Despite his struggles and failure to raise money on the entrepreneurial reality show, Balakrishnan’s entrepreneurial spirit won much praise across the country.
sugar without sugar
SUGAR Cosmetics CEO Vineeta Singh, who is one of the popular Sharks on the TV show, took to Instagram to praise Balakrishnan’s courage, clarity and honesty.
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In her emotional post, she shared that not being able to help the shoe businessman build his dream was a “hard” decision that continues to excite her.
“I have no words to describe the courage, clarity and honesty of the businessman who under the glare of 14 cameras is able to make the decision to be a better provider for his family instead of continuing to pursue his dream! Watching Ganesh take that decision and not being able to help him build his dream was so hard that every time I talk about him, I get emotional,” she wrote in her caption alongside a photo of her hugging Balakrishnan on the show.
With her post, Singh shared another photo from 2013 showing the cosmetic queen lying in bed with a pillow over her face. She shared that the image showed Singh collapsing after missing a decisive pitch. “(This) is why it struck me so much and why I felt like I had stepped in Ganesh’s shoes a million times. I’m proud of you Ganesh for doing the right thing. You have so much more courage than me. And I hope to see you build your dream again one day.”
Sharing his story, Singh said that he worked hard to get into the Indian Institute of Technology. After that, she was seen as a hero for taking the road less traveled, but struggling to scale multiple businesses, finding it difficult to gain momentum, and then facing major setbacks. She was also afraid of being dismissed as a ‘failed businesswoman’. She also recalled the ‘terror of the first week of every month’ when she had to put together the salaries of the teams.
“The nervousness at every pitch where you have to pretend not to seem desperate, but you know the payroll depends on the result. Borrowing money from friends and family knowing that no matter what, you can’t lose their money, sounds like the story of Ganesh, but it’s also mine. And it’s also that of many entrepreneurs. And there I felt his pain in my stomach,” he shared.
THE STORY OF THE SHIP
boAt co-founder Aman Gupta and another shark on the popular show took to social media to pen a touching note.
In his note, he said that he could see himself in Balakrishnan during the Flatheads launch. On the show, Gupta had advised the entrepreneur to take a break, build some learnings, and then come back stronger.
“Because I could relate to him so much, I wasn’t ashamed to speak my mind and told him to do what I would have done if I were him: start over,” Gupta shared in his post.
Although the comments are difficult to process, Gupta said only a person with “real character” can accept them. “It takes a lot of guts to say ‘no’ to a huge funding offer on national TV to reboot and recalibrate. I hope he’s onto something big soon. Massive respect and he’ll be back with a bang,” she added.
Sharing his entrepreneurial journey, the head of the consumer electronics brand said he had to restart his business five times. After being part of the corporate world, he had to go back to entrepreneurship. While it may now be an inspiring story, facing failure can be unnerving, he said. “I too have faced those days. I have also failed before succeeding. I have also been depressed before being here. I am also a human before I was a Shark ”, he concluded.
Thanking Gupta for the open letter, Balakrishnan praised the ship’s chief for showing ‘100 times more courage’ to admit his faults. “While everyone says I had the guts to say it on Shark Tank India, it takes 100 times more courage for you to admit your faults when you’re already one of the most recognizable faces in the Indian startup ecosystem,” he wrote on another LinkedIn. to post.
Balakrishnan’s response to Gupta
Furthermore, he said it was time for entrepreneurs to normalize by talking about the ‘real side’ of starting a business. “Vineeta Singh already shared her journey yesterday. We hope all sharks will lead the way for all of us,” she added.
Balakrishnan also dedicated the limited edition #DownButNotOut t-shirt on the Flatheads website to Gupta.
Recently, Singh’s business partner and husband, Kaushik Mukherjee, took to social media to share that he ordered his Flatheads footwear on Thursday (Jan 5), which he received on Tuesday (Jan 10).
“Feels light on my feet. And happy in my heart. Flatheads – naam toh suna hoga”, he wrote next to a photo of himself wearing his new shoes.
While some praised him for encouraging an upcoming brand, some found Mukherjee ‘opportunistic’ for sporting the shoes for free publicity. Balakrishnan addressed the controversy and decided to ‘clear the air’.
In his LinkedIn post, the Flatheads founder said that he interacted with Mukherjee long before ‘Shark Tank India’ season 1 aired.
When Balakrishnan was seeking some strategic advice for his company, he called SUGAR’s COO, who was “super humble” on the first call with him and patiently listened to the context and offered “relevant” tips and advice.
“The call that was supposed to last 10 minutes went on for an hour or more, and he was very helpful and kind in giving us the time and attention over a weekend, the few hours an entrepreneur has to relax and recharge.” Balakrishnan wrote.
Balakrishnan LinkedIn post
Praising Mukherjee’s patience and kindness, Balakrishnan said he would have gladly given the cosmetics brand owner a pair of slippers for the “type of person he is.”
“We need more such founders who pay without expectations. Speaking of which, here’s a shout out to D2C Insider, a community of D2C founders that was formed with this in mind: no agendas, just founders helping each other with honest advice. . , suggestions and connections. If you are a D2C founder, you should definitely consider joining the gang!”