It was 12th March 2017, when The Viral Fever (aka TVF) founder and CEO Arunabh Kumar was last seen active on Social Media. But the latter half of that day changed everything for him.
On March 12, a medium post titled “The Indian Uber – That Is TVF ” was published online, in which a former female employee of TVF accused Arunabh of molesting her multiple times.
Soon after this post went viral, some other women also made similar allegations on Arunabh Kumar.
But since the original medium post was anonymous in nature, the Mumbai police took to Twitter, requesting more women to come forward to register police complaints against him to take the investigation forward.
On April 22, 2017, he was arrested by Mumbai Police but was released on the same day after paying a bond of Rs.10,000.
Today, after three long months, Arunabh Kumar has finally spoken something directly through social media.
Here is the full text of this open letter:
The last few months have been the most challenging ones of my life, and I would like to thank my friends and family for their unwavering support.
A lot of people wanted me to say something or tell my side of the story, but I did not because I learnt the hard way what happens when you say anything in haste.
We made a grave mistake, by reacting instinctively, in our first official response. While no amount of apologies can undo the mistake, I would like to again apologize from the bottom of our hearts for letting you all down and thus humbly accept the brickbats we received from all of you for that insensitive response.
A lot has happened in the last three months which has mentally and emotionally drained me. However, I have faith and confidence that eventually the truth will prevail.
Through this all it has become clearer to me that, what was and will always continue to be most important is – TVF.
I started my entrepreneurial journey with a passion to entertain people with great stories, and my dream was to make an Indian Content company to match up to the likes of Disney & HBO.
It was and remains my dream to make content creation, which is always seen as an individual driven business, into a more organized profession, one that Indian youth can aspire for and where hundreds of storytellers could be successful. And that’s the core of TVF, a culture rooted in democratic and equal opportunities for everyone irrespective of gender, caste, and background. We grew from a bunch of passionate, talented and inexperienced novices to a team of over 200 professionals, on the foundation of this very culture.
TVF was, is, and always will be larger than any one individual, and I believe we have only just started on our path-breaking journey to be a young global organization.
In the wake of the recent personal attacks, what really breaks me is the blemish on the brand’s true promise. I have therefore taken the decision to step down as the CEO of TVF. I will be available as a mentor for the content team as they continue to deliver the stories you love us for.
I transition from this role knowing that TVF is in safe hands, handing over the reins to Dhawal Gusain, who will take on the mantle as the CEO of TVF. Dhawal has a sharp business acumen and, together with our leadership team, will keep working tirelessly to scale TVF to greater heights and bring a renewed ambition and zeal to make TVF the best place to work at, for both women and men.
Last but not the least, the biggest stakeholders of any company are its users, and we can’t thank you enough for standing by us throughout. We are indebted and grateful to you for giving us so much love and inspiration to do better. No Matter what you say, for us, it only means one thing- that you care.
TVF is nothing without you!
He again apologized for the TVF’s first official statement in response to the ‘accusing medium post’ and agreed that it was insensitive and unprofessional.
This was the first official statement by TVF:
He also announced that Mr. Dhawal Gusain would be the new CEO of TVF. Dhawal has been working with TVF since 2015 as the Chief Operating Officer ( COO ). Previously he has worked with many big companies like Hindustan Unilever and PWC etc.
Here is what Arunabh he said about Dhawal:
“Dhawal has a sharp business acumen and, together with our leadership team, will keep working tirelessly to scale TVF to greater heights and bring a renewed ambition and zeal to make TVF the best place to work at, for both women and men.”
Arunabh will continue to serve TVF as the mentor of the content creation team.