Meet The Sharks Entrepreneurs Are Trying To Impress

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New Delhi: Twelve years after it premiered in the US, the business reality show Shark Tank came to India late last year, and has been airing since December 20.

First launched in Japan in 2001 as ‘Tigers of Money’ on Nippon TV, the show format was adapted by the UK in 2005 and it was called Dragon’s Den there. The US then picked it up in 2009, and is running its 13th season now.

It is one of the top-ranked business reality shows in the world, Shark Tank India has also created much buzz in the country in just a month of its launch on Sony TV. The show is also aired on its app SonyLIV.

The first season has completed 25 episodes, giving India’s entrepreneurs a platform to find investors and funds to expand their ventures.

While the sharks in the US show are really from the deep blue sea, their Indian counterparts are not as wealthy in terms of net worth. However, the Indian judges still are big names from the industry who have made a mark for themselves. There are seven of them.

Meet The 7 Shark Tank India Judges

Shark Anupam Mittal

He is the founder of Shaadi.com, one of India’s most popular matrimonial sites making nuptial alliances since 1996. He is now the CEO of People Group that he founded in 2001. The 50-year-old is behind other businesses such as Makaan. com, which is a reality portal, and Mauj, a mobile media company. His company has also produced films like Flavors and 99, according to his LinkedIn profile. Mittal has also backed startups such as Ola, ElectricPe, Burncal, and Yojak.

Shark Ashneer Grover

The founder of BharatPe, a payments platform, Ashneer Grover, 39, was earlier the chief finance officer of Grofers (now Blinkit). Prior to that, he had held senior positions in Kotak Bank and American Express for over a decade. Grover has been in the news since an audio clip went viral on 5 January, in which he was heard threatening a bank executive at Kotak Wealth Management. Kotak Mahindra Bank had said it was considering legal action against him. He has since been on a voluntary leave from BharatPe, but will continue to be seen on Shark Tank India.

Shark Namita Thapar

Namita Thapar, the CEO of Emcure Pharmaceuticals, which is developing an mRNA vaccine for Covid-19 through Gennova Biopharmaceuticals, its subsidiary. The company is eyeing a Rs 4,000 crore IPO, according to a PTI report. Thapar, 44, is also the founder and CEO of Incredible Ventures, an education company. She did her MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, and pursued chartered accountancy at ICAI. Thapar is a member of the India regional advisory board at Fuqua.

Shark Aman Gupta

Aman Gupta is the co-founder and CMO of boAt Lifestyle, which is a $295 million personal audio equipment brand according to reports. The Delhi businessman reportedly turned investor recently and put his money in logistics firm Shiprocket and some other ventures in 2021.

Shark Vineeta Singh

Vineeta Singh is the co-founder of Sugar Cosmetics, a digital-first brand. Sugar products are sold in more than 2,500 retail stores across India, according to an India Today report. It was reported about her that the 37-year-old IIT and IIM graduate once gave up a high-paying investment bank job offer because she wanted to start something of her own.

Shark Peyush Bansal

Peyush Bansal, 36, co-founded Lenskart.com in June 2008 and the online prescription eyewear business Lenskart was worth $2.5 billion six months ago, according to reports. Lenskart was delivering 10 million spectacles a year in India, SE Asia and Middle East as of 2021, Bansal’s LinkedIn profile says, adding that the company wants to “deliver a Billion spectacles over next 10 years”. Lenskart reportedly raised $220 million last year in a funding round co-led by Falcon Edge Capital and Singapore-based Temasek Holdings.

Shark Ghazal Alagh

Ghazal Alagh is the 33-year-old co-founder of Mamaearth, which makes “chemical free” baby care and skincare products. Launched in 2016, Mamaearth became the first unicorn of 2022 at a valuation of $1.2 billion, after raising $52 million in a funding round led by Sofina Ventures. The direct-to-consumer (D2C) company offers more than 80 products.

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