ganesh balakrishnan: Days after Flatheads founder’s business pitch, Sharks Aman Gupta and Vineeta Singh have this message for Ganesh Balakrishnan

Flatheads founder Ganesh Balakrishnan’s story on ‘Shark Tank India 2’ was a tale every new-age entrepreneur can relate to. Despite his struggles and failure to raise money on the business reality TV show, Balakrishnan’s entrepreneurial spirit earned a lot of praise across the nation. Also read: After ‘Shark Tank India […]

Flatheads founder Ganesh Balakrishnan’s story on ‘Shark Tank India 2’ was a tale every new-age entrepreneur can relate to.

Despite his struggles and failure to raise money on the business reality TV show, Balakrishnan’s entrepreneurial spirit earned a lot of praise across the nation.

Also read: After ‘Shark Tank India 2’ pitch went downhill, Flatheads founder reveals his 10-yr-old wants to be an entrepreneur

The Unsweetened 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.

« Back to recommendation stories

In her emotional post, she shared that not being able to help the footwear entrepreneur build his dream was a ‘hard’ decision that continues to make her emotional.

“I don’t have words to describe the courage, clarity and honesty of the entrepreneur who under the glare of 14 cameras is able to make the choice to be a better provider for his family rather than continuing to go after his dream! Watching Ganesh make that choice and not being able to help him build his dream was so hard that every time I speak about him, it makes me emotional,” she wrote in her caption alongside a picture of herself hugging Balakrishnan on the show.

With her post, Singh shared another picture from 2013 that showed the cosmetic queen lying in bed with a pillow on her face. She shared that the image showed Singh breaking down after failing at a make-or-break pitch. “(This) is why this hit home so hard and why I felt like I’ve been in Ganesh’s shoes a million time. I’m proud of you, Ganesh, for doing the right thing. You have far more courage than me. And I do hope to see you build your dream again someday,” she added.

Sharing her story, Singh said that she worked hard to get into the Indian Institute of Technology. Post that, she was seen as a hero for taking the road less travelled, but struggling to scale multiple businesses, finding it difficult to get momentum and then facing big setbacks. She also had the fear of being written off as a ‘failed entrepreneur’. She also recalled the ‘terror of the first week of every month’ when she had to put together the teams’ salaries.

“The nervousness at every pitch where you’ve to pretend to not look desperate, but you know payroll depends on the outcome. Borrowing money from friends and family knowing that whatever happens, you can’t lose their money – it sounds like Ganesh’s story but it’s also mine. And is also that of many entrepreneurs. And hence I felt his pain in my gut,” she shared.

The boAt Story
boAt co-founder Aman Gupta and another Shark on the popular show took to social media to pen a heartwarming note.

In his note, he said that he could see himself in Balakrishnan during the Flatheads pitch. On the show, Gupta had advised the entrepreneur to take a break, build some learnings and then return stronger.

“Since I could relate with him so much, I didn’t shy away from speaking my mind and told him to do what I would have done if I were him – start over,” Gupta shared in his post.

Although tough feedback to process, Gupta said only a person with ‘real character’ can accept it. “It takes real guts to say ‘no’ to a great funding offer on national TV to restart and recalibrate. I hope he is on to something huge soon. Massive respect and he will be back with a bang,” he added.

Sharing his entrepreneurial journey, the consumer electronics brand boss said that he had to restart his business five times. After being a part of the corporate world, he had to return to entrepreneurship. While it may be an inspiring story now, facing failures can be unnerving, he said. “I also have faced those days. I also have failed before being successful. I also have been down before being here. I also am a human before being a Shark,” he concluded.

Thanking Gupta for the open letter, Balakrishnan lauded the boAt head for showing ‘100x more courage’ to admit his failures. “While everybody says it took guts for me to say it on Shark Tank India, it takes 100x more courage for you to admit your failures when you are already one of the most recognizable faces in the Indian startup ecosystem,” he wrote in another LinkedIn post.

Balakrishnan's reply to GuptaAgencies

Balakrishnan’s reply to Gupta

Furthermore, he said that it was time for entrepreneurs to normalise talking about the ‘real side’ of starting up a business. “Vineeta Singh already shared her journey yesterday. Here’s hoping all the sharks will lead the way for all of us,” he added.

Balakrishnan also dedicated the limited edition #DownButNotOut T-shirt on the Flatheads website to Gupta.

Showing Support
Recently, Singh’s business partner and husband Kaushik Mukherjee took to social media to share that he ordered his Flatheads footwear on Thursday (January 5), which he received on Tuesday (January 10).

“Feels light on my feet. And happy in my heart. Flatheads – naam toh suna hoga,” he wrote alongside a picture 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 up the SUGAR COO, who was ‘super humble’ on the first call with him and patiently listened to the context and offered ‘pertinent’ advice and suggestions.

“The call that was meant to last for 10 minutes went on for an hour or more, and he was super helpful and gracious to give us the time and attention on a weekend, the few hours that an entrepreneur gets to unwind and recharge,” Balakrishnan wrote.

Balakrishnan's LinkedIn postAgencies

Balakrishnan’s LinkedIn post

Praising Mukherjee’s patience and kindness, Balakrishnan said he would have gladly gifted the cosmetic brand owner a pair of sneakers for the ‘kind of guy he is’.

“We need more such founders who pay it forward without any expectations. Talking of which, here’s a shoutout to D2C Insider, a community of D2C founders that have been 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 being a part of the gang!,” he added.

Next Post

Wells Fargo, once the No. 1 mortgage player, steps back from business

Sat Jan 14 , 2023
Wells Fargo is stepping back from the multitrillion-dollar market for U.S. mortgages amid regulatory pressure and the impact of higher interest rates. Instead of its previous goal of reaching as many Americans as possible, the company will now focus on home loans for existing bank and wealth management customers and […]

You May Like