Ahmedabad to pursue MBA.


The career of Ashneer Grover

Consequently, he received a job offer from Kotak Investment for which he worked for 7 years. Ashneer Grover also joined American Express. However, he wanted to know how start-ups work. So, one of his friends, who is the Co-founder of Grofers (today known as Blink it). Ashneer joined Grofers as the Chief Financial Officer and the start-up went well. After Grofers, Ashneer founded BharatPe.

Shashvat Nakrani, co-founder of BharatPe

BharatPe controversy
Sources: Hindustan Times

Shashvat Nakrani is the youngest person to reach IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List. He is one of the self-made billionaires in 1990. Shashvat in his college days created a start-up called Bookmyhaircut. But the problems he faced made him launch another start-up called BharatPe. Ashneer dropped from IIT to become an entrepreneur. He faced small merchants and owners and was unaware of digital payments. The start-up he launched faced a lot of rejections. It even received legal notices. But there was a day when Shashvat observed more than 10 lakh transactions in a day. Since that day, BharatPe is growing at a fast pace.

History of BharatPe

BharatPe before the Ashneer Grover controversy came into action in 2018. Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani, the co-founders of BharatPe launched the start-up when India was on the pay to accept digital payments. However, digital payments had some drawbacks. The problem of interoperability was the main issue and BharatPe resolved it. The customer and seller were facing this issue. Digital payments were passed on to a limited range. BharatPe made the universal OR Code. Through BharatPe, all the UPI apps like Google Pay, Phone Pe, PayTm, and other apps allowed digital transactions. Now, people can take the money from any application and account through BharatPe.

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Beginning of the BharatPe controversy

But what lead to the Ashneer Grover controversy, leaving the company even though everything was good. Well, the major problems of the Ashneer Grover controversy began from the time when the BharatPe controversy audio clip was on the surface on Twitter. The BharatPe controversy audio clip was of the Ashneer Grover controversy. It was a conversation between Grover and the relationship manager of Kotak Mahindra Bank.

BharatPe Controversy audio clip

Last year, the BharatPe controversy audio clip showcased the Ashneer Grover controversy, and the relationship manager of Kotak Mahindra Bank went viral on Twitter. In the BharatPe controversy audio clip, Ashneer was abusing the bank employee because the bank rejected the appeal of taking a loan from the bank. According to the BharatPe controversy audio clip, Ashneer wanted to invest in Nykaa IPO and this was the main reason he was seeking a loan from Kotak Mahindra Bank. But the bank rejected the appeal for the loan. Later, Grover tweeted that the BharatPe controversy audio clip is fake. However, his tweet regarding the BharatPe controversy audio clip vanished after a few days.

Ashneer Grover in Shark Tank

After the BharatPe controversy audio clip, Ashneer Grover came back to the media with a reality show called Shark Tank. The show was rated as one of the most popular shows on air. The media had already kept an eye over the company, and then Shark Tank. Shark Tank was originally an American reality show. It was a franchisee show in India. Ashneer Grover was the Judge of Shark Tank. Many entrepreneurs were a part of the show and they pitched their start-up ideas.

BharatPe controversy audio clip did not vanish

BharatPe controversy
Source: dailyO

The sharks were a group of investors who were ready to invest in a start-up that was out of the box. Ashneer Grover controversy was already in the eyes of the media and this show kept him more open. Social Media was filled with Shark Tank memes and reels. People ultimately loved the show. Ashneer Grover controversy made some crude remarks about the entrepreneurs in the show. The show did not put any relief on the ongoing tension in the company.

Grover to start afresh at the company

Two weeks after the BharatPe controversy audio clip was on the air, Ashneer Grover posted on social media that he is going to leave BharatPe temporarily. He wants to take leave till march and would continue from April 1, 2022. After the BharatPe controversy audio clip, Grover wanted some time to rejuvenate and start afresh. This was the reason why he wanted a temporary leave from the company.

Temporary leave after BharatPe founder controversy

However, other than the Ashneer Grover controversy, Grover stated a reason for the betterment and value creation of the company, and people were suspicious of him for this action. They wanted to know what is happening in the company after the reveal of the BharatPe controversy audio clip.


Alvarez and Marshal did independent audit at BharatPe

BharatPe controversy
Source: Alvarez and Marsal

Madhuri Jain is the wife of Ashneer Grover. She is also a part of the company and BharatPe founder controversy. When Grover went on leave, her wife also took a leave from the company after 10 days. On the other hand, an internal audit and investigation began in BharatPe after the BharatPe founder controversy. Alvarez and Marshal is the management consultant and risk advisory firm that investigated the BharatPe founder controversy.

Recruitment process at BharatPe

A rift appeared between the Board of Directors and Ashneer Grover. After a few days, the media surfaced some initial findings of the investigation of the BharatPe founder controversy. The final report was not ready, but it disclosed some sort of inconsistency with the vendors and the recruitment process.

Main reasons for BharatPe controversy

BharatPe has earned through HR consultant firms. The firms were fake and the company showed that it was linked with each other under the BharatPe founder controversy. During the investigation, the firms also questioned the employees recruited. Later the investigators got to know that the consulting firms did not involve in the recruitment process.


Fake vendors at BharatPe

On the other hand, the BharatPe founder controversy also revealed that the company was dealing with some vendors. Those vendors were completely fake. Moreover, the transactions involves and the value that such vendors related to were inflated. Before the BharatPe founder controversy also, BharatPe had been in contact with fake vendors. This was the second time.

Allegations Over the working of BharatPe

The Directorate General of GST Intelligence, DGGI noticed some non-existent vendors in 2021 at BharatPe. He also conducted a search operation at the headquarters of BharatPe in October. Later, the company completed all the due payments and penalties.

Final Report of Internal Audit at BharatPe

On 4th February, the Board of BharatPe released a statement after the BharatPe controversy audio clip. The board said expressed the pain they felt after facing all the allegations made against the company. However, the company requested the media and other stakeholders to wait for the final report.


Ashneer to resign from BharatPe

The conversation between Ashneer Grover and the board also lead to conflict. Ashneer recruited a law firm Karanjawala & Co. of Delhi. This decision was made to protect his over 9% stake in the company. Grover said that he will leave the company but he wants his stake of Rs.4000 crore first. On the other hand, before the final verdict over the BharatPe founder controversy, Grover was looking to sell his stake before the final verdict. A media report after the BharatPe founder controversy even discussed that Grover was willing to settle for much less.

Madhuri Jain Grover, wife of Ashneer Grover

BharatPe controversy
Source: GQIndia

Madhuri Jain Grover is the wife of Ashneer Grover. She raised her questions to Alvarez and Marshal about the leaked findings of the investigations of the Ashneer Grover controversy done earlier. She even threatened the firm with a lawsuit. This step was taken by her because their name was revealed in the findings even before the final verdict of the Ashneer Grover controversy was out.

Sumail Sameer, CEO of BharatPe

Sumail Sameer is the CEO of BharatPe. He wrote a letter to the employees and said that many rumors about the company and the Ashneer Grover controversy are on the surface. Moreover, the company has enough funds to deal with the crisis.

BharatPe fired Madhuri Jain Grover after the BharatPe controversy

Later, through the internal audit, the officials got to know that Madhuri Jain Grover has been involved in the misappropriation of funds other than the Ashneer Grover controversy. The company fired Madhuri Jain. Meanwhile, Madhuri came back on Twitter and accused the co-founders of BharatPe of saying that they treat women as objects.


Ashneer Grover is the largest shareholder of BharatPe

Ashneer later on Twitter announces that he immediately resigns from the post of the managing director of BharatPe after the Ashneer Grover controversy. He said that he and his family are facing accusations since January 2022. Ashneer is accused of being a fraud. Moreover, he is asking for his share from the company. After the Ashneer Grover controversy, the founder said that he resigns from BharatPe but would continue to be the largest shareholder of the company.

BharatPe is now working without Ashneer Grover. Earlier, the media stated that BharatPe might face a huge loss because Ashneer Grover left the company. But, according to the recent updates, BharatPe is working hard to be on track. Moreover, the company is earning great profit.


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