En­trepreneurs Take A Break, Go Back to School

While this trend has long pre­vailed at global B-schools such as Har­vard, Whar­ton and Stan­ford, it’s fast gain­ing ground in In­dia as well, ac­cord­ing to the in­sti­tutes. re­ports

The Economic Times - - Companies & Economy -

Be­fore joi ni ng t his year’s batch at t he In­dian In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment, Ban­ga­lore, Shub­han­shuk Sarkar was the founder of Blupot Games, a mo­bile game de­vel­op­ment startup that re­leased its first offering last Au­gust. “My ven­ture taught me a great deal about tak­ing a prod­uct from pro­to­type to mar­ketable stage. But I also un­der­stood that I need a bet­ter idea of how to run a com­pany, and that’s why I joined IIMB,” he said.

Apurva Ga­jwani, co­founder of farmtech startup GrowS­mart, re­alised he lacked cer­tain busi­ness man­age­ment skills when he and his co­founders were pitch­ing the idea to ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists for fund­ing. He’s joined the Mum­bai-based SP Jain In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment and Re­search (SPJIMR) as a post­grad­u­ate di­ploma in man­age­ment (PGDM) stu­dent this year to pick up the skills he felt a full-fledged man­age­ment pro­gramme would equip him with.

Sarkar and Ga­jwani be­long to the fast-grow­ing ranks of en­trepreneurs/startup founders in the current batch at top B-schools across In­dia. At IIM Ban­ga­lore this year, nearly 35 stu­dents in the current batch are en­trepreneurs; IIM Luc­know has 14 in its xxx (IPMX) pro­gramme. IIM Shil­long has seen startup founder num­bers dou­ble since 2016, as they have at SPJIMR in the last two years.

While this trend has long pre­vailed at global B-schools such as Har­vard, Whar­ton and Stan­ford, it’s fast gain­ing ground in In­dia as well, ac­cord­ing to the in­sti­tutes.

Most of th­ese startup founders helmed small ven­tures and started off right af­ter col­lege with lit­tle or no ex­pe­ri­ence. Some ven­tures have closed, while others are still run­ning. But what they have all re­alised is this: the mer­its of an MBA in equip­ping them with the proper knowl­edge and busi­ness skills as well as the net­work th­ese top B-schools give them ac­cess to. “As founders grad­u­ate from build­ing the prod­uct to man­ag­ing the busi­ness, peo­ple and growth, a for­mal ed­u­ca­tion in th­ese skills can be ex­cep­tion­ally help­ful,” said Karan Giro­tra, pro­fes­sor at the Sa­muel Cur­tis John­son Grad­u­ate SchoolofMan­age­ment, Cor­nell Univer­sity. “Not only do they en­cour­age others to take the same road, but the class­room can be an ex­cel­lent place for the founder to make new part­ner­ships, find co­founders, and others with skillsets they might lack.” There has def initely been a sharp in­crease in such stu­dents, said B-schools, many of which have just started track­ing this data as thenum­ber­swere­too small ear­lier.

IIM Shil­long’s 2017-19 batch for in­stance has six en­trepreneurs com­pared with last year’s three. They in­cludes Yam­ma­nuru Dharma Teja Reddy, who runs an ed­u­ca­tional con­sul­tancy called ED Guide; Jas­meet Singh who had an on­line plat­form for on-de­mand laun­dry called Dap­per; and Rishabh Jain, who ran an on­line fash­ion jew­ellery ven­ture. SPJIMR has four-five such stu­dents in­clud­ing Saurabh Gandhi, who co­founded a startup called Kr­ishX in the farmer sup­plies space, and Kar­tik Kukreja, founder of Rred Makeup Stu­dio and Academy.

At IIM Ban­ga­lore, en­trepreneurs in the current batch in­clude Amit Lan­je­war of OMG Trip and Amir Ku­mar Singh, co-owner of The Litti Treat.

Busi­ness schools are gain­ing as well. In­sti­tutes say that th­ese en­trepreneurs bring tremen­dous value to the class­room. Be­sides, their ex­pe­ri­ence tends to give them an edge in ad­mis­sion.

“When it comes to the per­sonal interview, en­trepreneurs tend to per­form bet­ter be­cause they have been in the trenches. They have seen the ups and the downs and they have a more nu­anced un­der­stand­ing of busi­ness,” said Ra­jen­dra K Bandi, chair­per­son, ad­mis­sions, IIMB. Bindu Kulka­rni, head of ad­mis­sions (PGDM) at SPJIMR, agreed. “They have a greater risk­tak­ing abil­ity and bring in dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ences to the class­room, thus en­hanc­ing class dis­cus­sions and lead­ing to higher learn­ing,” she said. The stu­dents also make the most of on-cam­pus en­trepreneur­ship cells as the B-schools on their part step up the fo­cus on groom­ing job cre­ators as well as man­agers. Ga­jwani has been learn­ing about pitch­ing ideas, adding value and mar­ket re­search at the in­sti­tute’s incu- ba­tion cen­tre. “Th­ese are the skills I will need to scale up my ven­ture in the

fu­ture,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.