'Not Fluent in Hindi': Chennai Man Claims He Wasn't Allowed To Pitch At Shark Tank India – News18

Curated By: Mehak Pal
Last Updated: March 08, 2024, 16:52 IST
New Delhi, India
Chennai-based entrepreneur Karthik Manikonda claims he was not allowed to pitch at the Shark Tank India because he was not fluent in Hindi. (Photo Credits: LinkedIn/@Karthik Manikonda)
Karthik Manikonda, a Chennai-based entrepreneur took to LinkedIn and claimed he was not allowed to pitch his startup at Shark Tank India. In the post, he expressed concerns about the popular TV show’s language bias. Manikonda is the founder of The Mind and Company, a company that focuses on mental health. The channel and the show producers are yet to verify the claim and react to this post.
In the LinkedIn post, the entrepreneur claimed that Shark Tank India has a policy of only allowing participants who are proficient in Hindi to pitch their business ideas. In the long list of reasons why he was not allowed to pitch, Karthik Manikonda highlights that despite proposing that he be allowed to pitch his idea in English, his request was reportedly denied by the show’s producers. He advocates a way to ensure that regional companies are not marginalised. Sharing the post on LinkedIn, he wrote, “The Mind and Company was selected for Shark Tank India, but was not allowed to pitch to the Sharks. Reasons: I am not fluent in Hindi. It is a Hindi show. It’s a national show. I proposed to allow me to pitch in English. And I hear a Big NO. Had they told me other reasons like, your scale is not big, or this industry is too niche, you are not investment ready, etc. I would have accepted. But, I can’t pitch in non-Hindi language was a bummer. I don’t blame Shark Tank. They have a format. They have to protect that. However regional startups shouldn’t lose out due to the language barriers. Any ideas on how can this be solved? AI real-time translation? How do world political leaders communicate in their local language?"
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Take a look at the viral LinkedIn Post:
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The post was shared on March 7, 2024, and since being shared it has sparked the debate on the internet. Several users flooded the comments section of the post. While some users suggested the entrepreneur learn Hindi others suggested him to hire a translator. “Maybe a good interpreter would have done the trick?" suggested a user. “Now we know why TN cries about 2 language policy. With AI the need for any other language instead of mother tongue will be questionable," added another user. One user also shared the inspirational story of Jamie Siminoff, founder of Ring company (developed video doorbell), who was thrown out of Shark Tank in 2013 and returned as a Shark (Investor) to the same Shark Tank in the 2018 season.
While News18 cannot independently verify the claims made by Manikonda, the channel and the show producers did not react to the claims immediately.


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