This season of Shark Tank India has been winning over audiences much like its predecessor. But with fan-favourite judge and BharatPe founder Ashneer Grover not included in the judging panel, some fans grew disappointed when the season debuted early this year. Now, another talking point around it is the current financial status of its judges and their companies.
Who started the conversation? It all started when Harsh Vardhan Goenka, the chairperson of the $3.80 billion worth Indian RPG Group conglomerate, tweeted out his views on the current “Sharks”. Tweeting a screenshot of the FY (Financial Year) 2022 (which ended in March 2022) earnings of the Shark Tank companies headed by the judges, Goenka added that he gets reminded of the movie Jaws for some reason when thinking about the current Sharks, even adding that they are “bleeding” sharks.
I enjoy #SharkTankIndia as a program and I think it is a great platform for our budding entrepreneurs.— Harsh Goenka (@hvgoenka) January 22, 2023
But whenever I think of sharks, I think of the movie ‘Jaws’ and bleeding 🩸! pic.twitter.com/LAmGxQOiU8
What does Goenka’s numbers say? According to Goenka’s viral tweet, only Aman Gupta’s boAt speakers seems to be reporting a profit of Rs 79 crore while the rest are drowning in losses, including Amit Jain’s CarDekho, Anupam Mittal’s Shaadi.com, Peyush Bansal’s Lenskart, and Vineeta Singh’s SUGAR Cosmetics. Namita Thapar’s Encure Pharma’s numbers weren’t mentioned as it is not a startup unlike the other companies.
Goenka didn’t seem to mention where he sourced these stats from.
What is Goenka’s source? Are his numbers correct? Anupam Mittal, the Shaadi.com founder and two-time Shark hit back with a tweet from January 24, 2023, with him adding that Gupta’s data appears to be “superficial, biased and incomplete”.
I know you meant it in jest so with all due respect sir, I think u reacted to what appears to be superficial, biased & incomplete data. Happy to learn from stalwarts, but just to clarify, like u, the sharks 🦈 don’t bleed red, we bleed blue 🇮🇳 & that’s why we do what we do 🤗— Anupam Mittal (@AnupamMittal) January 24, 2023
However, it is not like Mittal himself shared any new numbers. So, the question still remains: Is Goenka correct or not?
Evaluating Shaadi.com’s performance in 2022: While Mittal is also an investor in a variety of companies ranging from Ola to COCOFIT to Bamboo India to even Jain Shikanji, he is still attached with the matrimony site Shaadi.com, serving as the CEO of its parent company People Group. According to a report dated September 9, 2022 by Delhi-based startup news platform Inc42, Mittal asserted that his company is profitable and will be IPO-ready in about 12 months. The last time Shaadi.com tried to go public was in 2009.
Sir, ‘actual’ data toh saamne hai. > 90% of the cos Sharks have invested in r unprofitable so the argument that ‘they are red but only look for green’ is fundamentally flawed. As for my cos, my stakeholders are regularly updated. And for those reasons, I am out. All the best 😉— Anupam Mittal (@AnupamMittal) January 26, 2023
The exact statistics behind its financial year records of 2022 are yet to be exactly determined as there is no precise source to determine them so far. As mentioned in Goenka’s tweet too, Shaadi.com has not revealed its financial year numbers ever since FY20.
While Mittal himself asserted that the company will be ready to go public this year, it faces competition from other matrimony sites like Bharat Matrimony and Jeevansaathi.com, both of which have already gone public.
What about Peyush Bansal and Lenskart? Eyewear company Lenskart has been having an impressive advertising run these days with its satirical ad films featuring founder and CEO Peyush Bansal as well as film director Karan Johar. The startup information portal and tracker Entrackr states in a report from November 10, 2022 that Lenskart indeed ran into losses in FY2022 (ending March 2022).
To quote data from the Entrackr report, the company faced a surge of over 72% in the total cost, which led to a loss of Rs 102 crore in FY22. In the financial year before that, Lenskart had actually made a Rs 29 crore profit. This coming March’s numbers for FY23 will obviously reveal the current state of Bansal’s company.
Are Vineeta Singh and SUGAR Cosmetics alright? Vineeta Singh, founder and current CEO of beauty and skincare company SUGAR Cosmetics, is also one of the returning judges for Shark Tank Season 2. An Inc42 report from December 23, 2022, mentioned an unfortunate loss streak for SUGAR.
From turning down a Rs 1 Crore job offer to starting her own venture, Shark Vineeta Singh of SUGAR Cosmetics defines the true meaning behind "Will to chase your entrepreneurial dream!" pic.twitter.com/4LUU8n1MyA— Shark Tank India (@sharktankindia) December 7, 2022
In FY21, SUGAR was reported to be facing losses of over Rs 21.1 crore, a number that jumped by 255% to Rs 75 crore in FY22.
What about the new Shark Amit Jain? Founder of Cardekho.com Amit Jain is one of the new judges this season. According to the car search and purchase platform’s own website, the FY22 numbers have been actually impressive.
Publications like Business Insider reported on the same with inputs from the company. The 246 crore loss tweeted by Harsha Goenka can still not be verified so far.
Finally, what’s the verdict? While Aman Gupta is still making profits with boAt’s speakers, headphones, and earphones, Goenka’s assertions of Anupam Mittal, Peyush Bansal, and Vineeta Singh’s companies facing losses is true (albeit with different statistics).
While Mittal’s company has not revealed their FY22 reports, the other two have come clean with their losses. If we are to believed Cardekho.com’s data, Amit Jain still seems to have had a good FY22 contrary to what Goenka was suggesting.
Like every financial year, FY23 will end on March 31, giving us updated figures.