Abusive phone call purportedly between BharatPe’s founder Ashneer Grover and an employee of Kotak

Abusive call audio allegedly featuring BharatPe founder raises questions.The leaked audio of an abusive phone call purportedly between payments app BharatPe’s founder Ashneer Grover and an employee of Kotak Wealth Management has stunned the industry, raising questions about the ethics and behaviour of the high-profile fintech executive whose company has been allocated a banking license, through a joint venture.

The leaked audio clip, which first emerged online on Wednesday through anonymous social media handles, features a conversation in which Grover repeatedly abuses and threatens to get the Kotak employee killed in a so-called police encounter, or extra-judicial murder, for his failure in securing allocation of funding for Nykaa IPO.

After reports that BharatPe founder Ashneer Grover has sent a legal notice to Kotak group for not getting Nykaa IPO (initial public offering), the private lender has issued a statement, saying it received the notice and replied “appropriately”.”This notice was received by us and was replied to appropriately at the time, including placing on record our objections to inappropriate language used by Mr Grover. Appropriate legal action is being pursued,” the Kotak Bank statement said.

Grover, however, said the viral audio clip claiming to be of him verbally abusing a bank employee for not getting share allotment in Nykaa’s IPO is “fake” and is an attempt for extorting money.A tweet on Wednesday morning by an account named ‘@BabuBongo’ said ‘how rich founders treat poor bank employees’ and included an audio clip. The clip, which is about 4:29 minutes, includes an exchange between three people: two male and a female voice.

Grover, on Thursday, tweeted: “Folks. Chill. It’s a fake audio by some scamster trying to extort funds (USD 240,000 bitcoins). I refused to buckle. I’ve got more character. And, internet has got enough scamsters.”He also shared screenshots of his e-mail exchange from last month with ‘Unicon Baba’ who sought USD 240,000 in Bitcoins for “managing perception”.

The dispute between BharatPe founder Ashneer Grover and Kotak Mahindra Bank over IPO financing escalated sharply, with the bank’s wealth management unit pledging to pursue legal action over Grover’s use of abusive language and threats.

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