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BharatPe appoints exec from Alvarez & Marsal as interim CFO; search for permanent CFO in “advanced stages”

BharatPe has appointed an executive from Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) as its interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The fintech unicorn said it is in “advanced stages” to appoint a permanent one, Economic Times (ET) reported, citing an interview with Chairman Rajnish Kumar.

Moreover, the board, founders, and management are exploring taking the firm public in the next 18-24 months and adding more independent directors in the future, Rajnish said.

BharatPe did not immediately respond to YS’s request for a comment to confirm the veracity of the story.

“As far as the company is concerned, the business is doing well, and numbers are good. Even for March, we are expecting all the numbers will be very good. So, there is no impact on business,” Rajnish was quoted by ET.

He added there have been “investor queries” for funding the company, and despite the negative press the fintech firm has been receiving, he expects the startup’s valuation to be several notches above its last round at $2.8 billion.

BharatPe has been embroiled in controversy since a Kotak Mahindra Bank employee uploaded a voice recording of himself in conversation with co-founder Ashneer Grover, where the latter is heard verbally castigating the banker after he failed to secure him an allotment in Nykaa’s IPO.

BharatPe’s Ashneer Grover

Despite denying the incident in a now-deleted tweet, the viral video caused enough scandal to force the BharatPe board into sanctioning an investigation into Grover, covering aspects such as financial irregularities under his and his wife’s stewardship.

His wife, Madhuri Jain Grover, was fired from her position at BharatPe in February as a result of this investigation, and Ashneer resigned on March 1, citing “baseless and targetted attacks”.

Since then, the controversy has devolved into the celebrated fintech founder, who cut quite the acerbic taskmaster figure on Shark Tank India, being mocked for owning a Rs 10 crore dining table and selling BharatPe’s IPL tickets — which followed his rebuttal that his co-founder, Suhail Sameer, owns a BMW.

More importantly, Ashneer has attacked Rajnish and the board in a letter, stating the entire governance review was a “facade” riddled with “premeditation, bias. and prejudice”.

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