Shark Tank: Why Batra Sisters' Self-Assuredness Bewildered Investors

While the Sharks proposed conditional offers to Divya and Pragya Batra's brand, Quirksmith, the sister duo refused to settle. This might have irked the Sharks but it also showed the entrepreneurs' conviction in their brand.

Tanya Savkoor
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batra sisters quirksmith

Divya and Pragya Batra of Quirksmith. | Image: Screenshot, Shark Tank India YouTube

Sister-duo Divya Batra Das and Pragya Batra proposed their poetic jewellery brand, Quirksmith, on a recent episode of Shark Tank India. Although Quirksmith's jewellery has the power to speak for themselves, Divya offered a mesmerising introduction to their products with poetic expression in flawless Hindi. The 2016-born brand features handcrafted silver jewellery that is not just adornments, but also conversation starters. From eccentric messages to rustic calligraphy, Quirksmith's unique products captured the eyeballs of all the Sharks (investors). 


The Batra sisters sought an investment of Rs 80 lakh at 1% equity. Despite their mesmerising pitch, some of the Sharks were hesitant to make an offer. Anupam Mittal of cited the slow growth that the company had witnessed since its inception and also doubted whether their jewellery could be scaled from occasion wear to daily wear. Then came Aman Gupta and Amit Jain's offer, which changed the course of the entire episode.

Why Batra Sisters' Pitch Went Wrong

While the Sharks doubted the Batra sisters, a sportive Divya responded, "It was our conscious decision to take the business forward at a slow pace. But only recently, we realised that we want to make it big. Working with our team and watching them grow gives us immense happiness that we cannot articulate in words."

Aman Gupta of boAt and Amit Jain of CarDekho made an offer to the Batra sisters with revised terms and valuation. Jain offered Rs 30 lakh for 3% equity, with Rs 50 lakh in debt at 12% interest for two years. Meanwhile, Gupta offered Rs 30 lakh at 3.3%, valuing the brand at Rs 9 crores, and Rs 50 lakh in debt at 12% interest for three years.

The sisters pondered the offers and decided to walk back without an investor. Stern on their initial valuation, Divya said, "Thank you for your offers and your belief; but most importantly, thank you for the 'crash course' provided in the short time. We had many revelations about our brand and had fun pitching here." Pragya added, "Thank you for your time but we do not have a counteroffer."

This was when the air thickened and Aman Gupta's expression said it all. He bluntly said, "Why did you come here to waste our time? I’m out." Gupta added, "You gave such a wonderful pitch, you told your stories so beautifully. You said you wanted to learn, to grow. However, now, I’ll stop trusting entrepreneurs when they come on the show. Something is not matching up."


Watch the full episode here.

Quirksmith's Response

Taking to Instagram, the Batra sisters opened up about why they "swam with the sharks but didn't get hooked." In a statement, the sister entrepreneurs explained why they did not negotiate the deal. "The short answer-- we weren't aligned with the Sharks' evaluation of our brand's worth."

The team continued, "The long answer, however, is more nuanced. The truth is, when scale is the only definition of growth, it scares me! I spent a large part of my career in high-energy work environments, working long hours and feeding into glorifying the culture of 'hustle'. I wore my 'busy-ness' as a badge of honour. I'm completely aware though that a lot of today's scale businesses are built that way and while I understand that perspective, it's just not the one I align with."

The steadfast sisters added, "The truth is there is no right or wrong way to grow. But when 2 people join hands - their alignment on what growth is - is important for it to be a joyful ride." The followers of Quirksmith expressed pride in the entrepreneurs' self-assuredness in the brand as well as their prioritisation of organic growth in a rapid industry. 


One Instagram user commented, "I am glad to witness new-age Indian entrepreneurs are looking at sustainable growth rather than having a capitalist way of growth," while another agreed, "Sometimes we need to look at the depth, scaling deep is as important as scaling up." In the rat race of the business world, the Batra sisters offer a refreshing outlook on their journey and the growth of their brainchild.

Who Are Divya, Pragya Batra Behind Quirksmith?

Divya and Pragya Batra are Bengaluru-based entrepreneurs, originally from Agra. Divya has been a silversmith for almost two decades with a jewellery designing degree from the coveted National Institute of Fashion Technology, Gandhinagar. Meanwhile, Pragya is the left brain of Quirksmith with her expertise in marketing. Pragya, a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and INSEAD, Singapore, has experience working with esteemed organisations like Bain and Company. 

With Divya's artistic vision and Pragya's business background, Quirksmith finds a place in the jewellery boxes of thousands of women across India. The Batra sisters' genius brand was also honoured with SheThePeople's Digital Women Award in 2020, under the E-commerce category. 

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