New Delhi, November 20: The Board members of Religare, a leading financial services player, have issued a robust statement refuting recent media accusations against the company and its leadership, particularly targeting Dr. Rashmi Saluja, the Executive Chairperson.
In a resolute response, the Board expressed its astonishment and disappointment at the allegations, highlighting that they extend beyond Dr. Rashmi to constitute a targeted attack on the entire Management and Board.
The Board dismissed the accusations against Religare and its leadership as baseless, asserting that the allegations, especially those against Dr. Rashmi Saluja, are not only misleading but also an effort to tarnish the hard-earned reputation of the company.
Emphasizing the tireless efforts of the past five years, the Board showcased the transformation of Religare into a debt-free organization. During this period, Religare successfully completed a one-time settlement of RFL (Religare Finvest Limited), contributing over Rs 9000 crores to the country’s banking system through organic collections and payments.
Furthermore, the overall growth of all businesses within the Religare Group has led to a remarkable increase in the company’s market capitalization, reaching about a billion dollars from a low of under USD 100 million in March 2018.
The Board categorically denied all allegations raised by certain individuals with vested interests, providing a detailed breakdown to address specific points of contention:
- Dr. Rashmi Saluja denies being informed of the proposed Open Offer during a meeting on September 20.
- The sale of shares, including Dr. Saluja’s liquidation of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOPs), was a standard process initiated days before the mentioned meeting.
- Approvals for financing, pledges, revocation, and sales were obtained before the meeting.
- ESOPs granted to Dr. Rashmi Saluja were in conformity with insurance regulator guidelines.
- Remuneration includes the perquisite value of exercised ESOPs, not of unexercised ones.
- Performance-linked remuneration approved by the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Board, and Shareholders.
- Reappointed in February 2023 for a second term with shareholder approval.
- The claim of an annual remuneration of over Rs 150 Cr is false; as per the Annual Report for the financial year (FY) 22-23, it was Rs 8.12 Cr.
The Board also highlighted the significant achievements during the resurgence of Religare:
- A remarkable story of revival, completion of a One-Time Settlement, turning profitable, and being poised for growth.
- Positioned as India’s second-largest standalone health insurance company, consistently well-funded, and recognized for its omnichannel strategy.
- A successful turnaround from being considered a divestment candidate to one of the best RoE businesses within the Group.
- A consistent track record of profitability while servicing and repaying all debt obligations.
The Board underscored Religare’s impeccable compliance and governance culture, addressing past issues to enhance the quality and value of its businesses. The company stands ready to offer its support to relevant authorities for further clarification.