BARC: Forensic analysis alleges code of conduct breach by ex-Head, People Operation

The report alleges that Manashi Kumar misused company funds and aided people movement to carry out malpractices

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jan 21, 2021 8:57 AM
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The digital forensic analysis of the TRP scam has highlighted some more distressing information on how the former senior management at BARC not only allegedly manipulated ratings but also allegedly misused company funds and moved people to various departments to achieve certain benefits.

The analysis by the Acquiosry Risk Consulting (ARC) has claimed to have found evidence against Manashi Kumar, former Head, People Operation, BARC India. The report alleges that she was involved in activities breaching ethics and code of conduct.

The report claimed that Kumar was allegedly instrumental in shifting the control of BARC from the research domain to the business domain, which resulted in brand erosion as questions were raised on the sanctity of viewership ratings. The analysis also observed an alleged unethical trend of moving people into various departments to manipulate ratings.

Meanwhile, in response to an email query over the allegations, BARC India said, “Every employee of BARC India is expected to conform to a code of conduct & ethics and any infringement invites suitable disciplinary action. We will continue to ensure that What India Watches is reported accurately and with the utmost integrity. It’s a responsibility we owe all our stakeholders.”

Further, the auditors have claimed to have found evidence related to alleged favouring of specific vendors, bypassing of the procurement process, sharing of confidential information like commercial quotes of competing companies with favoured vendors, misusing company funds, and lack of diligence in the handling of performance-linked bonus. 

Allegedly, there was also a substantial increase in compensation for Kumar, several times higher than the company average for that year (55% increase as compared to company average —10%). As per the report, Partho Dasgupta’s salary and severance packages had allegedly increased substantially over the years.

It was also found that Kumar was allegedly heading a three-member strategy team without any formal documentation or approval.

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