The management students are often the quickest in thinking about starting a business as their theoretical knowledge of MBA remains just a spark away from initiation of their own business.
Thus, 70 students of Entrepreneurship Cell (E-Cell) at the Bharathidasan Institute of Management (BIM) plan to set out on their own businesses after a few years.
According to Vairava Prakash, a member of the E-Cell, “For long, Indians have worked under someone or the other and the urge to start some venture of their own got suppressed over time. But today, the situation is changing with all the exposure the Internet has brought. This, combined with interactions with successful entrepreneurs who have survived the risk they undertook, can be hugely motivating for students like us.”
Based on this premise, the E-Cell was started almost an year ago with 35 members and enrolment with the National Entrepreneurship Network. The group regularly organises workshops on business plan development and knowledge camps by inviting practising entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.
However, according to the director of BIM, N. Bala Baskar, “For most students, getting into entrepreneurship immediately after graduation is not an option because of their existing commitments. Family pressures to land a job, their current financial situation and repaying educational loans are some of the prominent reasons.”
“Difficulty in securing venture capital is another hurdle. Most venture capitalists choose to fund ventures that have been functioning long enough to show promise. An untested business plan cannot find funding easily,” continued Baskar.
However, while considering the fact that 100% placements happen for students, V.M. Ramesh, manager of media and public relations for the E-Cell, said, “We want to first gain relevant exposure, stabilise ourselves and then raise the capital required to start off on our own.”
Nevertheless, the experiments have begun. “We have tied-up with the State Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology for our food stocks and the venture was jointly funded by the management and an alumnus. We pay them annual dividends out of the profit we make,” says K. Uma, one of the members handling the initiative.
In order to confront capital-related issues, the E-Cell is planning to set up the Alumni Venture Fund which is contributed by institute’s over 2, 000 alumni. The institute provides them a cushioning by granting a year's placement leave. They are allowed to sit for placements along with their juniors in case their venture fails to take off.