A little over a year ago when Shark Tank first premiered on Indian screens, not many of us could have guessed its impending impact. To say that it would capture the imagination of an entire country would seem like a bit of a stretch. However, by late December 2021, it had become clear that this isn’t just another TV show.
With judges, otherwise referred to as Sharks on the show, upping the intensity of the show with their banter and occasional competitive streak, the show often explores the depths of human emotions and brings about moments of genuine inspiration.
Even the startups appearing on the show, whether or not they cracked a deal, have seen a massive uptick in their traffic.
To give you some examples; Kombucha brand ‘Atmosphere’ saw a 16.6 times growth in their revenue whereas their website traffic grew 340 times after appearing on the show. The revolutionary regional OTT platform ‘Stage’ saw 2.6 times growth on their website/app traffic. Tea brand ‘Tea Fit’ saw 38 times growth after appearing on the show and got sold out in a matter of 24 hours.
The show has created some big waves in the Indian entrepreneurship world, inspiring thousands of startups to take their dreams to the next level.
Each Shark has razor sharp business acumen and a keen understanding of how the Indian markets work. It takes years of hustle and unflinching determination to get to a stage where one can see through every pitch in a matter of minutes.
While some participating start ups end up getting investment by the sharks, others aren’t necessarily that lucky. However, no matter what the outcome of a pitch is, every participating start up leaves after having learned a few valuable business lessons from the Sharks.
Hence, we bring you 6 invaluable business lessons that every business can learn from the Sharks of Shark Tank India:
1. Deploy Technology to Scale Your Business – Shark Peyush Bansal (Lenskart CEO)
Peyush Bansal’s Lenskart.com is one of the finest examples of how a business can use technology to scale its operations in a country as vast and diverse as India. Started by an ex-techie from Microsoft with no money, Lenskart.com used technology effectively and efficiently to scale its operations from one city to over 1000 stores across 223 cities in just India.
In the second season of the show, Peyush has invested INR 1crore for 5 % equity in Neomotion, a start-up that aims to empower the differently-abled to move around independently.
Needless to say every person who has watched the show has taken home Peyush’s advice of using technology effectively to scale their operations.
2. ‘One Person’s Trash is Another Person’s Treasure’ – Namita Thapar (ED, Emcure Pharmaceuticals)
Namita Thapar has that rare knack of finding potential in something that others have rejected. Her famous line ‘Yeh kachra nahi hain it has a lot of potential’ brought hope to a lot of entrepreneurs who have been dealing with rejections. Namita’s passion and determination has seen Emcure Pharmaceuticals go from Rs. 500 crore in 2007 to Rs. 6,000 crores today.
In the second season of the show, Namita invested INR 1 crore for 2.5% equity with INR 20 crore sales target in Janitri, a start up that aspires to provide a trouble-free experience to expectant mothers, enabling them to take better care of their infants.
3. Looking at the bigger picture – Anupam Mittal (Founder, Shaadi.com)
Anupam Mittal has carved a respectable and unique space for himself in the world of Indian entrepreneurship. His clarity of thought and articulated business sense has earned him legions of fans. However, his biggest strength is looking at the micro picture of a newly found startup and imagining what the bigger picture would look like. In an over-saturated world of Indian matrimony that relies largely on interpersonal relationships, Mittal managed to create an online database by launching a global matrimony brand like shaadi.com. The thought of finding one’s soulmate online was unheard of back in 1996 when the website was first launched.
Since then, Anupam Mittal has invested in multiple startups that provide big scale solutions despite being at the nascent stage. The most prominent of them is Ola, the popular cab service.
Whether an entrepreneur ends up getting a deal from the show or not, no one stays untouched by the wisdom of Mr. Mittal.
Anupam is spreading his wisdom in the second season with some impeccable deals. One of them is with Peyush Bansal to invest INR 90 lakhs for 3 % equity in Solinas, a startup that’s revolutionizing the water and sanitation industry by leveraging robotics and AI.
4. Learn to say no – Aman Gupta (CMO, boat)
Aman Gupta might be the most entertaining of Sharks on the show currently. His confidence, relatability and ingenuity rings a bell with most of us. However, one of his most potent lessons from the show has been the line ‘Socho mat, mana kar do’. To have the confidence to say no when you’re being undervalued is a skill most of us need in life. Aman’s confidence in his skills has made him decline pitches where his contribution was being undermined. Hence, his advice to various entrepreneurs on the show has been to say no when they’re being undervalued. Aman started boAt with Sameer Mehta in 2016 and by FY 2022, boAt’s revenue had grown to INR 2,886.4 Cr. Such is the confidence Aman possesses in his skills.
One of the more prominent deals Aman has done in the second season of the show is in collaboration with Namita where they have invested INR 30 lakhs for 3% equity in Atypical Advantage, a platform that aims to generate livelihoods for people with disabilities.
5. The importance of Mathematics -- Vineeta Singh (CEO, Sugar Cosmetics)
Vineeta is one of the sharpest sharks on the show who has a knack of doing complex business calculations at the tips of her fingers. Other than having a clear vision for big businesses, Vineeta knows the importance Maths plays in running a big business.
In a recent interview, Vineeta said “At the end of the day, your job is to create profit for the company, which is all numbers, and if you don't have a good understanding, it could be hard”.
Back in 2012, behemoths like Lakmé, L'Oréal, and MAC Cosmetics controlled the Indian cosmetics industry. Looking at this and after a lot of market research, Vineeta launched Sugar Cosmetics which gradually defeated a slew of domestic and international competitors to become India’s fastest growing cosmetic brand. Currently the brand has over 2500 stores in over 130 cities. Vineeta gives her analytical and mathematical skills a lot of credit for this growth.
In the second season of the show, Vineeta joined hands with Aman to invest INR 65 lakhs for 2% equity in Birds of Paradyes, which is a ground-breaking semi-permanent hair color company.
6. 'Pehle Banda, Phir Dhandha' -- Amit Jain (CEO, CarDekho.com)
CarDekho.com's CEO Amit Jain has often laid stress on the skills of an entrepreneur over the future prospects of a business. He firmly believes that it's the entrepreneur who creates a business and not the other way around.
Amit Jain has a special knack of observing an entrepreneur's skills and determination. Even in the show, Amit Jain has taken bets on entrepreneurs more than lucrative business.
In the second season, Amit Jain invested INR 72 lakhs for 6.5% equity in Dobiee Foods, a candy brand that aims to spark creativity and mischievousness with their vibrant colors amongst the kids.
The show wouldn’t have been half as successful had it not been for its Sharks. Their deep understanding of the marketplace, their business acumen and competitiveness to acquire a deal has made Shark Tank India a household name. Social media has completely embraced the show and its Sharks, launching thousands of memes across various platforms. The judges of Shark Tank India reflect the future of India’s entrepreneurial spirit. The day isn’t far when one of the participating start up founders will appear on the show as a Shark themselves.
Catch Shark Tank India streaming on Sony Liv.