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The Real Deal - Social Entrepreneurship's first ever Reality TV show on NDTV Prime


Investing in social enterprises or impact investing is a USD 16 billion industry worldwide and J.P.Morgan's latest report estimates that it will grow to ~USD 2 trillion in 5 years. But even at this size, the industry has gotten limited mainstream attention. As per Intellecap's research, over 95% of the capital going into for-profit social enterprises in India is foreign capital. While initiatives such as Intellecap Impact Investment Network, Unitus Seed Fund, and IAN Impact have made significant headway to mobilize Indian money from HNIs and corporates, the concept is still quite niche.

The Real Deal, created by former top-100 WTA tennis player Shikha Uberoi, is the first ever attempt to mainstream the sector via a TV show on social enterprises, and aims to make social entrepreneurship and impact investing household terms. Scheduled to be aired on NDTV Prime and starting March 25, 2016, the show will showcase 12 of India's most diverse social enterprises battling for investments from impact investors including Jayesh Parekh, co-founder Sony Entertainment Television, Rianta Capital, Asha Impact, Radha Kapoor, Director Indian School of Design & Innovation, and Amar Singh, CEO, Clove Dental.

"Social issues have been talked about in the media before in shows such as Satyamev Jayate, where the format was issue-based and emotional. In contrast, The Real Deal leverages the current buzz in the Indian startup ecosystem and positions social enterprises as investible scalable businesses that actually affect everyone's daily life, even if you're an upper middle income urbanite. We hope to take the show to other geographies where we work, such as East Africa, as well in Season 2", said Aditi Shrivastava, Advisor and former-Head, Intellecap Impact Investment Network (I3N), the largest angel network for social enterprises. Shrivastava and the I3N team coach the enterprises on the show, and will be facilitating transactions for the capital committed to these companies. Jayesh Parekh, who is also an investor in impact VC Aavishkaar and an active member of I3N added, "It is high time angel investors take a closer look at social impact investing."

The enterprises were shortlisted by Intellecap based on the quality of the founders and team, ability to address an important development challenge, and scalability as a sustainable business. The selection of the final top 12 contestants included a detailed due diligence by ASCo, and factors such as diversity in sectors, geographies, and telegenic presence. The show promises an extremely interesting mix of companies - for example, a large skill development enterprise will compete against an early stage sex education business.

"Different investors are looking for different things - while all investor are looking for gritty entrepreneurs with staying power, some are looking for high impact, some for innovation, while others for high scale potential. Each episode of the show will feature power packed and thrilling challenges testing soft and hard skills of the entrepreneurs", reveals Uberoi. "The investors on the show are real-life investors who usually evaluate enterprises over several months of deliberation. But spending so much time with the entrepreneurs in an informal but high pressure environment, while putting them through different real life challenges, was an eye opening experience. It helped us reduce our evaluation time as well", added Kartik Desai, Principal at Asha Impact.

One of the challenges featured on the show is a glamorous Grand Gala networking challenge where the 12 entrepreneurs have to hob nob with high profile venture capitalists, angel investors, corporates, and celebrities to win the Investor Choice Award, and awards from international foundations such as The Hans Foundation and Peace Nexus Foundation. The Grand Gala was held in St. Regis and also saw attendance from the likes of actor Vivek Oberoi and Colors CEO Raj Naik.

The show will now also air on NDTV 24x7 in addition to NDTV Prime and Below is the full schedule.

The Real Deal Holi Premier Episode airings on:

• NDTV Prime - 4PM and repeats over the weekend
• NDTV 24X7 - 11AM & 3PM
• P.S. There might be an additional repeat in the evening on 24X7

The Real Deal Episode airings on:

• NDTV Prime - Fri 9PM and repeats on Sat 5PM and Monday 5PM
• NDTV 24X7 - Sat 12:30PM and repeats on Sun 4PM (till 10th April) & Sat 10:30PM (16th April)