Shark Tank India entrepreneur and former co-founder and managing director (MD) of the Indian fintech company BharatPe, Ashneer Grover recalled rejecting Virat Kohli as a brand ambassador once despite getting Anushka Sharma as well in the deal.
Grover instead signed 11 other players in half the amount that would have cost him to get Kohli on board. He said that he told the cricketing icon this story, and Kohli admired his business sense.
In an appearance on the Vagehra Vagehra podcast, Ashneer said that while they were discussing the deal, it was offered to him that along with Kohli, he will also get his wife and actress Anushka Sharma, as part of the package.
Ashneer said that he was discussing an IPL deal with some brokers, and suggested that because every inch of the players’ jerseys is plastered with ads, he would like to place his on their backsides.
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He said, “Maine bola chalo, Virat Kohli ko le lete hain, aur usne ek amount boli. Abhi bolunga nahi, Virat Kohli bura maan jayega. Phir bola ke Anushka ko bhi saath mein le lo. Maine bola maine kaunse Manyavar ke lehenge pehnane hain aur sherwani bechni hai, woh Manyavar waalon ne kar liya hai.
Maine bola koi aur player bata, woh bolta hai ke uske baad kisi ki aukaat hi nahi hai. Maine kaha ek kaam kar, jitne ka tu mujhe Kohli bech raha tha na, usko divide by two kar, aur iss number pe mujhe baaki 11 player laa de. Aur maine wohi deal kari phir, 11 player liye, Kohli divided by two ke number pe.
(Kohli asked for an amount, which I won’t reveal here, he’ll take offence. They also offered me, Anushka, as a package deal, and I said I don’t want to repeat what Manyavar had already done. So, I asked if they could get me 11 other players for half of what Kohli was demanding. And that’s the deal I finally struck).”
Ashneer said that he actually told Kohli this story one time, and his reaction was amusing.
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He added: “Mere paas ek bhi player ke saath photo nahi hai, main shoot pe nahi gaya. Ek hi photo hai, Kohli ke saath baat karte hue recently. Aur jo Kohli ke saath baat kar raha tha na, main usse yehi kissa suna raha tha, ke kaise aapko bechne aaye they, aur maine baake 11 player le liye aapko nahi liya. Kohli bola, ‘It’s very good business’.
(I don’t have a single photo with any of them, I didn’t go for the shoots even. I just have one photo of me talking to Kohli recently. And I was telling him about this story. He said it was very good business).”
Despite being of the most famous judges on Shark Tank India season one, Ashneer didn’t sign up for the second season.
(Indian Express inputs)