This week’s Shark Tank India episode, which featured a hair dye firm, followed the same drama-filled formula: there were fights between the “sharks,” negotiations with the pitches, and a disappointing outcome for a couple of the “sharks.” But what made this instance special was the commotion and discussion it generated after it was broadcast.
Despite obtaining an agreement that both she and her co-founder were happy with, Yushika Jolly, CEO of Paradyes, detailed the abuse she experienced online when the show aired on Thursday on LinkedIn. She claimed that the hostile comments she was receiving were influenced by “gender discrimination, “despite the fact that her co-founder and husband had been “praised for his superb negotiating skills.”
The 26-year-old CEO wrote in a LinkedIn post, “In the last 48 hours, I have been called “rude, smug, manipulative, greedy, bitch and unprofessional.” Hate messages abound in my DMs, in the comments on my personal page, and even on my brands’ page. I draw attention to the gender prejudice because, in contrast, my husband, who is also the co-founder, is getting praised for his excellent negotiating skills.”
She defended her choice to accept the offer from the CEO of Sugar Cosmetics Vineeta Singh and Co-founder of ‘boAt,’ Aman Gupta, over that of Lenskart CEO Peyush Bansal, claiming that she is “better at her business than any keyboard warrior.”
Yushika Jolly and Siddharth Raghuvanshi entered the show asking 65 lakh rupees for 1% equity in their business. Although Piyush Bansal gave them what they asked for, the two ultimately decided to accept Vineeta and Aman’s offer of 65 lakhs for 2% equity.
The hatred Ms Jolly has experienced, though, has a bright side. “Since our airing, sales on our website and in a few particular marketplaces have practically doubled. Our website has seen a 20x spike in traffic.”
This month saw the start of Shark Tank India’s second season. The reality programme, which debuted a year ago, features companies looking for funding from seasoned businessmen. The programme is an Indian adaptation of the popular US television programme Shark Tank, which is presently airing its 14th season.