Entrepreneurs Who Had It All And Lost It

In the latest of multiple updates regarding his professional life, BharatPe Co-Founder Ashneer Grover resigned today from the company. Although Grover is the man of the moment, controversially speaking, there are a whole range of entrepreneurs out there who had it all and then lost it. Vijay Mallya, Rahul Yadav of Housing.com and VG Siddhartha, the founder Cafe Coffee Day are some of the entrepreneurs we discuss here.

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In the latest of multiple updates regarding his professional life, BharatPe Co-Founder Ashneer Grover resigned today from the company. Just a few days ago it was his wife, Madhuri Jain Grover who had been sacked due to alleged financial irregularities which included producing fake invoices to billing the company for beauty treatments.

In a letter addressed to the BharatPe board, Grover said. "I write this with a heavy heart as today I am being forced to bid adieu to a company of which I am a founder. I say with my head held high that today this company stands as a leader in the fintech world. Since the beginning of 2022, unfortunately, I've been embroiled in baseless and targeted attacks on me and my family by a few individuals who are ready not only to harm me and my reputation but also harm the reputation of the company, which ostensibly they are trying to protect."

The reason Grover has been so prominently in the news is because of the meme worthy fame he found through the reality show Shark Tank India. Although Grover is the man of the moment, controversially speaking, there are a whole range of entrepreneurs out there who had it all and then lost it.

The triumvirate of Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi have been the favourite punching bags of news anchors who constantly froth at the mouth, the most famous of these of course being Vijay Mallya, once lauded as India's liquor baron, who was always surrounded by beautiful air hostesses, glamorous Bollywood stars but who did go a tad bit too far when he got Enrique Iglesias to perform at his mega birthday bash while thousands of his Kingfisher Airlines employees were protesting about not being paid salaries. He moved to Britain in March 2016 and his problems have only multiplied since then, with the Income Tax Department, Central Bureau of Investigation and several others investigating him.

As of last week, ₹ 18,000 crore has been returned to banks from Nirav Modi,Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya. But the way things are going, expect atleast one more Netflix series on Mallya's life to be made.

The poster boy of young entrepreneurship in India, Rahul Yadav of Housing.com became a classic case of becoming too big for ones boots. Founding the site in 2012 to fill up the housing shortage in India, by 2015 he was the hottest entrepreneur on the block. But that same year saw a reversal of his fortunes.

In June 2015, he was fired by the company citing "his behaviour towards investors, ecosystem and the media". This was after a mail of his went viral which he had sent to investor Shailendra Singh threatening to "vacate the firm" if they didn't stop "messing around" with him. While he slowly nurses his wounds, one has a feeling that this is one kid who will make a comeback.

The last entrepreneur I would like to mention today is VG Siddhartha, the founder "Cafe Coffee Day.' If a study is ever conducted it is possible that his coffee chain outlets were the place where the maximum number of young Indians had their first, fifthh and last dates. Most of us have very fond memories of our college dates waiting for that special someone to walk in while we waited with bated breath.

But for the founder, things were turning ugly behind the scenes. In September 2017, a tax raid was conducted on over 20 of his locations in Mumbai, Bangalore and others. With mounting financial woes, was found dead on July 31, 2019 near Mangalore. He had been missing since July 29.

The stories of entrepreneurs who had a fall from grace are too many to list here, but their contributions to our everyday life are tremendous. Take for example this very space from where I am writing this article, an entire building in Andheri East, Mumbai of the co-working company WeWork, founded by Adam Neumann, who has been described as a narcissist, delusional, manipulative and certain other words which I can't even mention in this article.