“Yeh sab doglapan hai”, “mujhe brand banana aata hai”, “I wish you all the best”, “hum bhi bana lenge” — one doesn’t even need to complete these sentences and someone will tell you they’re from the Indian spinoff of Shark Tank. The show has gained so much popularity and rightly so, not just because of its format, but also the judges’ unique comments and punchlines.
Such has been the impact of the series that BoAt co-founder Aman Gupta’s “hum bhi bana lenge” has even made it to Zomato’s Twitter page.
moms every time you order food pic.twitter.com/YfO4BNzaD6
— zomato (@zomato) January 20, 2022
This is just the beginning of Shark Tank India’s explosion in the meme world. There are seven ‘sharks’, and each of them come with their own set of memes (and expertise, of course). Even the Indian government’s Instagram page, MyGovIndia, hopped on the bandwagon to assert their message.
— Rhea Thatte (@RheaThatte) January 11, 2022
— Sabudana khichadi (@Dishasatra) January 25, 2022
— Nabeel Hasnain (@HasnaiNabeel) January 30, 2022
View this post on Instagram
The fun, though, doesn’t just stop at the memes. Comedians like Biswa Kalyan Rath, Rohan Joshi, Sahil Shah, Mallika Dua and Urooj Ashfaq have joined the movement, imitating the ‘sharks’. From Bharat Pe founder Ashneer Grover to Shaadi.com founder Anupam Mittal and Emcure Pharmaceuticals CEO Namita Thapar (Phar-Ma), nobody wanted to miss out on the high tide of Shark Tank India.
The ‘sharks’ have become a brand themselves, besides having created those worth multiple crores.
Popular culture aside, many of them are even hailed as ‘heroes’ for investing in ‘noble’ start-ups or for their polite demeanour. One just needs to take a look at the YouTube comments of any one of the Shark Tank India episodes. Even someone as hot-headed as Ashneer Grover is hailed when he invested in a banana chips company and displayed compassion towards the founder, realising he was uncomfortable speaking in Hindi. With many calling the gesture ‘heart-warming’, and him, ‘humble’.
All this reaction begs one fundamental question — what is so gripping about the show that has everyone hooked to it?
Masala to education — Shark Tank has it all
Shark Tank India isn’t just entertainment, it sells dreams, and at the same time, is educational, with many sharks explaining various economic terms. In addition to all of this, it can also surprise you with a dash of masala — a ‘shark’ ripping into a person or breaking down, marvelling at the participant’s innovation based on personal struggle. With all this and more, what you have is a winning formula for the quintessential Indian television viewer’s heart.
Watching someone get the investment they need, along with the guidance of successful mentors, makes the audience hopeful of pursuing their own dreams. After all, what can be more stirring than seeing someone overcome hardships to achieve their goals?
Shark Tank India airs on Sony TV at 9 p.m., taking over the primetime slot that is usually reserved for soap operas and prime time anchors. The show both entertains and educates. The ‘sharks’ can be seen explaining economic terms like ‘gross margin’ and ‘TAM’ (Total Addressable Market) that might not be understood by all, but will still be appreciated by the general audience. It also inspires some entrepreneurial spirit in households. It’s not every day that you see people going home with at least Rs 50 lakhs or a few crores for pitching their ideas.
People must be wondering — if someone who makes detachable sleeves, sells mixers, creates apps for newborn babies and 3-year-olds, sells underwear called ‘bummers’, sells hair extensions and creates apps to monitor the temperature of cows is getting so much money and investors, then what is stopping me?
On my way to Chennai, while watching the show, the driver turned to me and said: “Are you watching Shark Tank? I liked the banana chip man from Kerala a lot. I am also thinking about an idea, I will showcase it in the second season.”
This is one such example to highlight how the show is already creating an entrepreneurial wave across India. One can only hope they get the right support from the government, despite the current status of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and investors.
Even if one doesn’t come up with a business idea or a startup plan, there are a whole new bunch of punchlines to add to one’s kitty — “hum bhi bana lenge“, “bilkul bakwas hai yeh, band kar do isse” or “yeh meri expertise nahi hai, I am out” — you can take your pick.
(Edited by Srinjoy Dey)