Shark Tank India Season 3: Saree-wearing entrepreneur stuns judges with Rs 7 crore annual earnings from rural startup – Zee Business

Shark Tank India Season 3: A man sporting a saree appeared to present his pitch in a Shark Tank India Season 3 episode. Some may call it bizarre, some may call it his devotion to his brand. But this is how Ankush R Barjata’s presented his pitch at a recent episode of Shark Tank India Season 3. His style of appearance immediately caught the eyes of judges. What impressed them even more was his brand- DEEVA: The Online Sari Store. The ranegs of sarees made the startup’s presence felt at India’s biggest television platform for entreprenerus, and Barjata’s initiative won a Shark Tank deal from Aman Gupta, co-Founder and CMO of boAt, Radhika Gupta, MD & CEO of Edelweiss Mutual Fund, and Ritesh Aggarwal, Founder and CEO of OYO Rooms.
The journey of Ankush, who hails from the quaint village of Bangana in Himachal Pradesh’s Una district, began in June 2022 when he launched DEEVA to fill a glaring gap in the market. Despite the traditional perception of sarees being solely for women, Ankush recognised a growing trend of men embracing this attire. With a vision to offer a diverse range of sarees under one platform, Ankush traversed the country, collaborating with manufacturers to create DEEVA.
The inspiration for Ankush’s venture stems from his family’s background in the textile industry. Building on his grandfather and father’s legacy, Ankush delved into saree retail, driven by a desire to revolutionise the market. Despite initial setbacks, including his father’s business losses during the pandemic, Ankush’s determination led him to explore opportunities beyond his village.
During his stint in Hyderabad, Ankush encountered a saree manufacturer, sparking his entrepreneurial spirit. Recognising the potential for affordable yet quality sarees, Ankush embarked on a mission to bridge the gap between manufacturers and consumers. DEEVA’s unique proposition lies in its direct sourcing model, which ensures competitive pricing and top-notch quality.
DEEVA primarily focuses on powerloom sarees, catering to a wide audience seeking affordable options. Through an online platform, Ankush aims to offer sarees at half the price of conventional retailers. Moreover, DEEVA’s inclusive approach allows retailers, wholesalers, and distributors to collaborate seamlessly.
Despite operating from a rural backdrop, DEEVA has witnessed exponential growth, with a projected revenue of Rs 7 crore this year. Ankush’s commitment to customer satisfaction is evident through his no-questions-asked return policy, fostering trust and loyalty among patrons. With a strong gross margin and significant EBITDA, DEEVA stands as a testament to Ankush’s entrepreneurial acumen.
Ankush’s journey to Shark Tank India was not without its challenges, as he previously faced rejection in the second season. However, his perseverance paid off as he secured a deal of Rs 75 lakh for 6 per cent equity, along with a debt of Rs 1.25 crore for 3 years at 10 per cent interest, with Aman Gupta, Radhika Gupta and Ritesh Aggarwal. Together, they invested in DEEVA, propelling Ankush’s vision to establish India’s premier saree brand.
In a competitive market, Ankush’s success story exemplifies the power of resilience and innovation, proving that entrepreneurial dreams can flourish even in the most unexpected corners of the country.
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