about 15 days ago
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This is probably the silliest thing we have ever heard, reconfirming again and again that we all are increasingly living in a mad, mad, mad world.

Imagine suing a bank because it did not give you money to invest in an IPO due to which you suffered a notional loss!!!

That’s precisely what Ashneer Grover, founder of BharatPe did in Oct’21. He actually has sent a legal notice to Kotak Mahindra Bank, seeking damages of Rs 500 crore against a notional loss that Grover and his wife had allegedly incurred because of the bank not providing them with funds to subscribe to the initial public offer (IPO) of the beauty cosmetic firm Nykaa. How much more preposterous can this get!!! Adding further fuel to fire, Grover also sought damages of Rs 1 lakh for the cost of the legal notice. Should one be laughing at this or cry over where we all are headed?

Grover said that despite repeated assurances from Kotak that they will lend the money for investing in the IPO, at a much advanced stage, the Bank refused, citing some inconsequential reasons. There is legally nothing binding Kotak; it is their discretion to either lend or not lend. This seems more like an aggrieved and agitated client. But the Grovers are contesting this because they feel they could have easily garnered funds from elsewhere had Kotak not waited till the last moment to refuse the funding. This last moment refusal is what is contested.

Interestingly, while Kotak refused funding to Grover for Nykaa, it did provide funds to Suhail Sameer, CEO of BharatPe. This is what makes one wonder what happened between the two at the last moment? Why did things go so sour?

Grover is an ex-Kotak employee. His LinkedIn profile shows that he was VP Investment Banking of Kotak from 2006 to 2013. Even after leaving Kotak, he chose Kotak for managing his personal wealth.  And prior to this, Kotak did provide IPO funding to Grover for Zomato and CarTrade. So, what went wrong for this refusal at the last moment for Nykaa?

That’s not all. Grover is now receiving a lot of flak for a leaked audio clip, allegedly between him, his wide and an employee of Kotak Wealth Management, wherein Grover has used a lot of abusive language for this ‘notional loss.’ The voices are now growing, questioning the high-handed behaviour of Grover.

Grover went on to call this audio clip a fake but soon removed his tweet and the clip too vanished after Kotak said that it has placed on record objections to inappropriate language used by Grover.

This fight between Grover and Kotak is ugly but does raise a lot of questions about HNIs getting IPO funding. Both, the unethical use of language by Grover and the refusal by Kotak, both need some deep digging.

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