Abhijit Nadgouda has written a great post on what is ailing entrepreneurship to really catch-up in Indian colleges. What started as a comment to his post became a full-fledged post of my own.
Being in a college, I can really identify with his views. Outsourcing and thus the not-so-difficult placement has killed all initiative in Indian engineering colleges. TCS took more than 1000 freshers from my college VIT, Vellore last year. The focus on placements and jobs is really depressing. The only thing that people bother about is the package that company XYZ offered at college ABC. Plus, it is not that these companies offer great packages. My college’s average package was about Rs. 300,000, which is not what one should think of as their ultimate goal in life.Also, the only route that people think of doing good in life is by having an MBA. Wished they can focus more on engineering (not on the outdated curriculum, but the newer technologies).
I am a member of the Entrepreneurship Cell at my college. We encourage entrepreneurial activities at our college – and our most successful initiative has been organizing an Open Coffee Club chapter at Vellore. The two meets of OCC Vellore drew people out of their shells and they came out to express ideas openly. I am personally averse to the traditional business plan competitions because of two reasons:
1. I am from the Steve Wozniak school of thought that says that no one but the market can decide whether a product is viable or not. (and he has personal experience to back this)
2. A business plan competition creates 3 or 10 heroes but leaves the rest disappointed. They get nothing but a feeling that their idea lacks something. Can anyone of you quote a number that how many business plan winners have gone out to have successful ventures? I haven’t seen many. We need to come out with a better model of business plan, where we don’t judge ideas but just give them all possible support. This doesn’t sound convincing, but this is something that all ECells have to work on. This view also came up at the Global Conference of ECells at IIT Bombay that I attended a couple of weeks back where Manik Singh, TiE Charter Member of Bombay raised it.
I have my own entrepreneurial plans but promoting entrepreneurship among my peers is also very close to my heart. Maybe, my success can help people realize that taking risk and initiative even in the first year of your engineering can pay off!!
If any of you have any suggestions or want to help us here at VIT in promoting entrepreneurship, do drop a comment or a tweet. Not all entrepreneurs will come from IITs.