Shark Tank India and The Gamification of Learning
by Riya Bansal, BMS’24
“Yeh sab doglapan hai!” It’s nearly impossible that you haven’t come across this sentence being said by BharatPe MD & CEO Ashneer Grover on your social media. This dialogue, among others, has become famous after being featured on the show Shark Tank India, which became a phenomenon in India for both young people and adults. The show had taken over India and became the hot topic for conversations in every school, college, and family gathering very quickly.
Shark Tank India is the Indian franchise of the famous American show. The show features a panel of investors who listen to the pitches and ideas of various budding entrepreneurs. They decide to invest their own money for an equity share based on various metrics ranging from the cause of the product to the annual turnover. For a person like me, who is completely cut off from the world of finance and does not enjoy talking about business, it was surprisingly easy to understand and comprehend the technical aspects of the show and also like the show as a whole. This is what propelled me to think about why I was able to binge-watch a show set on the premise of business when I am not interested in that field at all.
The answer to this question is mostly the concept of gamification of learning. This phrase means using methods that make learning a game and transforming a conventional environment into a game zone of sorts. Shark Tank India is a brilliant example of this concept, wherein they indirectly gamified the concept of valuation. Every person watching the show was constantly thinking about how much Anupam was going to invest. Is Namita going to back out because it’s not her expertise? Will Peeyush find a cause in this startup? Are these entrepreneurs looking for D2C where Aman could help them? These are just some of the questions that run through a typical viewer’s mind. There is a combination of fun and education being established wherein one can guess the valuation, turnover, profits and losses, equity structure, and many more for a particular startup.
There has been an upward trend in the use of this gamification to make learning interesting and engage people in various educational topics. Various success stories of this gamification exist in platforms such as Kahoot, Quizziz, Quizlet, and more. There has been a rise in the inculcation of such sites to make learning a stimulating activity for children. It has been seen that this phenomenon has increased the motivation of people to learn more and educate themselves. Also, it has started a trend of providing an immersive educational experience rather than a monotonous one. This process has added to the cognitive development of an individual wherein they pay more attention to situations and learn to look at complex problems from various possible views rather than getting stuck in a box. Another upside of this process is the personalization of learning. This is also a big reason why people may be enjoying Shark Tank, as it gives people individually something to think about. It helps them realise that the learning journey belongs to them. There’s also a healthy competition of sorts that takes place in a gamified learning environment. When my brother and I take guesses of our own to ascertain the valuation of “Skippi Icepops,” there is a spirit of competitiveness that arises in that environment. This competition also motivates and energises us to learn better for the future.
With respect to gamification for the corporate sector, there has been a trend of them setting up group challenges that consist of rewards and points for each accomplishment. It has been seen that this process has increased a sense of recognition in employees and made them feel seen in the company. Various simulations such as mock stocks also help emulate a gamified environment for finance enthusiasts to experience the stock market. These activities such as aircraft simulators also work on the same principle of making learning an interactive experience.
In a nutshell, it is highly likely that the trend of gamifying learning and inculcating game elements in an educational environment is something that we’ll be seeing more of in the future. Shark Tank India has also initiated a new trend of learning about business and entrepreneurship. It will be interesting to see how this show comes up with more seasons, more sharks, and more gamified education for the people in society.