Ashnir Grover-Bharatpe Late Monday night (February 26) the story took a big turn. Grover sent his resignation letter to the company’s board. His wife resigned a few days later Madhuri Jain The company’s managing director was fired for fraud.
In the letter, Grover said he was resigning in an investigation that is currently underway to investigate financial fraud at the company. “I am writing this with a heavy heart because today I am being forced to say goodbye to a company of which I am one of the founders. My family has been the target of unprovoked and targeted attacks by individuals who are prepared to harm not only me and my reputation but also the company’s reputation, which they are clearly trying to protect. ”
Here is the full text of the letter published in the Economic Times.
I am writing this with a heavy heart because today I am being forced to say goodbye to an organization of which I am a founder. I would like to say that today this company stands as a leader in the world of fintech. Since the beginning of 2022, unfortunately, I have been the target of unprovoked and targeted attacks on me and my family by individuals who are prepared to harm not only me and my reputation, but also the company’s reputation, which they are obviously trying to protect.
From being the face of Indian entrepreneurs and inspiring Indian youth to build their own businesses, I am now immersing myself in a long, lonely battle against my own investors and management. Unfortunately, in this war, management has lost what it really did. In India.
Those who know me and have worked closely with me know that I believe in construction – whatever the adversity. I am a graduate of IIT Delhi – IIM Ahmedabad, the best in the Indian education system that offers. I am the child of middle-class parents who have instilled in me the values of hard work, honesty and integrity. I am a professional with an impeccable track record who has been instrumental in creating two Unicorn businesses from the very beginning, such as Grofers and BharatPe. I have not only encouraged the youth of this country to pursue their dreams but also created job opportunities for thousands of gig-economy workers in India. I am proud that my journey and growth has not only been limited to me, but has also included people who have connected with me professionally and personally. In my efforts to promote and grow the start-up ecosystem in our country, I have given back what I have earned and helped many.
I raised Bharatpi like my child. I made it with my co-founders and an amazing team of individuals. Most of the time the situation was unfavorable (to say the least) but it didn’t stop me. BharatPe was the latest entrant into the UPI space and competed with Goliath like Paytm, PhonePe and GooglePay – but still emerged as a leader in the industry. My vision was to disrupt payments with ‘0% MDR’, lending to shopkeepers with ‘loan against payment’, P2P with ‘12% club ‘and BNPL with’ postpay ‘. Through my efforts and hard work, the company has built a network of over 1 crore (10M) shoppers who transact more than Rs 100,000 crore ($ 16B) annually and lend more than Rs 4,000 crore ($ 0.5B). It is undeniable that BharatPe loans have helped millions of small businesses fight organized e-commerce and covid.
Most importantly and the only time for any fintech in India – in my relentless efforts the company has acquired a small finance bank license to create ‘Unity Small Finance Bank’. I have shown the determination and determination of PMC Bank and its one million depositors to find a solution to repay their hard-earned funds.
The height that India stands today is the result of four years of hard work. With a team of over five hundred on-roll employees, costing less than US $ 150 million in total, and raising US $ 615 Mn from ten Marquee investors without using a single banker, the success story of Bharatpi is for everyone to see. At the time of BharatPe’s commercial success, the company was providing more than Rs 100 crore liquidity to our employees against their ESOP and giving at least eighty times return to each of its 28 angel investors. According to the Series E round, the company was valued at Rs 20,000 crore (US $ 3B); Today it will be worth Rs 40,000 crore (US $ 6B), in less than a year. No other startup with a similar valuation has been able to achieve what India has achieved today using less than Rs 1,000 crore. Clearly, the success story of Bharatpi is for the world to see.
Am I fit? Like every other human being, I am sure I have stupidity. I have been told that I am very straight forward, headstrong, and have a very demanding standard when it comes to work. But it is because of these qualities that the significant growth of Bharatpi has become an industry. Unfortunately, what has happened in the recent past seems to be a battle of arrogance for the media gallery under the guise of ‘good governance’.
The basic truth is that as an investor you all have strayed so far from reality that you have forgotten what real businesses look like and you have no idea what it takes to run this enterprise day in and day out. Your approach to BharatPe is limited to the small window of your zoom meeting application, which is far from the sweat of an eyebrow to build BharatPe as a business leader. None of you, including those in India, have ever come to our office since Endemic has turned our lives upside down and tried to suffocate the economy. Not once. Not Mickey. Not Harshajit. Not fascinated. Not Teru Sun. Not Rahul. Don’t give up. No one. Despite the invitation to open our new office, none of you came. This is how you connect with Bharatpi.
Your perspective on the business and the problems in the Ivory Tower window is so colorful that you all live in that you have no connection to the humanities of the business. It is a pity that you have even lost contact with the founder. You lost contact with me. For you, the founder of this company has been pressed a button when needed. I stop being human for you. Today, you have chosen to believe gossip and rumors about me instead of open conversation. You are so easily frightened that you have no touch with reality.
The fact is that today you believe that I have served my utility and so increasingly I am only becoming a liability. And since the investor’s template is to be the villain of their part in removing an unwanted founder, you have gone ahead and done it – “Let’s call the SHA. He should be given leave on the pretext of reviewing the regime. Let’s stop his wife’s job. Let’s defame his whole family. We’re at the top of the food chain as investors – let’s make it smaller and set an example. “
When you wanted to take advantage of my personal network, you were happy to do so – today I am being treated the most shamefully.
You use us as slaves with our founders – pushing us to build our multi-billion dollar business and reduce us at will. The investor-founder relationship in India is one of the master-slaves. I am the rebellious slave who must be hanged so that no other slave would dare to be like me.
Unfortunately, I refuse to walk that path and endure this constant and shameful humiliation of me and my family. I am the person who founded this organization and built it in its enviable position today, it is not surprising that you want to overthrow me for your benefit.
So when do we end this? We end it now. While I maintain that you will not find any wrongdoing against me, I will not participate in your charade. Since you clearly believe that you can run this company better without me – I am leaving you with this challenge. Increasingly more than half the value I’ve created so far – I’m leaving you with three times the amount of funds I’ve used so far. I am resigning from the post of Managing Director of Bharatpi with immediate effect. I am also resigning as director of the board. I will continue to be the single largest individual shareholder in the company.
I founded India and built what we have today, and this identity, none of you can take away from me.