Monday, March 12, 2007

Making it easier to jump

... 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 rashmi_b@yahoo.com. 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!

14 comments:

  1. Gr8 move on the part of IIMs..it will certainly encourage more people to opt out and start on their own..exactly what this country needs..

    Also Rashmi, its a good initiative on your part to invite young entrepreneurs to share their experiences...there is no better lesson in world than real life experience and the experiences of these young businessmen/women will help and guide a lot of budding entrepreneurs...

    I will certainly be watching this space for that...

    Way to go...!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice post will wait to read all the posts coming on entrepreneurship!!!

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  3. Though most new ventures require more than a couple of years to real kick off, it's a great move on the part of the IIMs to give such a security. It would help those who are on the borderline - those who wish to do something different but at the same time be able to find a job easily when he/she wishes to.
    I always thought corporates liked entrepreneurs because they are usually more creative and innovative than the average lot! But then once you have been bitten by the bug, chances are you will sooner or later start something new.


    PS: Rashmi - Your fourth last paragraph is incomplete.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanx to you guys,our country is realy needed people like you.We can make a difference – a big difference
    thanx once again

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Rashmi, nice to go through ur blog...
    As ur also a part of IIMs , I want to ask u a question, What IIMs has done for the country other than producing money spinning machines? What constuctive role they have played so far???
    whether this IIM-A hype is because media gave more importance to them then they deserved, just curious to know?
    i wish u can clear my doubts ??
    Regards,
    KM

    ReplyDelete
  6. I appreciate this move of IIMA to support aspiring/budding entrepreneurs...

    At the same time I would like to suggest that IIMs and IITs make their resources available for non-IIM wnat to be entrepreneurs...they have matchless resources in terms of faculty, library,entrepreneurship cells, and best of Indina mind. If they take initiative by organisating event llike this http://www.nirmalabs.org/download/EntrePgm2007_Broch.pdf i am sure we have more people lineed up to take risk involved as entrepreneurs...

    Frankly speaking most of talk on papers,media and even net about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship is superficial with lots of masaala.

    I would be looking forward for your interviews. My favs would be internet world entrepreneurs...
    rediff,sify,guruji,saadi.com,contes2win,baazi and many more that dont know have done realy well in primitive days of indian internet space.

    And I really like to listen in depth then breadth.

    I would suggest you to have a look at interview style used by poeple at moneylife magazine.Its really gud.

    Being a entrepreneurs and IIM graduate I know and hope you will get best out of these interviews.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "...But there's also the promise of honey - sweeter and healthier than a sugar coated placement pill..."
    priceless!

    ReplyDelete
  8. for bollywood gupshup pls visit our webiste www.insidebollywood.blogspot.com

    kajal

    ReplyDelete
  9. dat was quite a nice read..would love 2 read those interviews u r talking abt ...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Rashmi, isn't the invitation open to non IIM guys :-). I am sure there is a huge talent pool out there whihc is not from IIMs.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Rashmi,
    As a wannabe entrepreneur this is indeed good news. Antoher heartening news is that my alma mater IIT Kgp has started a similar scheme for it's students and people have already started taking that up. I know of at least 3 in the current batch who have opted for the same.
    @NinadThe Kgp entrepreneurship funds are open to non-alumni as well, as far as I know.

    ReplyDelete
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