Shark Tank India Season 3 Episode 11

Shark Tank India Season 3 is a return to form and some welcome friction

Season 3 of Shark Tank India introduces new judges, segment and some welcome snarl that sort of fills the Ashneer Grover-shaped hole.

The judges

The judges of Shark Tank season 3 include Aman Gupta, Anupam Mittal, Namita Thapar, Vineeta Singh, Deepinder Goyal, Radhika Gupta, Peyush Bansal, Zhar Iqubal, Varun Dua, Ronnie Screwvala, Ritesh Agarwal, and Amit Jain.

There are 12 judges or sharks on Shark Tank India Season 3 Episode 11 including Aman Gupta (boAt), Vineeta Singh (Sugar Cosmetics), Ritesh Agarwal (OYO Rooms), Anupam Mittal ( and Peyush Bansal (Lenskart). (Screen grab/YouTube/Shark Tank India)

A scene from the second episode of Shark Tank India 3 shows Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal, the newest Shark on the panel, teaching a pair of pitches the basics of communication. There are several punctuation and grammar issues, and Goyal points them out with the middle-aged snippiness of someone who cannot tolerate neglect. “Why should you have the right to be on TV?” he asks coldly, confirming the gap that Goyal may someday fill. Ashneer Grover’s spirit appears to have returned to the tank, as some welcome snarl is reintroduced into a show that had lost both its edge and sharpness in an underwhelming second season. With new founders and a bucket full of new ideas, Shark Tank India returns to take that enviable slot of primetime highbrow reality TV entertainment.

The third season follows a period of quiet funding trends, layoffs, and some shocking revelations about some of the space’s superstars. Only this week, Byju’s, formerly the poster child for a popular section, published startling figures. Because of the stakes and consequences of this reality, start-ups in entertainment remain fertile land.

Since its ground-breaking first season, Shark Tank India has inspired not just streaming and TV imitations but also state-backed enterprises. It’s safe to say that the format, its satisfying mix of innovation, crunching numbers and the broader wrapper of education remains as intriguing as ever.

Since its groundbreaking debut season, Shark Tank India has spawned not only streaming and television imitations, but even state-backed ventures. It’s safe to argue that the format, with its pleasing blend of innovation, crunching data, and the bigger picture of education, is as attractive as ever.

It’s difficult to figure out whether anything has dramatically changed since the formative season. Most of the judges are familiar faces, offering a comfortable presence of legacy. The event is already becoming part of business literature, with the sharks’ statements being reread and gurgled with precision. “Har dhande ka ek gunda hota hai,” a contestant says, referencing Aman Gupta’s (CEO of boAt) comment from the previous season. It represents a conscious attempt to establish the show’s own legacy as a light of business possibilities.

Interestingly, the show continues to engage its audience by reducing itself. There are explanations for technical financial language, start-up buzzwords, and this season’s welcome addition of reviewing investment strategies (why commitments are constructed the way they are). To its credit, Shark Tank India wants to help people in general comprehend and consume its content, rather than just perform and escape. In essence, it’s a show attempting to increase its reach through education. It appears to be a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Not every addition to the roster, and the show’s overall design, adds zip. Rahul Dua as the illusion host is a confusing and at times frustrating filler. He continues to appear in what appears to be branding segments, ranging from awkward stretching exercises to money minting holes. In the third season, Dua meets with the creators and asks them questions submitted by viewers, but it’s still an unconvincing use of a stand-up comedian, positioned to possibly inject some humour into the show. That comedy continues to emerge from the judges, their unscripted and possibly intuitive reactions to pitches, and their nervy methods. Indeed, trimming the fat and replacing it with something more relevant or pithy may improve the experience rather than subtract from it.

Shark Tank India also has another issue. It’s become a hotbed for executives seeking fame on both sides of the pitch. The judges from previous seasons have already become household names, implying that the show, no matter what happens in the background, is as much a chance for fame for those writing the checks as it is a window of opportunity for those seeking it. It presents the pleasant problem of having given birth to a golden goose that everyone wants a piece of. There’s nothing wrong with piggybacking on a cultural moment, but it raises the issue of honesty. Is this a show to support entrepreneurs, or a regulated exercise in vanity? Wherever that moral compass points to, it does swivel on this daze of gratifying entertainment. At least it’s a step up from the dating and dancing reality TV spiel we have been subjected to in the past.

Judging this season of Shark Tank India versus prior ones is difficult. There could be proof that the show plans to recapture. Can it, say, build another ‘Jugaadu Kamlesh’? This identifies the show’s target audience as being media-savvy. To a restless youth searching outside the safety net of jobs and white-collar work, it’s the ideal combination of ambition, hustling, and front-row celebrity. So the climb is as outstanding as the fall is unacceptable.

Consequently, the start-up story, if nothing else, is box-office. It only makes sense that something so absorbing in reality, has a close cousin on TV trying to stoke the fires, push the envelope and invite that calculated bite into recklessness. It’s unlikely to become dull and stale anytime soon.

Season 3 of Shark Tank India is now streaming on SonyLIV.

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