In fall 2019, Greiner was met with some conflict when she had to set a contestant straight on the show for not respecting her business acumen, and went as far as calling him a chauvinist. While Greiner has been successful in business for years, there have been instances in which she has to prove her skills due to being a woman in a male-dominated industry.
During a recent episode, Dr. Sarath Malepati presented the Shark Tank panel with his invention, EZC Pak. The product is a combination of immune-strengthening ingredients such as vitamin C, echinacea and zinc that helps to fight colds and other viruses. Mark Cuban, another investor on Shark Tank, was initially critical of Malepati product and Greiner accused the budding businessman with treating her unfairly since she was the only female investor.
Greiner told Malepati that he “looked at her funny” and asked if he agreed. She stated that the doctor was avoiding making eye contact with her. Malepati eventually said that he agreed with Greiner’s observation, and she went on to say she would prefer to use zinc to treat a cold. The doctor interrupted Greiner and focused on the male investors to reiterate that zinc was in his product.
Greiner again tried to address the doctor and told him it was odd that he was ignoring her, since she was actually in support of his product. Malepati continued to try to speak to Mark Cuban, sharing that he, too, was from Pittsburg to try and establish common ground in an attempt to convince Cuban to invest.
Greiner, who was visibly irritated at that point, stated again that the doctor wouldn’t acknowledge her while she was speaking and opted out of investing in the product.
Due to Greiner’s previous success, it’s clear that Malepati’s product could have been a hit on the market. Malepati later apologized for offending Greiner. He tried to explain that he liked Greiner, had heard about her previous accomplishments, and admired the way she helped others.
In the end, Greiner wasn’t completed convinced that the apology was sincere and maintained that she wouldn’t invest in Malepati’s product.
Greiner made it a point to tell Malepati on television that just because she is a woman doesn’t mean she should be overlooked or disrespected. She asserted that shouldn’t have to beg to be seen and that she’s achieved her success by being respectful to everyone. Greiner also said that she’d never reacted this way to an entrepreneur on Shark Tank before.