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NEW DELHI: BharatPe’s managing director Ashneer Grover may have taken a voluntary leave from the payments company till the end of March but will continue to be seen on television reality series Shark Tank India which he appears on, along with four investors who listen to entrepreneurs pitch business ideas. 

The current season of the show that airs on Sony Entertainment Television has already been shot and will continue till 4 February, said a person familiar with the development.

Sony did not respond to Mint’s queries on whether there are plans to remove or replace Grover amid the controversies surrounding him. Grover has been in the line of fire since an audio clip went viral on Twitter on 5 January, where he was heard threatening a bank executive at Kotak Wealth Management, an arm of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. In the conversation that allegedly happened over a phone call, Grover was heard berating the private banker for failing to secure a loan for him to buy shares in Nykaa’s initial public offering. 

In a 9 January statement, Kotak Mahindra Bank said it was considering taking legal action against Grover. According to a Mint report, Grover has been on leave ever since the tussle between him and Kotak Mahindra Bank became public.

Shark Tank India, adapted from an American reality series, that shows entrepreneurs making business presentations to a panel of five investors or sharks, who decide whether to invest in their companies, has seen lot of buzz on Twitter. Investors and startup founders have been debating on the show which has also clinched varying sponsorship deals with edtech firm upGrad, e-commerce site Flipkart and automobile manufacturer KIA Motors for TV channel Sony Entertainment Television. 

Streaming service SonyLIV has upGrad, Acko General Insurance, Black Dog Drinking Soda, Cashfree Payments, Flipkart, and Dell Technologies in different partnership roles. It has been conceptualised by Sony’s own content creation arm StudioNEXT.

The company did not say if there were plans to launch season 2 of the show.

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