The economic slowdown seems to have taken the steam out of entrepreneurship — at least in the campuses of premier business schools.
Data from the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) and others that have completed their final year placements shows students going for a safer option of picking up a job than donning the entrepreneurial hat.
At IIM, Bangalore (IIM-B), for instance, eight students decided to take to entrepreneurship this year, half of last year’s.
“I guess this is because the market is a bit down. Students must have preferred taking up a job. Besides, it’s easier to find a job on campus than looking for it after you graduate from the campus,” said P D Jose, placement chairperson, IIM-B.
At IIM, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), six students opted out of the placement process to start their own ventures against seven last year. The start-ups include a social venture to make elderly people financially self sufficient, a service to provide doctors and medicines at one’s doorstep, and an information security consulting firm.
IIMs at Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta, in addition to Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI) at Jamshedpur, Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneshwar (XIM-B) and Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, offer a placement holiday or deferred placement to students in the next two to three years if their venture does not work out.
This is to offer a fall-back option to mitigate the career risk students might face otherwise.
At IIM, Calcutta (IIM-C), five students signed up for the deferred placement programme last year. This year, only one student has signed up for the same.
“Pooja Mishra will be joining her own firm full-time, where she plans to expand her already established venture in the education sector. She has already set up one college in Rae Bareli to promote education in rural India. Though we have more students who wanted to become an entrepreneur, they will float their ventures later,” said a student placements committee member from IIM-C. IIM-C placed a total batch strength of 356 this year.
In XIM-B, no student wanted to take a chance in entrepreneurship in this recessionary market. Savita Mohanty, placement coordinator, said, “This year no student has opted out possibly because of the slowdown and an atmosphere of uncertainty around. We expect the situation to bounce back next year.”
At the Mumbai-based SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), both last year and this year, entrepreneurship seemed attractive only to one student each. “There was just one student who opted out of placements for pursuing her interest in arts. Students have not opted out due to the excellent placements and job opportunities offered on campus,” said Sidharth R, placement coordinator.
It was the same with XLRI Jamshedpur, with only one student opting out of placements last year and this year, too.
Online portals provide more transparency as well as options for students which they could otherwise not get in a small room of a college.