Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington is back in India after 25 years to invest in a pop-up store chain

Kevin Harrington
  • Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington spoke to Business Insider about his bet on the Indian startup ecosystem.
  • Retail store chain The New Shop has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from American entrepreneur Kevin Harrington.
  • The New Shop currently has 30 stores in Delhi NCR.
Kevin Harrington, the original shark in the famous reality show Shark Tank, where aspiring entrepreneurs meet top investors to pitch their businesses for funding, came to India for the first time in 1994. He tried to expand his business of infomercials but the infrastructural challenges forced him to pack up and leave soon.

25 years since, Harrington is back in India and has announced his first investment in the country in The New Shop, a retail chain that could pop-up anywhere like workplaces, residential complexes, and gyms.

The New Shop works on a scalable concept where it puts up retail outlets in alternative locations. “I know if you can get the right product mix and put it in front of people who need these products, it will work well,” Harrington told Business Insider and added, “Seeing how things have changed here in India is very impressive.”

While The New Shop currently has 30 stores in Delhi NCR, with Kevin Harrington on board (who has launched over 500 products and generated over $5 billion in sales over the world), the two-year old startup aims for 10,000 stores soon.

And for Harrington, India is special. When he got here for the first time in 1994, Harrington who is known to have invented infomercials, was in the business of finding products and putting them on television direct to the consumer. “The US was a sophisticated market. I could hire phone centres, take calls, ship products, have a customer service etc. I did the same thing in Europe, Latin America and parts of Asia. But when I came to India, a billion plus market, we couldn’t get phone or fulfillment centres. It was very difficult, we pulled out and went back home,” he said.

For him, India is one of the markets that he has not been able to conquer. “It’s the last place I have to figure out,” he said.

Harrington was one of the original panel members and investors on Shark Tank - one of the most grilling shows on the startup ecosystem. So, when he met The New Shop he had multiple questions – first one being what is the cost of opening up a new shop. “Their current shop is pretty affordable. I also wanted to know what kind of success in sales, volumes, they are looking at. Shark Tank is always about the sales and profits. You have to be able to take a look at what’s happening and get the vision of the future,” said Harrington.

So, while he is open to more investments in India, his focus is currently on scaling up The New Shop.

See Also:
Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy places his bets on home services startup UrbanClap
18 Indian women just got funding for their technology startups
Large ticket deals drive rise in private equity investments in India this year
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