The top executives of a company are some of the most important people for their business. The CEOs, CFOS and other executives are actually responsible for the overall success of a company, all the significant decisions are taken by them and they are the people that keep the business together. However, we all know ‘Teamwork makes the dream work.’ Apart from the executives being the brain of the company, the employees are also the heart and a business needs both for their survival.
An employee can be said to be the most important asset of an organization, they are the ones with whose help the proper functioning of a business can happen. Although, they are the subordinates of the top executives they are as important as them. Plus the executive’s behaviour in real life shows their actual character; their behaviour makes them the person they are. Recently, a few actions of some top executives with people of lower rank have created big controversies and they are on the end of receiving backlashes. Companies are surely suffering because of that, images of those companies are crumbling down and investors are now in turmoil about who to trust and who to not.
Therefore Investors now have decided to launch investigations to examine the behaviour of founders, CEOs and other executives of a startup in their daily lives. In this article, we will find out what has led to this situation and how investigations are conducted. So without any further ado, let’s get started.
"The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel. And if your employees don't feel valued, neither will your customers." -Sybil F. Stershic
The Controversy of Ashneer Grover
This entire situation started when an audio clip of Ashneer Grover, the co-founder of BharatPe was seen doing rounds on social media where it can be heard that Grover is insulting, threatening and abusing a bank employee. Although the co-founder of BharatPe denied the accusation, Kotak has decided to take legal action against Grover for hurling abuses and using inappropriate language while communicating with the bank’s employee.
A few days later an email exchange between Hashjit Sethi of Sequoia India came up where again Grover was seen using abuses while conversing with the former. Post this scenario, Ashneer Grover decided to take a leave of absence for two months.
Similar Past Incidents
The case of Ashneer Grover was not the first one and it is certainly not going to be the last, as similar incidents are surfacing recently. As we dwell deeper, there are instances where these types of the same situations have occurred in the past. Some of the incidents are:
- The former CEO of Flipkart, Binny Bansal shocks the world when he resigns from his position after he faced allegations of serious personal misconduct in 2018, an investigation was conducted followed by the allegations.
- In 2018, ICICI Bank’s then CEO and managing director Chanda Kochhar faced allegations of nepotism and multiple agency probes against her, this situation led to her quitting her job.
- Another instance happened when Manu Sawhney, the CEO of ICC was instructed to go on leave when an investigation by a UK based agency happened where it shows his behavioural misconduct. He was allegedly behaved arrogantly and was firing employees without any proper reason plus he was also bullying many staff members. This led to an investigation and he was asked to go on leave.
- In 2022, fashion E-commerce site, Zilingo suspended Ankiti Bose, the Chief executive and Indian founder of the E-commerce site for some alleged irregularities in the accounting part of the company. This has led to her suspension which is valid till 5th May 2022.
Why Investors are Investigating Top Executives?
The step was taken after the controversial situation of BharatPe’s Co-founder Ashneer Grover arose. Investors are now concerned so they are taking the help of investigating firms and forensic teams of known accounting companies to conduct an investigation on the behaviours of top executives. These things are done to make sure:
- There will be no controversies regarding their behaviour which may lead to a bad image of the startup.
- To decrease the chances of fraud-related issues in the company in the future.
Misbehaviour of top executives is actually a red flag for the investors that things might go wrong in the near future if they carry on with their behaviour. If a wrong executive is hired, it will harm the brand image of the company.
What Are the Important Things Investigators Are Investing?
A person behaviour’s toward their subordinates or the people who are of lesser rank shows the actual personality of a person. A startup depends on the hard work and the passion that can be found in the executives but its image also depends on the character of the key executives. The work culture of a company is extremely important. The key things of executives that are getting investigated are:
- Their behaviour with their subordinates.
- Their social media behaviour and if they are getting into petty arguments that are not necessary.
- If they have any illegal substances with them or consume them.
- If there is any traffic violation done by them.
Just because someone is in a higher position doesn’t mean that they have the right to misbehave with others. Being humble and kind is never a mistake; in fact, it gives a safe feeling to your subordinates that they are in the right company. Toxic culture will only lead to bad performance as well as a bad image of the . also helps in strengthening the brand image of the company.
Why are investors investigating top executives?
After the Ashneer Grover controversy, many investors were worried about getting their brand image tarnished which led them to investigate top execs' behaviour.
What are the things investigators are investing against the top executives?
Investors are hiring firms to investigate the behaviour of founders and top executives on social media and their behaviour towards their employees.