BharatPe's Ashneer Grover says he was forced out due to resentment of his popularity
In a wide-ranging interview with CNBC,Founder and erstwhile Managing Director Ashneer Grover accused the fintech startup's board and investors of resenting his popularity to outgrow that of the company.
Grover claimed — Rajnish Kumar, Chairman of BharatPe board, and CEO Suhail Sameer — two men he praised and promoted to their positions, were jealous of his personal growth.
"With me at the helm, they [Rajnish and Suhail] will always be in the shadow," said Grover. "As long as I am running the company, and I am at the helm, I will overshadow all of this. Doesn't matter how big you are, and that's become apparent to everyone after Shark Tank even more," he said.
"It is a resentment because, with the growth of the company, I have outgrown the company much more than the company itself," Grover added.
He continued saying his role at the company was vital as no one else had been able to raise money. "In this company, the only guy that's ever raised a penny is me," Grover claimed.
Since he resigned at midnight on March 1, Grover took unrestrained aim, especially at the founders and venture capital firm Sequoia.
Calling out Shailendra Singh and Harshjit Sethi of Sequoia India by name, as well as Kumar and Sameer, Grover challenged them to a public discussion of their motives.
Responding to a follow-up question on his claims his colleagues resent him, Grover said, "Anyone you want to call, let's have an open debate... You ask them [Kumar, Sameer, and the investors], why have you gone against him [Grover]?"
Finally, the BharatPe founder had an interesting choice of words for the investors, calling them "spineless" and saying he regretted trusting them.
"Where the wind blows, they [the investors] will go, because they don't have a spine of their own," lamented Grover. "I resent over trusting people, and I'm not going to ever do it again," he added.