For students whose interest may lie in things other than management, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) plans to introduce a fellowship to help them pursue their dreams. The institute is in talks with alumni and industry to generate funds in the form of fellowship, to be called IIM-A Young Mavericks Fellowship. “There are students who may wish to join the development sector or politics or pursue their interests in music or literature. These fields may not pay the students well initially. So, we are discussing if we could provide some financial support and allow them to pursue their interests,” said Rakesh Basant, professor of Economics and Chairperson, Center for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) at IIM-Ahmedabad. Beside alumni, the institute is in discussions with some foundations to support the cause. “Basically, the fellowship may become supplementary income for the candidate who avails of this facility. We are still discussing what can be an upward ceiling, as it would be determined by the people who would be funding us,” said Basant. The IIM-A Young Mavericks Fellowship is an extension of IIM-A’s fellowship for entrepreneurs, wherein the institute’s alumni facilitate a payment of Rs 30,000 a month for entrepreneurs.
This funding takes care of the student’s interest burden and other expenses while he/she is busy giving shape to his venture. So far, IIM-A has received two such fellowships from its alumni network for entrepreneurs. It plans to get another 10-12. To support its students who do not wish to join the corporate world, the institute is also talking to banks to change the repayment schedule of loans and start the process after a year-and-a-half or two years. “Earlier, repayment of loans would begin six months after passing out. But we are in discussions with banks to modify the payment schedule and banks have shown an interest,” said Basant. IIM-A will also put in place a process to monitor students who would be granted fellowships. This would enable IIM-A to send reports to the alumni members and the others who would have funded the initiatives. “At the centre (CIIE), we are trying to put in place some kind of monitoring process wherein we can give reports to people who are funding the fellowship,” said Basant.