Chaitanya Malhotra started by engaging judges in a therapeutic Mandala painting session during the second week of the aired show on Sony, Shark Tank India Season 3. The activity played a key role, very simply highlighting the basics of Malhotra's brand, Kalakaram—a DIY art & craft brand based in Delhi that aims to engage children not only with toys but also by helping them explore their creative sides.
Kalakaram offers an innovative and creative range of DIY kits. The founder believes in the potential and power of art to heal and transform lives. What also aided him in starting the brand was the fact that he belongs to a family with a 50-year legacy and expertise in selling raw materials for arts and crafts. Ultimately, he launched his brand, Kalakaram, in March 2022 and entered the market in August of the same year. "I had been exploring this category for a long time, and I believe there is a huge opening for high-quality, unique DIY kits," Mr. Malhotra says.
With more than 75 creatively enriching products, Kalakaram provides a platform for children to express themselves through creatively stimulating arts and crafts activities. From Dreamcatcher Making Kit to Candle Making Kit, the brand ensures active participation of the kids involved with the products.
Experience at Shark Tank
Keeping such a notion in mind and aiming to touch the lives of young minds, the founder presented his brand before the sharks. While the painting session highlighted Shark Namita Thapar's excellence with her immaculate painting skills, the founder's description sparked a conversation around the brand in the panels. 'I look up to everyone who was on the panel, and each of them was also extremely supportive and nice to me,' Mr. Malhotra says.
Along with highlighting the unique features of the brand, the founder made his initial offer: Rs 50 lakhs for 2.5% equity in the brand. Speaking about the deal negotiations, Mr. Malhotra reveals that he accepted the final deal proposed by Namita Thapar, Anupam Mittal, CEO of Shaadi.com, and Peyush Bansal: Rs 60 lakh at 6 percent equity. 'To have such people on the panel as mentors is something that people really wish for in their companies,' Mr. Malhotra says.
Recalling conversations with the other sharks, the founder mentions that Aman Gupta wanted to be a solo investor in the brand. 'I was looking to get more mentors on board, which is why I went for the three-shark deal,' he explains. On the other hand, according to Mr. Malhotra, Vineeta Singh had something in mind but did not want to put in an offer. 'I absolutely respect her decision,' he adds. Additionally, he notes that the show was a great learning experience for him and that he plans to work on every point made by the Sharks.
Beyond the deals, the founder describes the experience of being on the show as a 'once-in-a-lifetime' moment. Discussing the show, Mr. Malhotra emphasizes that all entrepreneurs have to follow a specific flow, and the team seamlessly executes it. 'Each member of the panel mentored and helped all entrepreneurs who were there with me, giving due importance and time to everyone,' he says. He adds that being on TV was a new experience for all the entrepreneurs present. The founder expresses gratitude to the team and the panel for selecting him for the pitch.
After Shark Tank India, the brand is eyeing various opportunities. Regarding this, the founder says, 'There are a lot of things to be planned, and with Shark Tank, the path has become a little easier in terms of marketing and people knowing the brand.'