23 January 2020

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Entrepreneurship Buzz – Right from Campus

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In 1990’s it was rather rare for an educated young Indian to pursue a career that will not offer him the security of an assured monthly pay cheque. In sharp contrast to this scenario, start ups are buzzing up day by day in India. Today, almost every business schools in India own an entrepreneurship cell which actively promotes entrepreneurships as a viable career option for their students.

Unlike early days, where entrepreneurship was a fringe movement at business schools, it is a mainstream today.

Dr. Krishna Tanuku, Executive Director, WCED  ( Wadhwani Centre for Entrepreneurship Development ), addressing the audience at The First International Conference on Entrepreneurship Policies, held at ISB- Hyderabad said,  “About a third of the US Economy, that is $ 4 trillion, comes from companies that are less than 25 years old, showing that encouraging entrepreneurship has a huge multiplier effect on the economy. Using this as a benchmark for India, the opportunity for new Indian entrepreneurs including the growth opportunity in SME sector is about $ 500-600 billion in the next eight to ten years”.

What the campus surveys tell?

At IIM Ahmadabad, among the students passed out this year, eleven students opted out to turn as entrepreneurs, with plans to get into diverse sectors like advertising, logistics, manufacturing, agro-processing, finance, IT, as per the IIM placement cell. IIM-Ahmadabad comments, “The trend of taking the road less travelled has become stronger.”

Notes IIM Lucknow-“This year six students are embarking on endeavours in various sectors. This reemphasizes our philosophy of creating more entrepreneurs and business leaders.”

An FMS student Neha Juneja declined a plum offer from Tata Administrative Services (TAS) to form her own venture called Aisapaisa.com. The venture is a platform of coming together for Indian retail investors. Another student at FMS Ravi Pokharana too opted out of the placements. Ravi has taken control of Delhi operations of PT Education, a national level MBA prep firm, with 64 staff members in Delhi. 

At IIM Indore, two students chose to pursue their dreams as entrepreneurs. Their website www.ourownbook.com is an innovative one providing visitors a chance to participate in a collaborative book writing project, and get recognized as co-authors of the final book published.

Factors supporting the trend

There are many factors driving these young entrepreneurs forward- an appetite for risk and a thrill of becoming their own boss, and more importantly, the promise of greater success.

When the job scenes became dim with the economic trauma, the stories of entrepreneurial ventures turning out to be success attracted the success thirsty youth and the campuses have been encouraging their students to venture into entrepreneurial arena.

The unprecedented economic slowdown has affected the placements at many business schools, including the premier institutes across the country. Investment banks and top recruiters are slow on campus hiring this year also. Companies who have turned up for fresh graduates at business schools are stuck at previous year’s salary patterns. Students too are forced to tone down their salary expectations during the final placement season this year.

Business schools' support

Many institutes like IIM-Ahmadabad and IIM-Bangalore have reworked their placement rules and started offering ‘placement holidays’ where students can try their hands in setting up their own ventures and if things don’t work out, can come back to campus for placements within two years of passing out.

Mr. Dushyan of IIM-Ahmadabad, who is planning a new venture in the service domain, says, “The culture is wonderfully supportive in terms of encouraging entrepreneurships. Be it the professors, peers, or the institute, support is one thing that is certainly not lacking.”

Mumbai based SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR) has announced that it will provide initial financial assistance to the tune of Rs 20 lakh to any of its student who wishes to turn as entrepreneurs.
“With the current problems in the job market, we are looking at promoting entrepreneurship among our students. We will provide them with initial capital and become their partners in the venture. In case the venture succeeds, we will ask for the amount back,” announcesSPJIMR Dean ML Shrikant. The business school has set up an entrepreneurship cell in association with National Entrepreneurship Network.

Last year, around five SPJIMR students decided to opt out of placements to float their own venture. This year, the institute expects around 20 students to go the entrepreneurial way. For the next academic year, SPJIMR plans to recruit 10 students specifically to train them in entrepreneurship on its campus.

The First International Conference on Entrepreneurship policies was hosted at the Indian School of Business (ISB) in the month of June 2009. The Conference was organized by the Wadhwani Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (WCED), in partnership with the RAND Corporation and Legatum Institute. It witnessed the coming together of policy makers, industry and entrepreneurs, who shared a common forum to evolve an effective, pragmatic and comprehensive set of policies to promote entrepreneurship in the country. It also reviewed the opportunities available for an entrepreneur in India.

Keeping its focus on Entrepreneurship and Emerging markets, ISB announced this year, their Nurture India Scholarship initiative. The initiative aims to support its students who are keen to start entrepreneurial ventures or work with social ventures & NGOs. The School has set aside a corpus of Rs.30 lakhs to be used to support selected students through payment of their Educational loan EMIs for a period of two years. ISB would initially support 5 graduates starting this year.

Speaking of the initiative, ISB dean Mr. Ajit Rangnekar said; “The challenge of creating their own employment appears to be a much more exciting prospect than the lucrative placement offers by global majors for an increasing number of students at the Indian School of Business (ISB)’. Keeping this in mind, we have instituted the Nurture India Scholarships. The purpose of this project is to encourage ISB graduates to make a more direct contribution to society through employment in social ventures and entrepreneurial efforts, and stimulate wealth creation in the country.”

Business school campuses are turning into hot beds of entrepreneurial energy, and bid dreams. That augurs well for India, which needs many more entrepreneurs who can innovate and lead.


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