Managing Director and Co-Founder at BharatPe: Ashneer Grover of the $3 billion fintech BharatPe, has taken a voluntary leave of absence until the end of March amid mounting scrutiny and pressure over his abusive language to a Kotak employee, BharatPe's toxic culture, and abrasive behavior on the show Shark Tank. The startup's destructive work culture, led by Grover, has also been widely covered in recent years.

BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover has "advised" the business's board of his decision to take a "voluntary leave of absence" until the end of March, the company said in a statement, over a month after an audio clip of him assaulting a Kotak Mahindra Bank employee surfaced.

“Ashneer Grover, our co-founder, and MD (managing director) has today informed the Board of his decision to take a voluntary 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 statement read.

Ashneer Grover told the company's board about his decision to go on leave, the company said in a statement.

"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," it said.

"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 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."

The statement added that in Mr. Grover's absence, the company "will continue to be ably led by our CEO Suhail Sameer and our strong management team".

Mr. Grover was embroiled in a major issue after the Kotak Mahindra bank accused him of using offensive language in a phone call to a Kotak Group employee.

A pair appeared to shout obscenities at a bank relationship manager in an audio clip that leaked on social media.

BharatPe is used by over 75 lakh shops across 150 cities. The company has facilitated the disbursement of loans worth over Rs 3,000 crore to its merchants since its establishment. BharatPe has raised about $650 million in equity and debt to date. 
In a statement, Kotak Mahindra acknowledged Grover and his wife's legal notice, saying, "It was received by us and was responded to appropriately at the time, including placing on record our objections to unacceptable language used by Grover." "Appropriate legal action is being pursued," the statement continued.

Ashneer Grover, on the other hand, is a blunt person by nature and in business. Even his introduction on the Shark Tank India Show was notable, with him declaring that he is a straightforward person, but the Kotak Mahindra Matters chased him down.

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