Two entrepreneurs from Bengaluru qualify for the reality show Shark Tank India
The duo sources ethnic food from different states
After graduating from SRCC Delhi, Bengaluru-based Muskan Sancheti and Raghav Jhawar, landed a job in a management consultancy firm. Thanks to the pandemic, there was a prolonged deferment in recruiting the two. However, this came as a blessing in disguise with the duo creating and shaping their own entrepreneurial journey — which sprouted out of the problem of ‘expensive and limited access’ of Rajasthani papad in Bengaluru.
Jhawar explains that Sancheti, who belongs to the Marwari community, realised that finding that particular papad with an authentic flavour was not easily available in Bengaluru. Thus, they hit upon the idea, carried out a survey and studied the gap between migrants and the lack of accessibility to their favourite hometown food products. This gave birth to The State Plate, a Bengaluru-based startup that sources ethnic food products from different states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Kerala among others. “We felt that there was enough demand among people staying in different cities who missed eating their local food. We thought we’d address this issue by directly sourcing them from small-scale manufacturers and distributors from various states and put them on one platform,” says Jhawar.
Sancheti and Jhawar are also now the lucky youngsters who featured in Shark Tank India, a reality show that helps connect entrepreneurs with a panel of investors, venture capitalists among others to raise funds. After raising their first round from a venture capitalist firm in 2020, Sancheti and Jhawar felt accelerating the operations, management and investment aspects of the startup was important. This, they felt, could be addressed by roping in an experienced entrepreneur from the reality show. “Firstly, we never expected that Shark Tank would enter the Indian startup space, and we also did not expect that we would clear all the rounds to make it to the reality show. We signed up for the show not just for the funds but wanted to expand our operational and management vertices,” says Jhawar.
The duo, both 22, believe that turning down the offer to work with a corporate and starting their own entrepreneurial journey was a decision in the right direction. “The prolonged deferment gave us the space to start our own entrepreneurial journey. Also, the exposure to the social entrepreneurship society in the water and handicrafts’ sector for two years during our college days made us understand business models, managing teams, dealing with vendors, raising funds which gave us the right entrepreneurship start,” says Jhawar who will be soon launching the food products under their own label ‘The State Plate’.
Currently, they have a warehouse where products from different manufacturers and distributors from various states are sourced. Some of their fast-moving products include bhakarwadi from Maharashtra, gobindobhog rice from West Bengal, solapuri shengdana chutney from Maharashtra among others. Talking about their equation, Sancheti says, “Raghav and I shared a common ground in a social entrepreneurship organisation in college which became the genesis of our startup journey. While I deal with creativity, marketing and strategising, Raghav is the one who is on the ground and executes the vision.”