Give your spouse a seat at the Board: Ashneer to startup founders

Facing serious court cases filed by the company he co-founded, Ashneer Grover in his book ‘Doglapan,’ has advised startup founders to give spouses and family members a Board position and do not go by the Western concept of arm’s length and related party transactions.

Claiming that his book has created panic among BharatPe executives and this is the reason the fintech company had slapped several cases against him and his wife Madhuri Jain Grover, Ashneer said that “just because your business has capital coming in from the US, you do not have to go by their concept of management – of not involving family in business”.

“If you choose to work with your spouse, there should be no hesitation in designating them as co-founders as well as giving them a seat on the board, by virtue of their capability but also of the fact that they are invested in your success and will be the victims of your failure, like no one else,” he wrote.

Ashneer said that the investor is not above you, nor is he a validation in a legacy business.

“Aapne usko bhagwan bana liya hai (you have given him a God-like status). This was a mistake I made, and you definitely need to avoid it. Of course, since we live in a capital-deficit economy, this thinking is that much harder to implement, but success lies in never losing sight of it,” Ashneer lamented.

He further wrote that In India, though, our concept of family is entirely different, and the family occupies pride of place in our overall set-up.

“Cut to the business world and no marks for guessing that 99 per cent of profitable businesses in India are family-run,” he added.

“If I work with family, I will still give them the same rate as the market and will get the same deliverables. The added advantage that I may get is that a family member may work with me on a lower MOQ (minimum order quantity) or that they may take a credit risk on me,” wrote Ashneer.

BharatPe has slapped a civil case in the Delhi High Court asking him to repay Rs 88.6 crore he allegedly swindled at the company along with his wife and close relatives, and a criminal complaint with the Economic Offences Wing (EOW).

In yet another move, BharatPe has filed for arbitration with the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) to restrict his 1.4 per cent shareholding as well as strip him off his founder title.

20221211-175003

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