Someone has rightly said – Not every end is a goal. The ending could be a beginning. And rightly so. The Season 1 of Shark Tank India aired on Sony TV ended. The show proved to be an excellent platform for homegrown tech entrepreneurs who presented products that aims to solve bigger problems the vulnerable community and differently-abled people face. Many others showcased the endless new possibilities Metaverse and emerging technologies can bring.
A lot has been discussed and talked about the show. There are endless learnings. Mind-blowing products. Excellent presentations by the founders. 66,000 companies applied for the show, and only 198 made it to the final. Out of those 198 pitches, 67 businesses got deals! Win-win for everyone.
The show swept the entire country with new energy and love for entrepreneurs and start-ups that were never seen before. That’s the power of mass media.
Here are some of the popular ones presented on the show:
Metaverse by LOKA
Founder – Krishnan Sundararajan
India’s first Metaverse gamified App, LOKA, works for Android and iOS users. The app gives real-time real-world experience to the players. LOKA is creating a Metaverse like Gamified 3D versions of Cities & Locations like Connaught Place in Delhi, Marine Drive in Mumbai, MG Road in Bengaluru, etc. These can be played by real players in real-time and concurrently.
In this Metaverse, one can visit a gym, order food, or meet friends. Another layer is called Feel, Vibe & Culture, which are small elements like Ambient Sounds, Background Noises, NPCs, Culture-Specific Virtual Goods, etc. retain the feel & relevance of the location.
Many might know Metaverse, but millions of viewers could have a sense of what the future technology holds for them for the first time. It has definitely arisen curiosity.
The product was terrific, and the highlight of this pitch was its founder Krishnan Sundararajan. He has actually won millions of hearts with his presence of mind and sense of humor.
An extract from his conversation on the show:
KS: In my team, tech people are better than me, and programmers are better than me.
Shark: How did you convince them to join you?
KS: In that, I am better.
All the best to the entrepreneur for the fantastic product.
Annie™ by Thinkerbell Labs
Founders: Sanskriti Dawle, Aman Srivastava, Dilip Ramesh, Saif Shaikh
This is a tech-driven organization trying to improve the literacy rate among the visually impaired worldwide. Their flagship innovation, Annie, is the world’s first Braille literacy device that helps visually impaired people learn to read, write, and type in Braille on their own in any medium of instruction. Through the companion app, a teacher can monitor the real-time progress of the student, schedule tests and homework. Local authorities can evaluate, analyze, compare, and remedy students through the cloud platform.
The project Annie raised Rs 1.05 crore from Lenskart founder Peyush Bansal, Emcure executive director Namita Thapar, and Shaadi.com & People Group founder Anupam Mittal.
Founder – Rohit Nandwani
A Panipat-based tech start-up, Hammer has a range of audio and fitness devices for a healthy lifestyle and comfort. In 2 years, the brand has already reached out to 1.5 lac customers. The products are available on Flipkart as well as their website.
The health fitness device is one of the fasted growing segments, especially after the pandemic. No wonder the Founder, Rohit Nandwani, received good funding from the show.
More tech entrepreneurs were featured on the show.
Torchit envisions empowering differently-abled persons worldwide to lead more independent, meaningful, and connected lives through the use of simplistic, effective, and affordable assistive devices.
AAS Vidyalaya, India’s first virtual school is trying to solve the problem of availability and accessibility of good quality education by bringing the school to the children instead of children to the school.
Click to read more about these initiatives.
The show was an inspiration for start-up tech entrepreneurs and other products. It has rightly set the tone for more Indians to think of the range of possibilities. Social media pages like LinkedIn and Instagram have been at the forefront to give such entrepreneurs visibility for decades. Nonetheless, the kind of visibility that these entrepreneurs received on a TV show would work wonder for them.
As rightly pointed out by Anupam Mittal, Founder, People Group and Shaadi.com, and one of the sharks at the Shark Tank in a note in LinkedIn, the show has been the catalyst that will change India’s entrepreneurial landscape forever.
Starting-up just got a whole lot more diverse, inclusive and sexy in #India. Don’t take my word for it. Here are some cool 😎 facts …
67 businesses got deals in the tank this season out of 198 pitches (which itself is a record of sorts), of which –
59 [87%] had founders with no IIT/IIM degrees 👍
45 [67%] had at least one co-founder <25 years 🤩
40 [60%] had never been funded previously ❤️
29 [43%] had at least one woman co-founder 🦸♀️
20 [30%] were from Tier II/III & rural India 🥳
18 [27%] had couples/families as co-founders 👫
The show is actually a starting point for thousands of Indians to garner their courage and think further and beyond. It was a win-win situation for all – equally for the hundreds of budding and to-be entrepreneurs. This was a good learning ground for them which could be summarized as:
- How to prepare for funding-pitch
- To be data-savvy, with figures at fingertips
- Good products are valued
- Good marketing strategy is as important as a quality product
- A good team with diverse expertise is key
- Conviction – no matter what, one should not compromise on a company’s valuation for the sake of immediate funding
As Anupam Mittal rightly said in his note – We cannot win if we don’t take everyone along ✊🏼