Launched as a social video platform, Indi.com is the driving force behind The Real Deal, a reality TV show premiering on NDTV Prime and NDTV 24×7 that aims to mainstream and empower social entrepreneurship with impact investment.
Social Entrepreneurs Created and executively produced by Indi.com India’s co-founder, the former top-100 WTA tennis player Shikha Uberoi, The Real Deal showcases 12 of India’s most assorted social enterprises vying for investments from the renowned figures like Jayesh Parekh, Co-Founder Sony Entertainment Television, Kartik Desai, Principal Asha Impact, Audrey Selian Director of Artha Initiatives, Radha Kapoor, Director of Indian School of Design & Innovation and Amar Singh, CEO of Clove Dental.
The show recently aired its key networking challenge, the glamorous Grand Gala presented by Manoj Bhargava’s The Hans Foundation, giving an opportunity for the social entrepreneurs to pitch their for-profit organizations to a scintillating mix of corporates, VCs, angel investors and celebrities. The winner will win the Investor Choice Award presented by The Hans Foundation and other awards from the internationally acclaimed organizations, such as The Canopus Foundation, Upaya Social Ventures and Peace Nexus Foundations. Held at the St. Regis, the Grand Gala was a star-studded affair, marking the presence of Bollywood celebrity, Vivek Oberoi and Raj Naik, CEO, Colors.
Several shows like Satyamev Jayate have already created awareness amongst the masses regarding various social causes. Indi.com’s co-founder Shikha Uberoi wanted The Real Deal to take the ball game further ahead by giving social enterprises the push they needed to achieve the change they have been striving for. After an open call on Ketto.org, the show’s crowdfunding partner, the enterprises were diligently selected by Intellecap, the show’s Enterprise Development Partner. They contemplated several factors like the quality of the team, addressing a consequential challenge and scalability and longevity of the business. The selected entrepreneurs were screened thoroughly by ASCo, the show’s Due Diligence partner. Featuring an extremely intriguing mix of companies, the show has a large skill development enterprise pitched against an early age startup envisioning a business opportunity whilst promoting sex education.
Further elucidating upon the concept and the vision of the show, Shikha Uberoi, Co-Founder, Indi.com said, “From thought to slot, it took me six years to manifest The Real Deal. My efforts to mainstream social change are validated by the tremendous support each of my partners and especially NDTV gave to The Real Deal. I am forever grateful for their belief in me. All of us at Indi are deeply motivated by the vision to mainstream social change and are enabling the real heroes of the country. Platforms to showcase their efforts and enable them will truly bring about the inclusive growth we all want for India. With The Real Deal, it is our first and foremost objective to empower the army of energetic and visionary entrepreneurs, who have taken it upon themselves to make the world a better place. It is also part of our agenda to further promote the social causes, create awareness and sensitize people regarding the perils surrounding our environment. I know in my heart that Indi with The Real Deal will not only reveal a set of future innovators and leaders but will also inspire all Indians to challenge the status quo and create solutions to progress the country.”
The Real Deal’s Grand Gala played host to a mystery investor scrutinizing the networking skills and vision of the 12 competing for social enterprises, ready to invest an early 25 lakhs. The Grand Gala resulted in social entrepreneurs bagging coveted grants and investments from the global leaders. Deep Bajaj, the founder of Peebuddy, emerged as the leader for the evening, winning the prestigious Hans Foundation Investor’s Choice Award worth 5 lakhs. The guests, flaunting an illustrious combination of celebrities, investors, and corporates, used the Indi touch screens installed on the walls and iPads available at the table to cast their vote.
However, the winning stream didn’t end just there! Akash Aggarwal won a grant of 5,000 euros from Julia Heller Canopus, the project manager, and Dr. Peter W. Heller, the co-founder and executive director of The Canopus Foundation of Germany. The show also had Catrin Froelich, the Program Manager of PeaceNexus, flying all the way from Switzerland to honor the relentless efforts of the enterprises created by Wilma Rodrigues, Gayathri Vasudevan, and Nilima Achwal, contributing towards peace and social cohesion. Each of these social entrepreneurs took 2 lakhs, as a boost to continue their work. Furthermore, Siddi Karnani received a loan of 5 lakhs from Sreejith Nedumpully aiding in continuing the work in Sikkim.
Clearly, the entrepreneurs had a line-up of surprises, one after the other, waiting for them. Allowing social entrepreneurs to carve a niche for themselves in a sector that hasn’t received much mainstream media attention, the show will continue to further challenges and mentor social entrepreneurs into becoming leaders of tomorrow.