The Shark Tank franchise has been popular in roughly 27 countries, but when it came to India, audiences in Bangladesh were very much thrilled.
The Covid pandemic had completely turned upside down the lives of so many people; while they were losing their jobs, there was also a boom in start-ups catering to the stay-at-home market, with food delivery leading the list, also a development of the gig economy.
The idea behind Shark Tank seems straightforward: small business owners who require capital to scale up their businesses pitch their ideas to a group of investors, or "sharks," who then assess them and determine if they want to invest money in exchange for shares in the company. The idea, the questions and answers, the hope in the pitchers' eyes, and the joy or disappointment after their proposal is accepted or rejected are the only simplified and entertaining aspects of pitching that are shown; there are, of course, many more legal and financial processes that are left off camera. Money Tigers, a popular Japanese business reality show, is where the Dragon's Den format first appeared. Beginning in 2009 and lasting 14 seasons, Mark Burnett's American adaptation, Shark Tank, garnered some Emmy awards along the way.
Shark Tank India Season 1 was a surprising success, with seven investors weighing bids across 34 episodes. The sharks, notably Ashneer Grover, became celebrities in their own right. It's hardly surprising that Shark Tank is a wildly popular show among business owners, given the high drama of a business pitch and the incisive critique of celebrity-level investors.
In general, entrepreneurs who are passionate about expanding their company and who enjoy what they do will draw investors more quickly, which will expedite their growth. The programme illustrates how perseverance, dedication, and enthusiasm can pay off. Some people have their ideas rejected, yet their will to succeed keeps them working toward their objectives. Most of the sharks on the Shark Tanks panel are millionaires and billionaires from the business world. These individuals will discuss their career paths and offer insightful guidance on how entrepreneurs might succeed in their ventures. The sharks will reject some applicants owing to weak negotiation skills, giving the audience a chance to learn from these situations. The sharks will warn some entrepreneurs when their requests for capital exceed their ownership stake in the company.
Abrarul Hassan Rahat residing in Uttara, a product manager of a USA-based tech company, said, "I used to watch Shark Tank Australia sometimes, but the Indian one really created hype around us. What I really like about this show is that a lot of the time, the people who come in the show don't really get funded by the sharks/dragons, but eventually they get other investors' attention and a much-needed recognition" when asked about his opinion of Shark Tank.
Zobayer Ahmed, a CSE graduate from Independent University, Bangladesh residing in Mirpur, said, "Thanks to the algorithm of Facebook, I came across Shark Tank India. Even though I am an engineering student, I have always been interested in startups. I wanted to learn about pitches and scalability. However, one thing that bothers me is that some pitches have very good social value, but they will be commercially hijacked."
The misconception that the only way to launch or expand a company is through raising numerous rounds of venture financing or the investment from a super-rich angel investor has been spread thanks to the current tech boom and shows like Shark Tank. The bad news is that most businesses require startup funding. However, this sum is frequently far lower than entrepreneurs anticipate. Large capital resources should only have an impact on your rate of acceleration and not on your ability to kick off. In fact, many venture capital firms would gladly run ten thriving small businesses in the hopes of making just one of them into a unicorn.
This one is more directed at the entrepreneurs than at the show itself. You'll frequently see an entrepreneur on Shark Tank who wants mentorship and advice from one of the Sharks more than financial backing.
Despite the mixed tone of this piece, I still believe Shark Tank to be one of the best programmes if only to occasionally give me a motivational kick in the rear. However, Shark Tank shouldn't serve as the standard for how to launch and scale your startup. The truth is that many of the lessons are applicable to some entrepreneurs but not to most, even if you can get beyond the fact that Shark Tank is, at the end of the day, a made-for-prime-time business show.
No matter if you enjoy Shark Tank or not, you should still watch it. Entrepreneurs can learn something new from each episode.
The characters showcase a variety of difficulties from real life that you can run into and offer successful answers. It's an excellent way to gauge your entrepreneurial skill.
How do you feel? Is Shark Tank a show that business owners should watch? Is it simply a reality TV show, though?
The writer is a startup enthusiast and a business analyst in Selise Digital Platforms.