Judges of Shark Tank India: You all have seen videos of UP and Bihar Government teachers not knowing the basic tenets of their subjects. All of us are made to believe that such inefficiency in the private sector is not tenable. Sorry, but it is. It is happening blatantly on national television. The show is Shark Tank India.
Comparing Americans with Indians
Finally, someone has done it. Judges of the famous reality show Shark Tank India are in people’s court. In a sensational analysis, they have turned out to be inefficient. An author named Ankit Uttam did a background check of each of the judges on the Shark Tank India show and reached these conclusions. The list includes even Ashneer Grover, star of the show in the first season and somehow deemed ‘toxic’ by his fellows.
Ankit starts his post by comparing the judges of Shark Tank USA with that of its Indian version. In the American version, Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, and Kevin O’Leary all had a hefty profit to show for. That is not the case with Judges in the Shark Tank India version.
Everyone has dirty closet
Ankit points out that in the last two financial years, Vineeta Singh’s ‘SUGAR Cosmetics’ lost Rs 96.1 crores. Contrary to Vineeta, Ghazal Alakh’s Company ‘Mamaearth’ recorded Rs 14.44 crore loss in FY22. That does not tell the full story though. Reason being that in FY21 and FY20, the company recorded cumulative loss of Rs 1,760 crore. Ankit was surprised at their plan to go for IPO and that too at a humongous valuation figure of Rs 24,000 crore.
Then he proceeds to analyse ‘BharatPe’s’ financials. The company lost Rs 5,594 crore in FY22, which is almost double after Ashneer Grover was removed. Similarly, Amit Jain’s ‘CarDekho’ and Peeyush Bansal’s ‘lenskart’ also registered losses, though their losses ran in hundreds of crores.
Ankit also took a jibe at two Judges of Shark Tank India who called Ashneer grover as toxic. His investigation revealed that both had massive chinks in their armoury. Namita turned out to be a product of nepotism since the company for which she is famous was actually started by her dad, who is still the CEO. Similarly, Anupam Mittal has also largely been a failure in his ventures. He owns Shhadi.com and a lot of other websites. The problem is that the financials of these companies are not available in the public domain.
Only one Judge named Aman Gupta turned out to be profit churning as only his company ‘Boat’ was profitable right from its inception.
Making sense of numbers
These financials are extraordinary, still it is a norm in the start-up world. It is one of the worst features of the start-up world that for initial few years, companies only focus on cash flows. In the process, they tend to forget income statements and balance sheets. They want to set their base to gain more fundings from outside. The thought process is that after they get hold of the market, they will start generating returns for venture capitalists, who poured money in them.
The problem is that, as soon as the effects of free money start to evaporate, smaller companies start to enter the market. The first mover advantage is no longer profitable as it happened with Ola. These entrepreneurs know it.
With that knowledge, they pour money into new companies having promising business models. It sounds counterintuitive. I mean investors are pouring money into their company and instead of using that money to invest in their own product, they are using that money to push other products in the market. Either they are losing trust in their own products or they want to become venture capitalists on their own. Maybe they plan to use their gains from that investment to get more market traction.
That does not take away ethical questions out of the equation. If initial human effort did not bear fruit, there is no guarantee that next attempts will. How can they literally lecture a budding entrepreneur on products?
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