Ashneer Grover slams Former SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar, What is the controversy?

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BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover strongly criticized former State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Rajnish Kumar on Friday, accusing him of accomplishing nothing and using deflection as a cover. Recently, Ashneer Grover was stopped at airport from leaving India.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Grover expressed, “Starting a substantial business from scratch is an immense challenge. Even maintaining an inherited business at its current level is no easy feat. Achieving nothing and resorting to deflection for cover is the simplest path. Well done, Rajnish Kumar [or, more accurately, ‘well, nothing done’], though I question your record of overseeing the loss of $8 billion at SBI and $3 billion at BharatPe consecutively as chairman. This can hardly be concealed behind a smokescreen of legal actions against me, particularly as you aim for a hat-trick of billion-dollar write-downs with Byju’s next.”

Grover had previously criticized Kumar’s appointment, labeling it a mistake in a tweet last year. “Not just due to recent events, but because I neglected the data. Under Rajnish’s leadership as CMD, SBI stock plummeted by 25% in 3 years, equivalent to $8 billion in value destruction. Post his departure, it rose to Rs 570 [up 200%]. Data doesn’t lie!” Grover stated in a tweet.

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Rajnish Kumar assumed the role of chairman of the BharatPe board in October 2021. According to Grover, Kumar has caused a decline in BharatPe’s value, asserting that Kumar led the company to a $3 billion write-off.

In a comparative chart shared by Grover, he illustrated that the company experienced no growth or even negative impacts across various parameters, including market share and investments, after 2022.

This development follows a public dispute between BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover and CapitalMind founder and CEO Deepak Shenoy.

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Amid reports of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) investigating BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover for allegedly diverting funds from the company under the guise of recruitment services, Grover engaged in a verbal altercation with CapitalMind founder and CEO Deepak Shenoy.

Shenoy wrote on X, “Ashneer Grover allegedly funneled funds to his family using recruitment services—a well-known method for fund diversion. It was done carelessly too—backdated invoices with nonexistent bank accounts on the specified dates!”

He further stated that over Rs 53 crore was reportedly paid to such “sham” companies linked to the Grovers, which did not file GST despite charging it. “This lack of transparency is what led to the downfall. I wonder if startup investors have a policy for an annual independent review of recruitment-related payments and connections to founders; this kind of ‘fund diversion’ is quite common,” Shenoy wrote.

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In response, Ashneer Grover shared a tweet asserting that he would be the “last man standing” at the conclusion of the BharatPe controversy.

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