Making of future entrepreneurs

India’s entrepreneurial landscape, particularly its vibrant startup ecosystem, is both exciting and inspiring. Teaching entrepreneurship is a joy, as students bring fresh perspectives and creativity to the classroom, resonating with the adage ‘to teach is to learn again,’ highlighting the reciprocal and enriching nature of the educational process.

The process of liberalization began in early 1990s, but the impetus to entrepreneurship got a boost only in 2000s, transforming the Indian economy. It’s hard to believe that today’s major unicorn companies with over US $1 billion valuation, like Swiggy, Ola, Big Basket, Nobroker, Zerodha, Cars 24, Upgrad, Vedantu, Meesho, Mamaearth, Urban Company, First Cry etc., representing a cross section of our new economy, didn’t exist prior to 2010. Further, over 9 Lakh jobs are created by Indian startups since 2017, as per the recent economic survey for 2022-23 tabled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. In 2022 alone, 2.69 Lakh jobs were generated by startups in the country, up 35.8% from 1.98 Lakh jobs created in the previous year (2021), the Survey revealed.

Hence, it comes as no surprise that tales of entrepreneurial triumphs serve as a powerful source of inspiration for our students. These narratives propel them towards opting for courses in entrepreneurship and management, in pursuit of their dreams and aspirations.

Course Options

To become an entrepreneur, one needs to develop the right entrepreneurial mindset, skills, competencies and knowledge.

There are multiple options for aspiring students to choose courses of entrepreneurship at undergraduate and post graduate levels. A four-year BBA program under National Education Policy (NEP) is a popular choice offering students a good array of mandatory subjects and a bouquet of optional subjects to choose, all with the objective of making students competent to sense business opportunities, making business plans and functional knowledge, to manage a business.  Importantly, students understand the concept of ‘institutional void’ which is offering the right products and services to untapped and unserved markets.

Students also have the option of exiting an undergraduate course after three years and taking up a more rigorous MBA or a diploma in entrepreneurship.

For others from traditional academic streams or individuals seeking entrepreneurship after completing formal education, there are innumerable programs, offered by Indian Institutes of Management, Entrepreneurship Development Institutes and most other universities. Significantly, these programs are available as regular/short-term/evening/weekend programs in offline and online options to suit everyone.

Diverse Subjects

In a typical BBA program apart from conventional subjects like Marketing, Human Resources, Finance etc., key subjects include Entrepreneurship Development, Business Analytics, Innovation and Creativity, Business law, Research methodology, Principles of Lean Startups etc.

Similarly, in the MBA-Entrepreneurship program, apart from the standard MBA curriculum, greater focus will be on Entrepreneurship subjects like Business Models, Strategic Management, Business Environment, Idea Generation and Opportunity Mapping, Pitching & Fund Raising, Early-Stage Venture Financing, Entrepreneurial Leadership etc.

Objectives and Methodology

These programs are essentially designed to help students who want to start their own ventures. The course objectives and learning outcomes are aligned to the overall objective of facilitating entrepreneurial development. The teaching methodology involves innovation and interactivity, incorporating lectures, case studies, experience sharing, role plays, business games, video learning, entrepreneur interviews, industry visits, and internships. The student assessments are continuous using a combination of tests, quizzes, examinations, viva voce etc.

The courses help students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, acquire skills and competencies and get domain knowledge to sense an opportunity, prepare a business plan, finance and start their business.

Government Initiatives

Recognising the income and employment generation potential, the government has been aggressively promoting entrepreneurship through various initiatives. The Startup India Initiative has actively implemented several programs with the objective of supporting entrepreneurs, building a robust startup ecosystem, and transforming India into a country of job creators instead of job seekers. Under this program, potential entrepreneurs can actively seek help for validating business ideas, creating business plans, developing skills and competencies, receiving coaching and mentoring, obtaining funding, and accessing incentives, etc. Similarly, ‘Make in India’ initiatives is focusing on Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development, protect intellectual property & build best in class manufacturing infrastructure.

The entrepreneurship-oriented courses are proving to be in the right direction of creating new enterprises, boosting national income and generating employment. Further, students gain the skills to join any business organization for an initial period and, after gaining insight and experience, can start their enterprises. As the legendary businessman Dhirubhai Ambani said, “If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs”.

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V Pradeep Kumar

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