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Amit Jain on being the new ‘Shark’ in Shark Tank India

With the first season being a resounding hit, The Telegraph chatted with him, who has a net worth of Rs 2,900-crore, on his entry and the way forward

Priyanka Roy  Published 01.02.23, 05:50 PM
Amit Jain on Shark Tank India, streaming on SonyLIV

Amit Jain on Shark Tank India, streaming on SonyLIV

My follower count on social media has blown up ever since I became a part of Shark Tank India. I had a private account on Instagram and after making it public, the number of followers have risen exponentially,” says Amit Jain, the new ‘Shark’ on the all-new season of Shark Tank India. Jain, who hit pay dirt with his venture CarDekho, a car search initiative, a few years ago and now functions as the company’s CEO and co-founder, replaces the controversial and more in-your-face ‘Shark’ Ashneer Grover this season.

Jain, 46, joins Anupam Mittal (founder and CEO, — People Group), Aman Gupta (co-founder and CMO, boAt), Namita Thapar (executive director, Emcure Pharmaceuticals), Vineeta Singh (co-founder and CEO, SUGAR Cosmetics) and Peyush Bansal (founder and CEO, on the show, streaming on SonyLIV, that offers a platform to entrepreneurs with scalable, sellable business ideas. With the first season being a resounding hit, The Telegraph chatted with Jain, who has a net worth of Rs 2,900-crore, on his entry and the way forward.


This is a totally new role for you. What’s it been like so far?

I am a very normal person who is not used to the limelight as such. My family and friends are also like me. So obviously, there is a little bit of nervous excitement doing something like this. My family is happy and proud, of course.

What were your reasons to be a part of Shark Tank India?

I was in Jaipur on holiday and one day, the kids of my friend started pitching (entrepreneurship) ideas to me. I hadn’t yet watched Shark Tank then. But these kids had watched Season 1 and I witnessed a big change in the way they were talking about entrepreneurship.

That really surprised me because these kids were willing to go all out and try something new and on their own. During our younger days, our mindset was to look for a stable job. What I saw in these kids made me go ‘wow’. And then I discovered that they were watching Shark Tank (India). I was told, ‘Yaar, yeh show toh bahut khatarnaak hain...bahut bada impact de raha hain’.

So when the Sony team approached me to be a ‘Shark’ this season, I realised that this was a good opportunity to put everything that I had learnt and experienced as an entrepreneur to contribute to the growth and understanding of young minds in business. I already knew of the kind of impact the show had, and the chance to be a part of it excited me a lot.

The original Shark Tank has been around for many years and is available to stream in India. Why do you think the Indian version has become such a massive hit?

On this show, the ‘Shark’ is not the centre of attention, the ‘Pitcher’ is.. he is the main hero. The Indian audience has been able to identify with and relate to the Pitchers a lot. People think, ‘Yeh jo kar raha hain main bhi kar sakta hoon’. The thought that anyone can be on this show and possibly get the chance to make their entrepreneurial dreams come true is what has elevated the show in people’s minds. That’s how the show has connected so well.

What are the criteria you are looking for in a ‘Pitcher?’

I am looking for a fighter. A person’s value system has to be in place, banda achha hona chahiye. The idea always is to bet on the right person. If I talk in my parlance, if the driver is not sound enough, then how will the car run? The Pitcher I choose has to be honest, hardworking, a go-getter, has to have integrity....

The second part will, of course, be whether his or her business idea is worth greenlighting in the long run. There has to be a spark both in the Pitchers and their business. And then, the other more technical and economy-related factors like customer activation cost and so on come into play.

Sometimes, investing in a certain business idea may not yield much economic dividends, but it may inspire people to watch the show. As a Shark, my esponsibility is to also ensure that. So I also end up investing in areas which I feel may inspire a million more people.

Do the aspirations and the excitement of those who come in mirror yours when you started out?

Oh totally! I see myself in so many Pitchers. When you have a bootstrap business like I had when I started out, then you tend to automatically relate to those who come to the show. I have relived my dreams through so many of them. It’s been a sort of deja vu... it’s so inspiring to meet these folks.

You are the new Shark this season. Do you look at it as a disadvantage given that the other Sharks have more experience on the show or does being new help you bring in a fresh flavour and perspective?

They do have an edge given that they have been there in the first season. But it all depends on what one brings to the table and a lot of Pitchers have chosen me over the other Sharks.

What do you think are the qualities that have helped you ace as an entrepreneur?

Persistence and a never-give-up attitude. Plus, I have always dreamt big. Sapne hamesha bade hone chahiye. I have never been afraid of failure and I have always been ready to learn. And you always have to enjoy the journey, irrespective of wherever it takes you.

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