Shark Tank India's Jugadu Kamlesh won Rs 10 lakh with a 'razor thin' pitch

KAmlesh Nanasaheb Ghumare from Devarpada Village in Malegaon saw it as a second chance to rekindle his passion for acting.

The last time he came to Mumbai was like hundreds others from his region to fulfill his Bollywood dream after trying his hand in Mollywood (Malegon’s film industry) in 2017. But he was scared and afraid to live in the big city.

This time, however, he felt more confident as he would be showcasing his innovation, a one-of-a-kind pesticide sprayer that he had built over eight years.

He gave it his all and introduced himself as Kamlesh “Jugadu”, arms outstretched like a popular B-town hero.

Kamlesh worked on his model for almost eight years before starring on the reality show

The 27-year-old managed to surprise the judges with his performance, but what impressed them most was his solution to a problem that often goes unnoticed.

Coming from a farming family, it wasn’t difficult for him to understand some of the most common problems farmers face, such as back pain, neck pain and eye irritation. Farmers endure these problems when they spray chemicals or pesticides on the crops.

shark tankThe pesticide sprayer for bicycles

“So I mounted a pesticide sprayer on a bike that automatically sprays the pesticides when it’s in motion. A simple solution that solves problems facing farmers across India got me a Rs 10 lakhs shark tank deal,” Kamlesh tells The Better India.

Unleash his ‘Jugadu’ side

shark tankKamlesh with his bike bagging Rs 10 lakhs

Kamlesh has never been industrious and has always liked to make something out of nothing. As a child, he used matches, pencils, thread, stones and whatever was at his disposal.

As an adult, his curiosity about building remained the same, except that his innovations were now focused on solving his family’s problems.

Kamlesh recalls one such anecdote: “Once it rained heavily and I got soaked while driving the tractor in the field. It was a horrible day as everything including our crops had been damaged. Angered and irritated, I decided to at least fix the soaking problem. I modified the tractor interior and added a car seat, windshield and roof.”

shark tankKamlesh’s modified tractor

In another instance, he turned an old ox cart into a dolly crane for a film shoot.

In 2014, Kamlesh started building a spray truck for his father from discarded materials.

“My father has carried a 25 liter pesticide tank on his shoulders for several years. As he grew older, his pain became so great that one day he could not bear it anymore. Seeing this, I set out to build a wagon that was sturdy and flexible enough to move around an uneven field and between all that ground. People called me “crazy” when I told them I could build it. They didn’t believe me because I wasn’t an engineer,” he says.

Still, he stuck with it and modified the machine several times to create a model that he featured on the reality show. The machine weighs about 26 kg and can carry 30 kg of weight.

A video of the fully completed and working machine was uploaded to his YouTube channel “Jugadu Kamlesh” in 2017. It has garnered 8.7 million views so far.

With the grant received, he will build similar models and further modify his original piece to make it lightweight and versatile.

Kamlesh’s fun-loving nature, serious effort, and perseverance in building a near-perfect machine have gone viral on the internet. Since the episode was released, his phone hasn’t stopped buzzing. Offers from other investors, companies and farmers continue to pour in.

“I finally fulfilled my dream of becoming a hero by solving a problem. Isn’t that what a hero does?” he asks rhetorically. But we couldn’t agree more.

Edited by Yoshita Rao