Shark Tank is a hit reality TV series from the west that holds entrepreneurship close to its core. If you think you are the next up and coming entrepreneurial genius, get ready to swim with some sharks. Not literally, the sharks here are celebrated businessmen and women who have achieved great success in their business endeavours. These sharks are now seeking to invest in individuals and brands who they find to have the best business pitch, sales number customer acquisition rates and financial figures. Each investment offers the shark an opportunity to become an equity shareholder in the brand they are investing in or a chance to earn interest from their offered loans to royalty shares.
Sharks offer their expertise in market development, outreach, PR and communication, product development and anything else necessary along with their steep financial investments. If you are lucky, you may get a shark to offer you what you want, however, they have coined sharks for a reason. These sharks take in cues to form alliances within themselves and offer partnership deals to some brands pitching. The possibilities are endless at Shark Tank. This successful reality TV show finally landed in the Indian subcontinent, a country where tech-driven innovation is happening at ground zero. A result of which has been a wave of start-ups over the past decade.
The Indian franchise of the American reality show received over 60,000 applications, out of which a couple short of 200 were selected to showcase and a total of 67 business pitches made a deal with the panel of investors in the show ( sharks). Shark India’s panel of investors, or the Sharks, included the founder of popular wedding match portal Shaadi.com to the founder of digital payment gateway, BharatPe, to certain co-founders of Sugar cosmetics, Mama Earth, boAt, lenskart and others. With a widespread group of investors ranging from healthcare, beauty and wellness, tech-based services to digital payment gateway founders, managing directors, CEO’s and more – Shark Tank India season 1 made waves across the country to inspire a lot more of the population to come forward with their innovations and make the pitch that will change their life.
This season of Shark Tank India saw the use of technology in many business pitches as one of their core competencies resulting in an innovative key offering to their clients. Here is a deep dive into the emerging tech proposals pitches at Shark Tank India this season:
Healthcare, Fitness and Ayurveda
A sharp rise in the number of healthcare start-ups has been noticed since before the pandemic and the latter only seems to have pushed the agenda further up. Shark Tank saw a great number of pitches relating to healthcare, organic and healthy foods and fitness based products/ services.
Healthcare Tech Startup:
While the brand refused to accept an offer from the Sharks, Keto was one of the brightest star pitches of healthcare tech at Shark Tank India. Founded by Sahil Pruthi, Keto offers personalized plans for nutrition and support through its application. With an aim focused on busting myths that surround the diet culture, Keto’s offerings towards customized nutritional support to diabetes, PCOS and thyroid patients were applauded by the sharks
A 19 year old boy walked into Shark Tank India seeking 101 Rs. Shocked? So were the judges.
His aim was to seek assurance and support from sharks rather than financial support. Nihaal Singh, 19 years old, worked and developed a ventilated PPE kit that aids in solving the issue of wearing PPE kits for long hours, 10-12 hours and even longer during emergency protocols for medical professionals, these PPE’s at the moment have no source of ventilation. Three different sharks joined in the deal as stakeholders for Watt Innovations believing in the idea of the young teenager with an aim to help him build a viable and scalable product.
Also Read: Role Of AR/VR In Transforming Education
Ayurvedic Health Care ( Preventive):
One of the first Aryuvedic brands in India to offer preventive healthcare, Namya works with plant-based food and beverage products to promote a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. Their products have been promoted to be consumed daily to help with common and widespread ailments like blood pressure, cholesterol, thyroid, period issues and more. Made with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives. The brand was one of the lucky few to sign a deal with shark Aman Gupta for an amount close to 1 crore in return for 50% brand equity.
Sanitation and Mensuration care
A start-up focused on improving toilet hygiene in our country. With a population of over 1.3 billion in India, hygiene has been an issue a large number of organizations are working to deal with on a daily basis. Peeschute is one of the innovative brand working with latest in tech to manufacture unisex disposable urine bags that are affordable and scalable. The brand signed a deal with Aman Mittal, one of the sharks, who invested 75 lakhs INR in the brand with 6% equity share.
Mensuration and the number of issues related to the same are what almost 50% of the population has to deal with for decades. A start-up founded by Aditi Gupta, Menstrupedia offers to build awareness with regards to menstruation in a rather engaging and quirky manner – in the form of comic books, animated videos and workshops. This has won the brand to offer its services to over thousands of schools, a large number of NGO’s and many government institutions. Shark Namita Thapar and founder Aditi Gupta closed their deal on Shark Tank India for an investment of 50 Lakhs INR in exchange for 20% of the brand share.
Eco-Friendly automobiles and products and Road Safety
This brand is co-founded and represented by three entrepreneurs and works on building up modular utility electric vehicles. They have been noted to be the first to introduce to India its first modular utility platform, called Revamp Moto Mitr. One of the innovations the brand is seeking to build is an EV vehicle with utility attachments that also has the investors/ sharks rather interested. The brand closed a deal with Shark Anupam Mittal and Shark Aman Gupta.
Altor: Smart Helmets
Smart helmet by Altor was one of the most interesting ideas on the show for this season. Birthed from the tragic demise of a close friend, a few of the young and fresh graduates from college came together to build a smart helmet that also offers a range of useful features. Altor is the world’s first software-based and enabled helmet that is focused on making two-wheeler rides safer and convenient. One of the features of this smart helmet is being GPS enabled with google maps. The helmet has the ability to connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth and send notifications to the rider’s family and close friends should the driver meet with an accident. This feature helps in timely assistance to avoid fatality.
With a mission to make the two-wheeler community feel safe and build a better connected world for them, Altor was established in 2018 and is also one of the Government of India-Backed startup programs.
The helmet was a hero product of the show and its makers closed a deal with shark Namita Thapar along with shark Aman Gupta.
Ever wonder what our children play with and how those products are built, are they built with more chemicals and manufactured with unsustainable materials?
Keeping the fast-paced production world we are living in, Ariro comes in to build simple, eco-friendly and handmade toys for children (young toddlers). With the use of Montessori technology, Ariro claims for toys to be toxic-free and sustainable.
Robotics based start-up
The brand PNT is a Mumbai based brand that is working with robotics taking onboard industrial projects based on emerging tech of AI, ML, IoT and ROS. This helps the brand to offer customized robotic solutions to their clients. ADO is known to be one of the popular robots of the brand. ADO is powered by AI, a fully functional automated robot that can perform various functions from facial recognition, autonomous navigation and human-like gestures. The brand closed a deal of close to INR 25 lakhs in exchange for 25% equity and a debt of INR 25 Lakhs.
Sports Tech: Using data to empower teams
One of the quirky pitches that impressed rather all the sharks was the one by Kabbadi Adda. What Cric Info is to Cricket, Kabaddi Adda is to Kabaddi, the brand claims. The brand also mentioned how they are the first sports tech-based start-up to raise funds from Shark Tank India from two different sharks. Founded in 2019 by four entrepreneurs, Kabaddi Adda is essentially an online platform that works to make the ancient sport of India more accessible. The brand also has kickstarted K-7 qualifier, a community-led tournament in most of tier 2,3 and 4 sectors of India. Giving junior Kabaddi players in India an opportunity to be seen and be selected for the Pro Kabbadi League, national league and more while also aiding in building their career opportunities in Kabaddi country-wide.
EdTech: Focused on building India from ground Zero
Annie by Thinkerbells Lab
This Bengaluru based brand, Annie, aims to focus on learning braille with a pinch of fun. Annie is claimed to be the world’s first Braille literacy device that is meant to focus on visually impaired children to learn, rather than self learn Braille. The device aids the children in learning, reading and typing braille without the need of a professional teacher. The pitch on Shark Tank India was a winner especially with a rather smart and cute kid presenting and demonstrating how the device works. Annie was able to close the deal with 3 different sharks on the show.
Education is a basic right for every child, while many sectors private or government are working on multiple initiatives, AAS Vidyalaya caters to working with all universally and especially with the lower middle class which amounts to 50% of the Indian population. This percentage of the children are noticed to be the ones who leave their education after a certain point due to various family based or personal issues they deal with. For these children, who leave their education and are unable to attend school, AAS is focused on making education available to them anywhere, anytime and anyplace. AAS Viddyalaya closed the deal with three sharks for close to INR 1.5 crore in exchange for 15% stake.
Read More: Leading Digital business start-ups
Fashion & Textiles and Beauty & Wellness
The Yarn Bazaar
India is known to be home to millions of artisans and craftsmen and women who are working with multiple crafts. From a hard-working farmers’ community to artisans working on handmade fashion textiles, the sector is known globally for its talent and yet is largely unorganized.
Yarn Bazaar comes into the picture here and is built with the aim to organize the textile industry in the country. Since their inception in 2019, they are known to have built a business of more than 230 cr INR. The brand is known to conduct a series of interviews, and podcasts with leading industry experts and aiding in adding value to the textile sector. The founder closed the deal with four sharks for an amount of INR 1 cr.
With the pandemic, the world saw a sharp rise in wellness based products and all natural products when it comes to beauty applications. CosIQ, at the time of the pitch being just four months old, is an all clean ingredients brand of beauty products that also seems to have impressed the sharks with its intelligent product design and high quality.
Working with simple and clean ingredients that use minimal formulations is what sets them apart. The brand closed a deal with Shark Vineeta Singh from Sugar Cosmetics.
A brand based on bringing ayurvedic based beauty products to limelight, Auli Lifestyle was founded by Aishwarya Biswas. She works with building a brand that is built with a soul, cares for the earth and focuses on expert advice and knowledge for building every single product. The brand offers a wide variety of products in beauty and health care that are meant to keep one shining. They are affordable, unique, original, very Indian, and lush also defining its four characters, AULI. The brand closed a deal with Shark Namita Thappar who already holds expertise in the beauty and skincare sector.
This season of Shark Tank saw multiple brands that worked on building innovative products via the use of technology as well as brands that went back to basics to develop sustainable, eco-friendly and ever-lasting products that are less harmful for human consumption. If we were to derive anything, we can certainly say that from the collective pitches at Shark Tank India, the industry at large seems to be going through a major shift towards design that is not simply innovative, but disruptive and mindful of the planet’s limited resources.
From satellite kitchens, agrotech initiatives at ground level, to building robots that are aiding in business operations, Shark Tank India saw a variety of brands working with emerging tech to elevate their USP and gain a sizable market share. The show saw a great mix of entrepreneurs building brands in various sectors with one thing in common, the amalgamation of technology and sustainability in a user-friendly and experiential design.
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