... into entrepreneurship. IIM A is now providing a 'safety valve' for those choosing to say no to a lucrative job from campus and chart their own path instead.
HT reports: As per the new rules framed by Placement Committee, students who opted out of the placement process this year would be entitled to appear for placement interviews for the next 2 years, should their new ventures fail to take off.
Last year, 6 IIM A students opted out, this year HT believes the number is 10 (ET reports it may be 20 - official figures not released yet). At the very least, that's close to 5% of the 250 strong batch and a definite trend. If you count the number of grads who quit within 2 years to get into entrepreneurial ventures, the number would be higher.
I think the 'come back if you wish' option is a good idea. Incidentally, deferred placewment was allowed at IIM A way back in 1993 when I graduated. Around 3 of us opted out of placement and one went back and took a job through campus the following year. But the profile of those opting outw as a little different.
All three of us were girls, for example. And we were 'in search of self' as they say. Not having definite ideas of becoming entrepreneurs (although that's the path I took after working at Bennett Coleman & co for 2 years :)
From the current lot, I don't think many will actually choose to go back for placement - but it's good to have that security. Makes the 'entrepreneurship is risky' objection easier to overcome with parents as well.
Of course one can usually hardly 'give u' in a mere two years. Because you need that time to figure out what you are going to do, and how you are going to do it! This period, in fact, is a struggle for most first-generation MBA entrepreneurs but most seem to have the clarity that going back to a regular job is not the solution.
However, I do know of one young man who has re-entered the rat race. The business he started right after placement did not take off. He went through a low phase and then decided to get back into a regular job for the time being. Was it easy? Yes and no. The IIM degree opened many doors but the key question he struggled to answer,"How do we know you'll stick around with us?"
Well the answer is - no guarantees anyone will stick around. Whether former entrepreneur or ambitious corprate-climber. It's just their destinations which will differ. The climber may move to another company while the once-failed-entrepreneur may take a risk and start up again.
Entrepreneurship is a bee. Once it's buzzing in your bonnet, you are run the risk of getting stung. But there's also the promise of honey - sweeter and healthier than a sugar coated placement pill.
More on the subject in weeks to come. I will share the trials, tribulations and truimphs of first-generation entrepreneurs in this space, in the form of interviews. They don't all have to be MBAs, of course.
If you fit the profile and have been running your venture for at least 6 months, get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Would also love to hear from some of you who have dropped out this year or recently quite your jobs and are 'in the process'.
We all have a lot we can learn from each other. And perhaps, we can even do some business!