BharatPe paid founder Ashneer Grover Rs. 1.7 crore in FY22
The pay packages of BharatPe's top brass in FY22 are now out. As per a statement filed with the Registrar of Companies (RoC), the fintech company paid Rs. 1.69 crore and Rs. 63 lakh to founder Ashneer Grover, and his wife Madhuri Jain Grover, respectively. To note, the firm ousted the duo last year over allegations of fund misappropriation.
Why does this story matter?
- For almost a year, BharatPe has been engaged in a legal battle with Ashneer Grover.
- Now, with the company releasing its financial statement, the brawl is only getting worse.
- Grover has accused the firm of granting ESOPs on a preferential basis, while the firm has highlighted 'material weaknesses' caused due to alleged financial misappropriation on his part.
- A leadership crisis is at play here.
How much were the others paid?
Chairperson Rajnish Kumar, a former State Bank of India chief, was paid a salary of Rs. 21.4 lakh. Founder and board member Shashvat Nakrani got Rs. 29.8 lakh, while another board member Kewal Handa received Rs. 36 lakh. Finally, former Chief Executive Officer Suhail Sameer was paid Rs. 2.1 crore. It is important to note that share-based payments are not part of these remunerations.
A look at BharatPe's financials in FY22
BharatPe incurred share-based payment expenses worth Rs. 70 crore in FY22, up 218% compared to FY21. Its salary expenses rose to Rs. 110 crore (up 116% FY22 v/s FY21), while advertising costs increased 535% YoY to Rs. 246 crore. The company's revenue from operations rose 284% YoY to Rs. 457 crore. Meanwhile, its net loss ballooned 3.5 times to Rs. 5,610 crore.
Ashneer and BharatPe are engaged in a legal battle
In March 2022, Ashneer and his wife were sacked by BharatPe. The company also stripped Ashneer of his founder's title and filed a lawsuit against him and his family, seeking Rs. 88 crore in damages for alleged financial misconduct. In the last few months, the Sequoia Capital-backed firm has witnessed a series of top-level departures. The firm has clearly not recovered from his ousting.
Majority of ESOPs granted to four executives: Grover
In response to the legal proceedings against him by the company, Grover raised concerns over employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) being granted to key executives. He penned a letter to board members and investors, wherein he claimed most of the ESOPs were given to four managerial personnel. They include general counsel Sumeet Singh, founder Shashvat Nakrani, former CEO Suhail Sameer, and chairperson Rajnish Kumar.