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Shark Tank Judges and Their Financial Realities in 2023

The world of entrepreneurship saw a massive attraction for the popular TV show- ‘Shark Tank’. The show seems promising enough to the audience and most budding entrepreneurs as it is a perfect platform for innovative ideas and lucrative partnerships. The ‘sharks’ on the show invest and ideate in new and exciting young businesses, helping entrepreneurs in India grow their ventures. But the question arises, are these sharks competent enough to judge or ideate other companies where they face drowning losses?

The answer to the above question can easily decode with the facts and data about the personal business of each judge. One might get shocked by the response and understand that the show, which started with a vision to help budding businesses, has merely become a show that aims to gain high Target Rating Points.

 Shark Tank, India

The Indian counterpart of the US reality show, Shark Tank, has a jury of six judges or ‘Sharks‘ who call themselves Successful entrepreneurs. However, recent developments have raised questions about these judges’ competency, as five out of the six face staggering losses in their own businesses.

It is time to reassess their ability to guide and evaluate the next generation of start-ups. While the US version of the show steps ahead of the Indian version because all its judges (Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, and Kevin O’Leary) are running highly profitable businesses. Unlike the Indian version, it has maintained a clear set of standards in order to keep away undesired stage show and stick to the manifested vision to be a part of those entrepreneurs who dream and achieve.                   

Shark Tank India Season 2 Judges      

H1: Let’s have a look at the facts and figures of the Sharks’ Start-ups: 

1. Vineeta Singh

The CEO of Sugar Cosmetics is one of the most prolific entrepreneurs on Shark Tank. With an inclination towards consumer-facing start-ups, the founder of the 2015-born start-up is yet to earn a profit. The data reports a consistent loss of Rs. 28 crore in FY 20, Rs. 21 crore in FY 21, and an alarming figure of Rs. 75 crore in FY 22. The skyrocketed instability in the company’s finance raises specific questions about Singh’s ability to evaluate the ventures of other entrepreneurs.  

2. Peyush Bansal

CEO of Lenskart, Peyush Bansal, is another garnered Shark in the show. Founded in 2010, the company did experience profitability in FY 20 of Rs. 6.3 crore and Rs. 29 crore in FY 21. The tides swiftly turned against them, resulting in a massive loss of Rs. 102 crore in FY 22. They might have made a profit initially, but the high losses again question the judge’s credibility to assess other prospects. 

Peyush Bansal

3. Amit Jain

The latest addition to the panel of Sharks is Amit Jain, CEO of ‘Car Dekho’, a used car platform. Reporting years of financial struggles, the company encountered a loss of Rs. 346 crore in FY 21, followed by Rs. 246 crore in FY 22. Though the loss may have narrowed down in the two FY, the fact remains the same, the company has not earned any profit since inception. The persistent turbulence doubts his credibility on his journey as a judge. 

CarDekho’s Amit Jain replaces Ashneer Grover as new shark on Shark Tank ...

4. Namita Thapar

This lone shark, known for not having a business of her own, runs the family-owned ‘Emcure Pharmaceuticals’. The company has been enjoying consistent profitability since its establishment (1981), reporting a profit of Rs. 702 crore in FY 22. However, unlike fellow sharks, Namita, a product of nepotism, lacks her own entrepreneurial experience. This questions her eminence as a judge to assess other entrepreneurs and analyse various aspects of a start-up, varying from problems to the success for a business to start from scratch. 

5. Ghazal Alagh

The co-founder of cosmetics company- ‘Mamaearth’, reported a consistent loss until 2022. Loss of Rs. 428 crore in FY 20 and Rs. 1332 crore in FY 21 raise concerns around the Shark’s ability to evaluate entrepreneurs irrespective of the profit of Rs. 14 crore earned in FY 22. More than the recently achieved profitability, she is required to mark her as a credible reality show judge. To be a jury member, one must meet specific standards of eminence.

Mamaearth - Sofina

6. Anupam Mittal

The ‘Peoples Group’ CEO, Anupam, operates platforms like Shaadi.com, Mauj, and Makaan.com. Although the company’s profits and losses are not yet disclosed to the public sphere, the CEO claims it is profitable and highly investing as an entrepreneur in over 200 companies like Ola, Druva, and PrettySecrets, etc. He makes an open announcement about the plans for an IPO in the coming year.   

Anupam Mittal reveals the mistakes he wants to avoid on Shark Tank ...

7. Aman Gupta

The CEO of ‘boAt’, a No. 1 ear-wear audio brand, is seen as the only Shark to be earning profits since the seed was planted in 2016. It is reported to be earning a profit of Rs. 68.70 crore in FY 22. 

 boAt creates history; sells 150 units per second of ...

Such shows must consider such a standard of credibility to keep up with genuine guidance and expertise, at least in those who form a panel to judge and not get carried away in the storm of glamour. The show might have made it easy for small business owners in India to get exposure and big-time business deals initially, but now it seems only to be working to gain TRP. 

The domain of Shark Tank India sees a powerful, and intense analysis of newly launched products by many young and aspiring entrepreneurs. The so-called esteemed jury or ‘Sharks’ of the show relentlessly scrutinize every little detail from the birth, revenue, profits and losses, the journey through, and everything in between. Having said that, the striking absence of a comparable standard of scrutiny to the judging panel of Sharks is felt sharply. Although they may proclaim to be the CEOs of top-rated and valued businesses, the fact remains that not all of these ventures are earning a profit.

It is time to do what is long overdue and turn the tables and question the jury to lay bare their financial realities. It is only fair to hold the judges up to the same standards as they expect the young founders of various ventures. At the center of it all, a transparent and accountable platform is what is expected out of a show like Shark Tank. The judges must be inquired about the businesses that they are navigating. 

Shark Tank has always been in the light of positive intentions until lately. The platform that emerged as a beacon of hope to the entrepreneurial world now seems to fall prey to the ravening hunger for TRPs. The entrepreneurial spirit that the show started to march on is felt to be diminishing in the light of TRP supremacy. What was once considered a show to guide, mentor and empower entrepreneurs has transformed into a glitzy extravaganza. The show has made headlines with its squabbles and disagreements while making decisions. 

The focal point has shifted from genuine mentorship and guidance to overplay of dazzling stagecraft. The audience and participants are left with the mere aftertaste of neglected promises and missed opportunities. It is indeed very alarming to see expertise and wisdom take a backseat from those who once vowed to support dreams. Such promising shows when taking a turn in the storm of television ratings and profit-driven intentions, the fate of the aspiring entrepreneurial community is left questioning. Sacrificing the core mission as they get tied to commercial success leaves people with an emotion of abandonment in this cutthroat world, which no one ever signed for. 

 

 

 

Akshita Tiwari
Akshita Tiwari
A passionate Business Journalist delivering content that keeps you informed and helps you increase the horizon of your thoughts.
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