Meet The Amazing, Inspiring Women Of Shark Tank India!

When I watched Shark Tank India, I was struck by the women on the show both as the judges (‘sharks’) and as the women aspirants.

Shark Tank is an immensely popular show in the US. India now has its very own version called Shark Tank India airing on weekdays on Sony Entertainment Television. In the show, India’s budding entrepreneurs can present their ideas, have them evaluated by experts (the sharks), and invite them to fund their dream ventures.

Let’s take a look at the fabulous women owning their space in Shark Tank India!

The Women Sharks On Shark Tank India:

No ‘sugar-coated’ advice from the most balanced shark on the show: Vineeta Singh, Founder-CEO of Sugar Cosmetics!

Fun, free spirited and ever ready to explore new opportunities Vineeta Singh is a refreshing delight on Shark Tank India. She gives realistic feedback and looks out for aspirants who are driven and persistent. There have been times when the other judges have asked aspirants on the show why they don’t let go of something as insignificant as half %. But it is Vineeta who mentions that a real businessperson fights and strives to save every per cent, as she has done in her struggling days.

Her down-to-earth attitude is very relatable and it inspires the viewers and the aspirants on the show as well. She has no qualms about accepting that she has had many failed ventures and she kept trying till she finally succeeded with Sugar Cosmetics. A go-getter who believes in the goodness of people and their potential, Vineeta never gives ‘sugar-coated’ feedback. She helps aspirants figure out potential blind spots and gives them helpful insights about their business.

You’ll often see the other judges squabble and argue on the show. Vineeta lightens up the situation with her quirky humour and eases the situation. When she realizes, she can’t do much, she sits back and enjoys the entertainment gleefully.

It’s a pleasure to see her encouraging potential entrepreneurs. It’s even more amazing to see her laud the spirit and efforts of senior entrepreneurs and women who’ve made their foray into business.

Vineeta has zero melodrama but is still very entertaining, she wins the heart of audiences with her warm personality and bright spark.

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Vineeta Singh’s Success Story: ‘What women need is to see women succeed’

Co-founder and CEO of Sugar Cosmetics and Fab Bag was featured on the cover of Forbes Most Powerful Women in Business 2021 and the ‘40 under 40’ list by Economic Times 2021.

Vineeta strongly believes, “What women need is to see women succeed.” She was very impressed when the women in her organization stepped up during the pandemic. She realized how tough it was for women with young children as the pandemic took away childcare options like day-care and significantly increased the workload for them. One of her social media posts states, “If you are a working mom, I know you’ve had enough. Hang in there, take it one day at a time. If you can, don’t quit. But if you can’t, take a break – don’t forget that it’s your mental health that comes first! Please be shameless and leverage every available support system out there.”

Post her MBA, Vineeta refused a Rs 1 crore offer from an international company to launch her own company. She is very vocal about her struggles and failures with her first venture. Now, Vineeta has a net worth of approximately 100cr as of 20 19-2021. Her company is one of India’s fastest-growing brands with around 2500 stores in over 130 cities in India. Her Shark Tank investments include Booz scooters, MyCOSIQ, Blue Pine Industries, NOCD Energy Drink, Ariro, Heart up my sleeves and Skippi Pops.

Vineeta loves participating in marathons. During an interview, she stated, “A motto I learned being a runner and entrepreneur is, no matter what challenge is thrown at us, agility matters. Growth is not about how fast you get to it, but how well you sustain it once you’ve arrived.”

The lady behind the viral ‘yeh meri expertise nahin hai’ dialogue: Namita Thapar, Executive Director, Emcure Pharmaceutical

“Yeh meri expertise nahin hai, so I am out.” Haven’t we all seen this meme flooding our social media accounts?

Meet Namita, Executive Director of Emcure Pharma, and the woman behind this meme on Shark Tank India. A woman who takes calculated decisions when it comes to business, she has already invested 4.48 cr in 15 deals so far on the show.

Straight-to-the-point yet encouraging, she has a soft corner for women entrepreneurs and lifts them with her comforting words. She doesn’t raise her voice or pull someone down, even if she doesnt like their business pitch. You often see her unruffled by the chaos around her and calmly weighing her decisions.
She is seen boosting the contestant’s confidence especially women by making it a point to congratulate them for their initiatives and even appreciates them for their dressing sense at times.

Namita Thapar’s Success Story: ‘Women are great at time-management but terrible at guilt-management’

Namita is the founder and CEO of Incredible Ventures Ltd and also the Executive Director of Emcure Pharma.

Namita roots for women entrepreneurs and is always on the lookout for women who have the spark but are in need of investment and guidance. According to her, women face bias at every step in the way and gender equality is a far-fetched dream. To support women and encourage them to return to work, her company launched an initiative – ‘Prerna’.

Namita struggles with mom guilt, especially when has to miss her kid’s school events and family functions due to work commitments. She mentions that women are great at time management but terrible at guilt management. She tries to make up for her kids and family by doing something extra special when she has time on hand.

Namita was on the Economic Times Women Ahead List in 2017 and was conferred with the 40 under 40 award and The World Women Leadership Congress Super Achiever Award. Her net worth is estimated at 600 crores. She is also a speaker at IIM, Harvard Business School and the ET Women’s Conference. She has a YouTube channel called ‘Uncondition Yourself with Namita’. She also works in association with the Govt of India and is a part of programs like NITI Aayog’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Platform, Digital Health Task Force and Champions of Change.

Her Shark Tank investments include Menstrupedia, Altor, Auli Lifestyle, The Renal Project, Skippi Pops and Bummer.

The mama shark of the show: Ghazal Alagh, Co-founder of MamaEarth

Ghazal Alagh calls herself Chief Mama or Mama Shark, and is always sophisticated and simple. She made her debut on the 20th of Jan this year and has just been on just a few episodes since. She patiently hears out the aspirants and understands their proposal. Despite being seven months pregnant, Ghazal juggles work and shooting for episodes.

Ghazal Alagh’s Success Story: ‘MamaEarth is aligned to the interests of its women employees’

Ghazal is the co-founder of MamaEarth and The Derma Co. Mama Earth is one of the first Indian organic brands that doesn’t use harmful and toxic materials in their cosmetics. They are also involved in several initiatives to protect the environment.

The biggest challenge in her journey was managing work and home. She says women should ask for help whether it is for their start-up or for raising children.

Her company boasts of a very women-friendly environment and has its HR policies aligned to the interests of women employees. MamaEarth has received funding of $50 million in July 2021. Art is also one of her passions and she has been recognized among the top ten women artists in India. Her net worth is around $10-$20 million. She always wanted to be a businesswoman and she is also the founder of Diet Expert since the year 2012. She was the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year in 2020-21 by People Who Inspire NextGen Awards.

She states that slowly the start-up conversation is moving from the board room to drawing rooms. In her words, “We will see a lot more diversity in the new breed of Indian start-up founders.”

Pitches from women entrepreneurs on Shark Tank India that caught my attention!

Heart up My Sleeves’ a start-up by Riya Khattar was started during the pandemic. Women often complain about having too many clothes and still nothing to wear. Riya’s venture offers a new twist to women’s fashion by offering brooches, capes and detachable sleeves that add the glamour quotient to regular day to day outfits. She received funding of Rs 25 lakhs from Vineeta Singh and Anupam Mittal.

‘Nuutjob’ is a distinctive start-up that caters to men’s hygiene products. There is a huge market for women products but not many options for men. Ananya Maloo and Anushree Maloo ideated this brand which is changing the men’s market by introducing products that men can use on a daily basis. They received 25 lakhs for 20% equity.

Aditi Madan is the co-founder of the company ‘BluePine Foods’ which produces different varieties of frozen foods like momos and spring rolls. She was one of the top 6 contestants in Masterchef India and she saw a huge market of authentic Himalayan food. She started with Rs 5 lakhs in 2016 but now her company is a 3.5cr firm. Vineeta, Aman and Ashneer funded Rs 75lakhs for 15% of the company’s equity.

Women face a lot more than pay disparities, there is an under-representation of women in senior roles, lack of family support and a lack of funding and investors in their ventures. Change is happening but slowly and gradually.

Kudos to these businesswomen who are making a difference and changing social norms!

Image source: Stills from the show Shark Tank India

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