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ShopClues board backs Radhika-Sethi over ousted founder Aggarwal

business Updated: Mar 15, 2017 10:57 IST
Sunny Sen

File photo of ShopClues CEO, Sanjay Sethi.(Livemint)

In a turn of events, two days after Sandeep Aggarwal, ousted co-founder of ShopClues took to Facebook against co-founders Radhika Ghai and Sanjay Sethi, the e-commerce firm’s board backed Ghai and Sethi and instilled faith in the current management.

In his Facebook posts, Sandeep Aggarwal said that his wife Radhika was having an illicit relationship with Sethi, who is also the company’s CEO.

While Aggarwal in his long Facebook posts claimed that Ghai and Sethi were not the perfect entrepreneurs and they changed web history and company facts, the board, represented by ShopClues’ largest investors Helion Venture Partners and Nexus Venture Partners, thinks otherwise.

In a statement issued late evening on Tuesday, the board said that under Ghai and Sethi, the company with its “differentiated business model” has grown 30 times.

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The board’s statement also contradicts Aggarwal’s claim that Radhika became the vice-president of the company without any significant experience. He also wrote that Sethi and Ghai were below average executives who “got lucky” because of him.

While Radhika chose to remain silent, the board said, “It is very disappointing to see an ex-founder, who disassociated from the company for his criminal wrong doings, is now engaged in a personal vendetta on a public forum.”

Aggarwal had been accused of insider trading in US – while he was an equity research analyst in San Francisco – in relation to a strategic Internet search and advertising deal between Microsoft Corporation and Yahoo! Inc. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had arrested him.

According to an internal note, copy of which is with HT, chronicles that Aggarwal was released on bail on July 30, 2013. Four months later, Aggarwal stepped down from the position of the CEO and became a consultant. Sethi became the CEO and Radhika joined the board.

On November 8, Aggarwal pled guilty in Manhattan Federal Court and as a result he had to give up his role in ShopClues as director.

For ShopClues that was founded in 2011 and is one of the few startups valued at over a billion dollars, the board said has a “capital efficient approach”, especially at a time when Indian e-commerce firms such as Flipkart and Snapdeal, are struggling. “Our goal is to create value for all stakeholders and we remain focused on working closely with Radhika (Ghai) and Sanjay (Sethi), and the management team to continue to scale the company as it captures the massive opportunity which lies ahead of us,” the board wrote.