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Indian economy is one of the most exciting emerging markets in the world today. By 2022, India’s population is likely to overtake China’s to become the largest in the world, as per United Nation report. The middle class is growing at a rapid rate which at present is almost half of the total population of 1.324 billion and thus provides a lucrative free market opportunity. Its great strength as knowledge economy will pave the way for accelerated growth in the 21st century if backed by creating a favorable ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship.
The strategy for development in the years to come would have to much revolve around technology-driven scalable and sustainable innovations. New economic policy initiatives such as formation of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 10,000 crore fund for venture capital in MSME sector, Self Employment and Talent Utilization, ATAL Innovation Mission, eBiz Portal for starting a business and taxation incentives will go a long way if complemented by educational programs at higher education institutes.
Keeping the importance of entrepreneurship development in view, the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Biotechnology and Department of Electronics & Information Technology have taken an initiative for promotion of entrepreneurship development programmes in academic institutions. Together they gave a big boost to entrepreneurship development by funding a large number of technology business incubators and seed funding support in association with leading institutions in the last eight-10 years.
Indian institutions of excellence need to come out with their own unique models for promotion of entrepreneurship. A humble beginning has been made towards promotion of entrepreneurship by institutions like BITS Pilani, IIT Mumbai’ IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Madras, IISc Bangalore, IIT Kharagpur, and many more. Each of them has a separate center/cell/society for promotion of entrepreneurship. Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) at BITS Pilani was set up in the year 2002. A big change happened in strengthening the ecosystem on campus when the center got selected as one of the top five e-cells in India and became the co-founder of National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN), founded by Wadhwani foundation in 2002-03. NEN is building up and leading a first-of-its-kind collaborative effort, to bring together Indian academia, industry, and international experts for sharing knowledge, skills and resources to form a nationwide launching pad for new entrepreneurs. Keeping in view the need of the hour, to inspire students to plunge into entrepreneurial journey, BITS, Pilani, has set up Centre for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship (CIIE), which is one of the key strategic pillar for growth and development of the institute.
And from there on, there are many success stories of new generation entrepreneurs plunging into journey of creating jobs immediately after passing out. To mention few -Grey Orange was founded by Samay Kohli and Akash Gupta led their team at BITS-Pilani. Phanindra, Sudhakar, and Charan studied together at BITS-Pilani and started their venture called RedBus. SHArP Edge Learning was co-founded by Sourabh, Harshit, Arpit and Paresh, for engineering students which seamlessly integrates the chalk & talk method with smart classrooms. And there are many more.
KEEPING UP WITH THE GLOBAL TREND
If we look at the countries that are classified by Global Entrepreneurship Monitoring (GEM- 2017) as innovation-driven such as the US, the UK, Germany, France, Canada, Australia, Israel, Ireland, Spain etc.; it would be observed that in these countries pioneering contributions are being made in promoting entrepreneurial culture by the university systems. Similarly, the onus lies with the top few educational institutes in India to inculcate entrepreneurial spirit among their students which would eventually strengthen the economy bringing strong hopes for the future wealth creation and employment generation.
(This article was first published in the March issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)