Namita Thapar, who appears as one of the seven investors or ‘sharks’ on the reality show Shark Tank India, reacted to criticism that the show has attracted from ‘some names in the start-up ecosystem’. In an article she wrote for YourStory, Namita reflected on her experience on the show, through which she invested in 25 ventures.
Based on the original American series, which has been running for 13 seasons since 2009, Shark Tank India features entrepreneurs who pitch their innovative ideas to a panel of investors. If the ideas show potential, it sparks bidding wars between the investors, otherwise, they leave empty handed.
“Last week I heard some names from the start-up ecosystem criticise the show. All I would like to say is that they lost a huge opportunity to impact and influence millions of Indians to understand, respect and take up the entrepreneurial journey,” Namita, who is the founder-CEO of Emcure Pharma, wrote in her article. She continued, “Are there some parts of the show that need improvement? Of course there are, but it’s only season 1 vs other countries like the US where they are on Season 13.”
She added, “So can we stop judging, instead get involved, and help make it better ? This was new for all of us and we learned along the way; we are still internalising and learning. As long as we did this for the right reasons and for the right cause, we will keep working on it and will keep improving.”
In the article, she stressed that she got involved in the show for all the right reasons. Recently, another investor on the show, Shaadi.com founder Anupam Mittal, also addressed speculation about Shark Tank India being rigged. He told RJ Siddharth Kannan in an interview, “Absolutely not, absolutely not, absolutely not. I’ve heard this myself, and I wondered, If I was was actually producing the show, why wouldn’t I allow myself to eat. The Sony people don’t let me eat or sleep! They make us shoot continuously, they keep us hungry. Why? Because most of the contestants have food companies, and when you’re hungry, you’re likely to invest more money.”