(Part 2/2) After airing: Cannot forget that week because "NEXT WEEK" was about to change my life forever.
I didn't know whether my pitch would be aired as it was almost the tail end of the season. Little did I realize; that the best is kept for the last.
Honestly, I had stopped watching Shark Tank after a few weeks, because it made me feel uneasy. It kept reminding me, how badly I had pitched a novel idea, and how much better I am capable of doing but didn’t.
With the promos being aired with great pompous, I had two choices with me.
1. Go undercover for a year, come back once it is forgotten (however live with the agony, disgust, shame of being a looser and whatnot- probably for life)
2. Second was to go out there and fcuk the fcuk out of FU*CK!
Now, it wasn’t anymore about just Sippline, but it was about my reputation, my dreams & ambitions, all that I had built and worked for till now to come up in life; everything was at stake. If anyone thought; ironically most did, that Rohit Warrier and Sippline will be dead after the show, they were certainly in for a shock of their lives.
And guess what, Option 1 wasn’t even a choice. Since October, there was only one Option which is; “Go out there and prove us wrong”- Anupam Mittal.
The last time when I was so pumped and inspired to achieve something in life was in 2012 when I was dumped. Multiply that by 100. That is me now!
Honestly, I had tiring nights while designing and developing Sippline but never sleepless nights, like the ones after the show aired.
Suddenly a new facet of Indians showed up on my social media handles, ones I never knew existed. Or maybe existed but never faced them myself. This included jackals, meaning trollers disguised as friends (real life). How I enjoyed giving a stern warning to one of them when their true self showed up and seeing them run like squirrels after. Their behavior shocked me to the core, literally breaking my spine into disbelief and despair. After a point, I had started to wonder, why am I even here, let’s get the hell out of here. Not because I wanted to run away, but because I wanted to be in a place where you are valued and not being treated by jobless millennials & Gen Z’s with pathetic language, hurling abuses; & a special mention to a section of working professionals who were drawing paychecks from respective employers but wasting their time and energy on our channels.
It was astonishing to see a country where start-ups are being promoted aggressively by the government but being mocked by its people. For what? For having invented a new concept, getting a granted patent, and having the courage to not just think out of the box but also execute them. If this was bad, I wondered what was good! I wondered how any start-up will survive with such people, mindset & toxicity around. I am thick-skinned, but most aren’t, and this attitude of fellow Indians concerned me for days on end. Nation-building was the least of their worries.
BUT, there was also a sizeable section of the society vouching for me, my idea, and my belief and they grew as I kept marching ahead undeterred by the noise around. I don’t know how am I doing it, but I am just doing it. Ironically, I have started getting numerous messages with apologies, stating that “I laughed at you, I made fun of you, I trolled you, but I was wrong, and I am sorry for it now” – Unknown troller. Should I call it an act of God, I wonder? 😉
I was supposed to go Sky Diving 4th Feb onwards, a couple of days after my pitch aired but postponing the trip was one of the best things I did within a few hours of airing. I was in two minds then, whether or not to postpone, but I am glad I made the right choice. I wouldn’t have made those reels, had I made this trip. I wouldn’t have started the AMA, had I made this trip. I wouldn’t have done a lot of things important had I been Sky Diving that week.
After slogging your ass off the whole day, you open your Instagram or YouTube and the comments that welcome you on your channel was just Muaaah (sarcasm). No matter how much I talk about the trolls and the unwanted noise, it will never be enough. Because, while I am writing this post after a long day at work, there would be someone else, also writing, after a very long day on the couch – “Bhai kya kar raha hai yar tu” 😅. I can certainly have a good laugh about it now, but not always.
Although I have been an entrepreneur most of my professional life, and I excel the most when I am under pressure, this was Just Another Level of stress and pressure; ZERO experience of so much attention, MINUS ZERO experience of trollers, Ohhhh GOD. What a script to my life!
The significance of having a partner was felt dearly! Not that I didn’t want it, but it just never happened with the right vibes when it should have. Still waiting. FYI, I meant a soul mate and not a business partner 😝.
From the kind of ire and wrath I had faced on Shark Tank, to get back to even a neutral position was a colossal task. Or Smart work. But I thought we needed both in plenty. One thing was clear, “jaise lohe ko loha kat ta hai”, similarly we must make enough ‘right noise’ to cut down the ‘wrong noise’. All the unwanted noise was stemming from the fact that, accept it or not, we have a herd mentality. I don’t have to mention where it is coming from.
Now how do you make the right noise?
Give the masses what they want to see, i.e. masala to lure them, and then subtly put out a message somewhere in between and connect both. Masala gives us the mileage and reach while people who want to understand will get the message bang on.
Ex: 'Dhoond kaun raha hai reel' https://www.instagram.com/reel/CamO0vMA7Iw/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
'Sugar cosmetics transfer-proof hai reel' - https://www.instagram.com/reel/Caz3V8WL9XD/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
'Weird pitches, not so weird now reel' with Niti Singhal-https://www.instagram.com/reel/CcDnAbBjyQj/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link or
any other reel on our page. I am grateful to have a Social Media team who was able to execute the ideas into reality. Their role has been vital thus far in our journey of 'Not Giving Up'.
I would also like to take a moment and state in bold that, NONE OF THE REELS WE MADE WERE TO MOCK ANYONE! On the contrary, we took permission from relevant people on a few occasions before posting it. So our objective was to make some good noise with humor/ creativity while also passing our message to the masses in a subtle way. And people loved it. Now, if a few trollers get offended by our reels, there is not much I can do because they don’t have anything else to do.
Life will always throw immense challenges at you. One must do nothing but stand & face it and never run from it. That’s the first step to something good. I do not know whether Sippline will be successful or not as I am not an astrologer, but as a businessman and a risk-taker, I am confident about it. These are very early days, and it will take time, but we will eventually get there. Hopefully, Sippline becomes independent soon enough than relying on the parent company. Moreover, Sippline is the first innovation from this business with several more coming soon.
Lastly, my Dignity is my asset, and no one can dare take it from me needlessly. I have all the right to defend it, should harm come its way and I shall do what is within my rights and capacity to uphold it. Shark Tank has truly been a dream come true for me.