New shark Amit Jain on reports that say he is ‘replacing’ Ashneer Grover on Shark Tank India

Shark Tank India’s second season is ready to be aired. The show was a huge hit in its first season as it showcased budding entrepreneurs pitching their businesses to veteran businesspersons called sharks. The show made celebs out of the sharks as well with all of them becoming household names. Now, season 2 is introducing a new name in the panel of sharks–Amit Jain. The entrepreneur speaks to Hindustan Times on his new role and the experience. Also read: Shark Tank India’s Ashneer Grover joins Pitchers 2, says ‘jab tak hai Grover, it’s not over’. Watch

Amit is the CEO and co-founder of CarDekho group. Talking about how being a shark is different from being a CEO, he says, “Being a shark is extremely exciting. It is a more responsible job than being an entrepreneur because now you have a voice that will be heard by millions from across the country. You have a responsibility towards the pitchers who come.”

The 46-year-old says he can relate to some of the pitchers on the show as he had a similar journey in the business world, having started his company in a garage back home in Jaipur. “I began in Jaipur and I have seen the impact of the show in my own city. My friends and circle were all talking about it. I think India will have to do a bit more to be a developed nation and for that 3-4 things need to happen. Among them are smaller towns having more entrepreneurs. Also, women, who form 50% of the population, need to be a greater part of the workforce. I felt Shark Tank India gives me a platform where I can help enable some of these changes and also give my thoughts a wider reach. I feel I am seeing myself in the pitchers. I started my company in a garage, and now I see so many founders from smaller cities with similar cities, it is like déjà vu for me,” says Amit.

Amit is the only new face in the sharks’ panel this season. Five of the seven original sharks are returning. But he says he was welcomed with open arms and had no trouble adjusting. He explains, “I felt comfortable because I knew some of them. It wasn’t as if I was meeting them for the first time. In the startup community, you get to interact. I wanted to understand the whole pattern of it so I was tentative at first. The whole panel of sharks actually made me feel comfortable as I stepped into the show. There is always banter and healthy competition there. But whatever fights happen in the tank don’t come outside. That’s the good part.”

Talking about how real the reality show is, Amit says, “Everything you see there is real, just a constricted, edited version of it. The emotion and fights are real too. Everyone sitting there is a successful person. I don’t think they’d take instructions from anyone on how to conduct business deals.”

One of two names who are not returning to Shark Tank India from season one is Ashneer Grover, the BharatPe co-founder. Many reports have said that Amit is ‘replacing’ Ashneer, who became quite popular with the fans in season one. Mention this and Amit laughs before adding, “I have been reading a lot of this but the reality is that I am a new shark bringing a new dimension to the show. Each shark has his way of telling his own story in his own way. Everyone brings something unique to the table.”

Apart from Amit, the show also features Namita Thapar (executive director of Emcure Pharmaceuticals), Aman Gupta (co-founder and CMO of boAt), Vineeta Singh (SUGAR Cosmetics co-founder and CEO), Anupam Mittal ( founder), and Peyush Bansal (CEO and co-founder of Lenskart). The new season will air on Sony TV later this month.