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  • Writer's pictureBarsha Singh

What is driving significance of Shark Tank in India

The Indian Middle Class is recognised for being a risk-averse and cautious investor. A huge portion of the older generation incorrectly labels financial investments in volatile markets like stocks, bonds, and cryptocurrencies as "taking a chance" on unknown results, preferring to adhere to time-tested fixed deposits and physical assets like gold. However, as the epidemic swept the globe for the last two years or so, more than a crore stock trading accounts were registered in 2020 alone, more than doubling the number of accounts opened in the previous three years. During the same year, the stock market saw an unparalleled bull run, with returns rising and even inexperienced investors (VCs/ Angel Investors) reaping above-average gains. With around 7% of the Indian population holding some number of decentralised currencies, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, there has been a cycle of increasing and dropping values.

Despite the fact that the stock market has been in freefall for the past few weeks and the digital asset space has been gripped by uncertainty and fear, esoteric financial terms such as equity, IPO, D2C, branding, scalability, and others have finally made their way to our dinner tables and living rooms thanks to a reality television show called Shark Tank India.

The Indian version of the worldwide renowned programme Shark Tank, which aired for a seven-week initial season at 9 p.m., was quickly accepted and admired by all members of the average Indian family, from 70-year-old grandparents to 16-year-old youngsters. Sharks, called investors (Vcs/ Angel Investors), spend their money in the country's greatest pitches in this Sony Entertainment Television business reality series, which is based on its American equivalent.

The show's structure is straightforward: young entrepreneurs from all around India pitch their creative ideas and firms to a team of judges known as Sharks, who are themselves industry titans. The entrepreneurs 'pitch' the Sharks on the solutions they've devised in response to any societal challenge, highlighting their current accomplishments and sales data, as well as their long-term profitability and sustainability ambitions. In order to'scale' their enterprises, they approach the Sharks for money, or financial assistance, in return for a part of their company's stock. The Sharks then select whether or not to invest their money based on their experience, curiosity, and faith in the company's founders.

Shark Tank India, like every other Indian programme, has elements of emotional appeasement and dramatisation. But, in my view, in order to absorb such a novel notion of reality television, our emotionally driven culture needs an occasional dosage of sentimental material.

As a result, such annoyance must be overlooked for the larger benefit. In a nation with 261 million individuals in their twenties, such a large workforce can only be efficiently employed by increasing young engagement in the Indian economy's private sector and the thriving start-up ecosystem.

Shark Tank has inspired the conservation in Indian households that is required to bring about a large-scale change in the ordinary people's thinking. When similar efforts are made to familiarise society with the concept of gaining meaningful employment in newly founded companies rather than deeming government jobs as the pinnacle of one's profession, stigmatised entrepreneurial ventures are expected to gain more acceptance and support through such shows.

As entrepreneurship becomes more prevalent in mainstream conversations, it will become a more important academic topic in all sectors of higher education, and it will become an essential element of school and college curriculam.

For the last 13 years, Shark Tank USA has been shown on television. In its first season, the show's Indian adaption was a huge hit. I don't claim that a TV show can transform an entire country, but the Indian Sharks have become a household name; they are being portrayed as celebrities in the media; their middle-class background is being romanticised by their fanbase, and people now see the once alien world of dark-suited businessmen as within their reach, because the suited men appear to be like them, with the exception that the men had the courage to dream bisexually.

Their Self-made' fortunes of millions of dollars shatters the generally held image of enterprises being a monopoly of a few established elites and 'outsiders' being unwanted in the market, as founders of billion-dollar firms like Lenskart, BharatPe, Mamaearth, Sugar, BoAt, and However, such widespread beliefs are mostly false. What took 50 years to build may now be completed in five years. Today's young have the technological knowledge and problem-solving ability to be disruptors and revolutionaries in numerous areas, displacing old monopolies with new market participants. That is exactly what Shark Tank and its Sharks teach us.

Entrepreneurship and high-risk-to-reward investments, which are the nursery of innovation and economic progress, should not be frowned upon in our culture. Despite being quite technical, Shark Tank is addicting and entertaining for individuals of various backgrounds, demonstrating the country's willingness to maintain its place in the ever-changing global world.

Even with a $2000 per capita GDP, a large portion of the population is still struggling to make ends meet. However, a large segment of our youthful workforce is increasingly seeking for ways to meet their psychological requirements, particularly those related to self-esteem.

Shark Tank India is hoping to catch the attention of those who are listening.

What is the Shark Tank's relevance in India?

1. Encouraging the Startup Ecosystem to Grow

  • With a potential audience of 500 million individuals aged 15 to 44, the events (and those like them in the future) have the potential to encourage mass entrepreneurship.

  • We will be able to expand startup talent by increasing the number of job creators rather than job seekers. This is because prospective entrepreneurs are more likely to collaborate with other founders to learn the ropes.

  • As the number of startups grows, we may anticipate ESOPs to become more common. All of this would be aided by the ecosystem's overall expansion and the proliferation of unicorns.

2. Creating a transformation in thinking

  • Many of us have been raised with a cautious attitude toward advancement. As a result, job hunting takes precedence over entrepreneurship. Hopefully, we will see a movement toward establishing a 10x attitude toward development, following in the footsteps of the show's participants.

  • A conservative attitude is accompanied with a reluctance to accept failure or criticism. My aim is that the judges, who are all successful entrepreneurs, would open up about their struggles and failures, removing the stigma of failure. As Sheryl Sandberg puts it, you fail by default if you live so carefully for fear of failure that you don't take any chances at all.

3. Educating the general public

  • How many of us, even after graduating from college, are aware of the process for receiving money in exchange for equity? Or, to put it another way, how to increase the value of your stock. Alternatively, how might debt or equity be used to boost growth? We should expect to witness cascading consequences as these concepts become more popular in our daily language thanks to mainstream television.

  • As the need for additional cash for expansion grows, a basic comprehension of financial concepts might act as a catalyst for formalisation. Formal businesses have easier access to financing and financial markets, which gives them a higher chance of succeeding. (India has 65 million businesses compared to 24 million in the United States, but the United States is 8 times the size of India due to their firms' access to stock, debt, and money markets.

4. Intentional learning is on the rise

  • Repetitive learning has doomed many bright brains to a life of boredom. When we want to innately figure something out, we learn best. My aim is that exhibits like these would raise demand for DIY equipment, therefore boosting the creative economy.

  • At this point, everything is just wishful thinking, which may or may not come true. However, a pattern has already begun to emerge as a result of the material that has been published. The second and third order ramifications are up to interpretation, but given the rate of growth, I don't think we'll have to wait long to find out.

Having a desire to make a difference

The channel and production company have said that they are committed to "creating programming with a purpose." According to their research, the sharks spent about Rs 42 crore in 67 local firms during the first season. While the 62,000 submissions and 198 pitches on-air were the greatest achievement for Danish Khan, "Seeing those dreams come true was amazing."

The Shark Tank India crew is also pleased that they were able to contribute to a cultural change in India. It is a triumph that entrepreneurs are better appreciated, and that parents are pushing their children to start a firm rather than work in a pointless job. 'Nothing succeeds more than success,' according to the producer, and the difference has been instantaneous with this programme.

'Shark Tank' Turned Indian VCs Into Rockstars

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