The press conference was formally opened by the host Emcee Suren. He gave us an idea that the press conference would bring out a lot of information about the show that the viewers were eagerly waiting to know.
The virtual press conference started with Ashish Golwalkar, Content Head for Sony Entertainment Television and the Digital Business. He started his speech by saying that Sony Entertainment has been a platform to exhibit talent and skills in various genres. and finally launching Shark Tank India, which has its impact in over 186 countries in 40 different versions. Shark Tank is one of the biggest business reality shows in the world that gives opportunities for native peoples in their respective countries to exhibit, express their business ideas and take it to the best possible minds, in this case, we call them Sharks. The journey of Shark Tank India is about a couple of years old, it’s a Sony Pictures format. He said that they own the format internationally. Wherever in the world, this show takes place they are the IP holders.
Three years back they started evaluating this format and thought that this is the right time to bring something like this in India and unfortunately due to the pandemic things got delayed but they were determined to bring it and no sooner did things start to normalize. The teams got on track, teams at Studio Next, the in-house production. Broadly they started the preparation about two years back, moved out to the remotest parts of the country, and brought back hundreds and thousands of ideas shortlisted them, and finally, a few hundred of those ideas pitched to the Sharks. He also said that they were very happy and privileged to have some of the best names in the industry who agreed to become Shark.
Unlike any other reality show where judges have to just judge, this is likely tricky not only to judge or identify the best ideas but also mentor and invest their own money in those ideas so that they can grow and take advantage of their strength. This is slightly more dynamic for the sharks to choose those ideas and mentor them. He expressed his happiness by saying that the show is finally launching on the 20th of December at 9 ‘o’clock replacing ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’. Many people commented on it as a niche show, but he countered it by saying that it is mainstream entertainment, as India is on a brink of a Start-Up revolution. He believes that people are gonna expect it as an entertainment format and not just a business reality show.
When asked if it was difficult to convince the Sharks to join the show he replied that it was not that easy. They have been requested for a long time to participate in the show as the show is a time-demanding one. They have not faced any challenges from the Sharks. He mentioned that in his 25 years of experience this was one of his pleasant experiences. He mentioned that the Sharks were very pleasing all throughout.
Next, the press conference was joined by Indranil Chakraborty, head of Studio Next.
The main purpose of Studio Next from its beginning in January 2019 was to produce shows with a purpose. Shark Tank India is a spirit of Entrepreneurship in India. He said that this show will support entrepreneurs financially and give them valuable guidance from the shark. It will help in the culture of innovation in this country. When asked about the challenges He said that the setting of a new show has its challenges and excitement. Shark Tank India is one of a kind show. To get knowledge about the people and stakeholders that domain specialist Venture Catalyst guided them in this process.
Coming to Sharks the main challenge was the time. The show was time-consuming, for the shoots, promotion as well as behind the show promotions.
When asked about the sharks he applauded their boundless energy. All of the seven Sharks show their positivity, unity, can-do attitude, and above all the humbleness that was quite a learning for all of them. See also express those behind the scenes moments that they would cherish but unfortunately would not be able to telecast it to watch for the viewers.
About the entrepreneurs, he said that The important task was to reach them and make them participate in the show. The show was in two languages: English and Hindi. The language barrier was one of the challenges.
He also stated that to keep the honesty about the business so they had to maintain the balance between the business language and the viewer’s taste.
The entrepreneurs were contacted by communicating to them through the marketing department from the regular mass media detail plan to specialized as it was during the covid times. They reached them through Innovation, Incubation Centers, Institutes with Incubation Cells. They contacted the entrepreneurs through NOACL, India’s foremost incubator and platforms like LinkedIn. This has become a very important tool to reach those people.
Sony LIV’s digital team created a platform in both the app and portal about its registration. The three tires selection process, where people register, give detailed information, and have conversations through Direct phone calls. Throughout the process, the most important thing was to educate the people. In order to educate them, they had tutorial videos all the time. Eat to tell people how to do things. The whole process was audited by E&Y so that there were no loafers in the system. Indranil also said that they give special importance to data protection, and also because it was about dealing with people’s ideas business which is one of the very important segments.
The final result was overwhelming. India got about 12000 great business ideas back2back through the valley registration process, and across the country not and the west region received around 33% of participants and equally shared by the south and East region.
Regarding the participation ratio, he mentioned that the participation of candidates below 30 years and above 30 years was equal. There were also groups with equal gender participation. Overall the show was very educational, smooth, and had not faced any issues.
When asked about how he come about selecting the panel of sharks among the league of extraordinary gentlemen and ladies, he mentioned that the team went through gaining knowledge from all over the world about what makes a good shark, like causing willingness, giving the time required for the show and camera ready.
When asked about the biggest challenge you reply that it was the time factor but Venture Catalyst helped them overcome the challenge.
Then the Sharks joined in the Press Conference.
Peyush Bansal (lenskart.com)
Namita Thapar (Emcure Pharmaceuticals)
Aman Gupta (boAt)
Vineeta Singh (SUGAR Cosmetics)
Ashneer Grover (BharatPe)
Gazal Alagh (Mamaearth)
Anupam Mittal (shaadi.com)
Read here: All About Seven Shark Tank India Judges
When asked to Sharks about their expectations from the show Anupam Mittal replies that ‘Entrepreneur’ has been a known term in India. It has been a big democratized in India. Carrying out entrepreneurship on scale and doing it fast is completely new to India. Due to increased money flow in the economy and investment in companies, entrepreneurship is growing at a speed. This show will help to take the term a bit forward and help reach the message of entrepreneurship in every household of India. The expectation was to create a show that would uplift the craze of entrepreneurship in every Indian. The challenges faced by India will be solved when entrepreneurs will make them a motive to solve the problem.
When asked about the growth of entrepreneurs in India Vineeta Singh said that was an entrepreneur for about 14-15 years. She feels very proud to get the opportunity to be on the show and meet such a large number of diverse entrepreneurs from the smallest of towns in India. According to her, there is more lack of motivation than money.
Namita Thappar, expressed that only 2.3% of the entrepreneurship is owned by women. “If you observe the ‘SHARK TANK’ in terms of the number of women as founders, co-founders, etc. who have walked away with deals, it was a very high percentage,” she said. She expressed that she had learned many things from the people on top of teaching them.
Gazel Alagh spoke about the healthy mix of male and female, coming up and pitching. It may be possible in India that there is a businessman or businesswoman in every house.
When asked about so many business ideas popping up in the households of India, what makes Shark Tank India that important. Ashmeer Grover said that there are many ideas expressed, but very few can execute them. The platform is for someone who can come up with good business ideas and with proper execution.
When asked about the criteria that they followed when listening to a pitch Peyush Bansal said that he used to divide the sheet into two – one half for business and problems and entrepreneur on the other.
Amam Gupta was surprised by the number of entrepreneurs and the training they had. He expresses that there are lots of entrepreneurs in the shark tank who do know better than him.
In the group discussion, Peyush Bansal said that the audience would see the types of business being run in different corners of India.
Gazal Alagh took up the point of what the audience expected from the show. If we summarize, it will be education, entertainment, and motivation. She expressed that the show was very interesting and dealt with both education as well as entertainment.
Namita Thappar expressed the risks taken up by the entrepreneurs to do something on the basis of their beliefs and passion. As a ‘Shark’, she suggests the entrepreneurs who failed in dealing with tough questions to keep courage and faith and go after something one is passionate about.
When Aman Gupta was questioned about what are the non-negotiable things for a successful business pitch, he answered that entrepreneurial passion is very critical. We must see firstly on the passion, secondly on the problems, and thirdly on the problems needed to be solved.
Vineeta Singh’s biggest motivation was who saw the sharks and ought not to ever give up.