I am Tushar and let me tell you what this long email is all about. So, every Sunday one of the team members writes a piece of their heart to share how are we building Perfora, what is going on behind the scenes, the challenges and the wins. You can read some of the previous ones that we have written here. Do reach out to us if you'd like to read about anything else.
Till then, here's one from my heart...
I had to really compose myself to sit down and think about writing this newsletter. There is so much to share now that our Shark Tank pitch is out and has been seen and loved by almost all of India.
There have been so many messages and calls pouring in to wish us about the pitch. We have the sweetest team who organised the most amazing screening experience we have had and it was surreal and nerve wracking to see us on the big screen. Funny thing is that the actual pitch was 80 mins long but the one on national TV would be just 20 mins, so we were super excited, conscious and scared about what parts the creative team would finally pick to air.
Now amidst all of this we were thinking whether to share about the application and final pitch experience or to share what it’s been like in the past 3 days post the screening. However, continuing with the spirit of this newsletter it made the most sense to reflect upon what the Shark Tank meant for me at a personal level. So I am going to take the rest of the newsletter taking you all through that.
So a little detour, a few of our older subscribers would know that Jatan and I stay in the same apartment which at the time served as our office as well. Even after practically being around each other all the time, the pressure and intensity of work made us so engrossed that the number of conversations we would have 1 on 1 started to almost not happen. This impacted me but somehow I continued to move forward (blaming it on the intensity and work overload)
So coming back, finally in early August, we got a call that we would have to spend 5-6 days (from 29th August to 3rd September) in Mumbai preparing and making the pitch to the Sharks in the Tank. This was the moment of such excitement and nervousness for us because we finally knew we will be on the tank but how will it go ? - Being a new age business we knew we would have to face some tough scrutiny from the sharks. So again we got back getting all the answers in place.
But this is where it gets interesting, the entire period leading up to the actual time in Mumbai we were always working hard, looking for answers, ensuring things are in place and honestly not even checking with each other as to how we are actually feeling in the moment. So the ironic and lucky thing to happen to us was that when we got to Mumbai it was just the 2 of us in a different environment altogether. This gave us the much needed opportunity to finally communicate and reflect back on what the last few quarters had been where Perfora was growing but to some extent the 2 of us as individuals were disconnecting (even after living and working in the same house).
Here we were in the huge audition halls of YRF studios, not sitting in front of our laptops, also with weak cellular networks, going over our pitch again and again and again. I can recall how we would get up and say out loud our pitch to each other every 15 mins just so that was ingrained in our heads. We had all this time in the enormity of those big halls to look back, to chat and open up. There was something about that environment - both physical and what we were going through emotionally that put us in a place to rekindle and reconnect our original bond of friendship that we had started out Perfora with. It also helped that at night we would end up going to our friends place, have a few drinks and just share all that was not coming across due to lack of time and bandwidth back in Gurgaon at work.
I remember we saw the actual set of the tank on Thursday (our final pitch was made on Friday, 2nd September 2022 in the evening) and felt so wowed and grand. This was our moment, 2 boys from small town India with starry eyed dreams to make it big. The little bit that was getting missed out also got rekindled thanks to the entire Shark Tank experience.
It all did not end in the tank. The Sony creative team came down to Gurgaon over the Dussehra Weekend to shoot us in our element at our home cum office. The team asked us questions that made us think deeply about why we got together to build Perfora and why we chose each other, why we chose oral care and what the journey so far had been like. That entire interaction made us share things which honestly neither of us had ever shared with each other in private as well.
Finally seeing all of it come together so nicely on the big screen on Thursday night brought back all of those moments. Kudos to the creative team for being able to portray our story so well, I personally was super impressed with how they showed us (I don’t think we actually are as cool as the story made us look 😛)
What I am trying to get across is that in the madness and hustle of building Perfora, the both of us somewhere got lost keeping at par with each other. Beyond the reach, the funding and the pitch, what the Shark Tank experience also gave me was the time and opportunity to reconnect and lookback at the little we have built so far. I was able to take stock of how Perfora has evolved, the massive luck we have had to onboard the most amazing set of team and investors and finally feel grateful for having the support of each other to truly build something magical and beautiful. Also now what we have in place are bi-monthly scheduled 1-on-1s with each other where we catch up, speak our minds and share what is going on. We are getting much better at it.
Building something from scratch is hard. It takes a lot - physically and mentally to put yourself out there, hustle it out, face rejections and yet get up everyday with all your intent to expect magic to happen. Thursday was one such day where that magic happened 😀
If you have not already seen our pitch please go and watch it now and if there was ever a time to stock up on your favourite oral care products, it’s now. We also have curated the Shark favourites which you can now find on our website.
Thank you for all your support and now I am back to fulfilling the huge pile of orders that all of India has sent us showing their love and support to make Perfora the next big oral care brand out of India.
Onto building 🚀