I was always fascinated with Shark Tank and the fact that an Indian version of it was coming got me very excited. Ever since I heard of The Vault, I was curious to know how serious a reality show for startups in India could really be. Were these Investors really going to fund any startup or was it going to be just entertainment? But I decided to apply in any case. I definitely was not expecting to be shortlisted among the top 50 startups but hey, we made it to the list!
Pitching at The Vault was like a dream, it came and went and now I just wish I could have captured every single moment!
I was taken to the dressing room where a pretty makeup artist stood smiling waiting to touch up my face. I was shivering with anticipation and had my laptop open trying to note down last minute points. I was to pitch with Akhil, our CTO who is shy and doesn’t like to talk in public. But I must add that while he may be a shy 18-year-old, he sold his first company for $100,000 when he was only 15! Guys what were we doing when we were 15? Probably just fooling around.
We had to give a 20 second pitch in front of the Vault door and if the Investors liked what they heard we would get to enter the Vault. I seriously felt like someone should come and say KHUL JA SIM SIM! Also, it was decided between Akhil and I that I would do all the talking and Akhil would answer only tech related questions, if any.
The 20 second pitch was so quick that honestly I don’t remember what I said, but also when it comes to StyleDotMe I think even if someone asks me in my sleep I will always make sense.
So yes yes, the Door finally opened for us and there was this fancy smoke and fog and I felt like a celebrity who have just entered “Kaun Banega Crorepati” set. But the minute I saw 6 (not 5, but 6!) investors sitting right in front, the celebrity feeling was gone and I had butterflies in my stomach. I was stunned to see that Mr. Anupam Mittal, the founder of People Group, was one of the Investors that day. He had come as a guest Investor.
So there began our pitch and when I was done talking I was bombarded with multiple questions, some which I had never thought would be asked. The good part was that since StyleDotMe is my passion and I am very clear about what I want and where I want it to go, I was able to communicate my flexibility and desire to pull out all the stops to make it work.
Of all the questions asked to me, the one that is still in my mind is the one asked by Mr. Mittal “Will I be open to hiring people who are more skilled and qualified than me and even considering as having them as CEO, if required”. I have always believed that it’s the people that make a company. If I hire people who are less skilled and qualified than me, then the company’s scope remains to what knowledge I have. On the other hand, if every single new person I hire is the best qualified they could possibly be then I would be able to grow the company to a much larger and faster level. I think my answers impressed him and you’ll know why when you see the show!
Also, I was very happy to have Ameera Shah as one of the investors, because I personally feel we need more women mentors and investors who can share their experiences. They can inspire more women entrepreneurs to take the plunge and pursue their dreams. I was secretly wishing for her to show interest in StyleDotMe because I look up to her as my role model.
Rahul Singh has spent around 15 years in fashion industry so I was imagining what I would do if he agreed to Invest – I would conquer every trial room of all brands in the country and have StyleDotMe’s presence in them.
Mohit Goel is one person who could work day and night on something he will believe in. He has reached this height with Omaxe Group with some extremely smart strategies, so getting his attention was definitely on the list.
Vivek Bhargava is the leading digital Media Guru and only if he agreed to fund us we could even grow to become the next Instagram in no time!
The whole process of connecting with each of these investors and pitching on the show has given me a high and the confidence like nothing else so far. I am more motivated, inspired and willing to push myself to the limit to make sure StyleDotMe reaches it potential. Giving up was never an option anyway, but I am grateful to these investors for this extra enthusiasm that I have.
Also, people who think reality shows are all planned, please get on the show to know how every bit of it comes as a surprise and how you make it or break, is all in your hands.
So I would be happy if you guys can watch the Show on 3rd December 2016 @ET NOW 7:30 pm and 4th December 2016 @TIMES NOW 12:30 pm and tell me what you think.
-Meghna Saraogi, Founder: StyleDotMe