A PhD holder in Economics, Dr. Mishra’s experience spreads over a period of two decades in various facets of Academia. Being a vibrant learner, in the course of his professional journey, he has gained proficiency not only in different aspects and nuances of teaching, research, administration and institution building but also in handling cross-cultural scenarios as he has worked with people having varied backgrounds. Being a researcher himself, Dr. Mishra has published his research in reputed national and international journals. His areas of research include, Economic Policy, International Business, Higher Education, Consumer Behaviour, Materialism, and Sustainable Development. He is a reviewer for the reputed international journals, PhD examiner and supervisor with eminent universities.
From creating talented managers who drive the growth of multi-national corporations to nurturing confident innovators with entrepreneurial zeal, Indian business schools are coming of age and becoming a powerhouse for the booming start-up culture in the country.
A start-up can be defined as a young company that introduces a new and unique solution to a problem or a burgeoning demand in the market by creating an innovative product or service. Behind every start-up is, first and foremost, a new idea and a relentless rigour to transform that vision into reality by winning the confidence of investors and implementing the proposed business model with success.
The advent of the start-up culture in India can be traced back to the turn of the century. The old attitude of seeking the calibrated high-paying jobs in big corporates was already giving way to a nascent entrepreneurial mindset among the country’s young population. Recognizing this trend, the government of India founded the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) in the year 2000 with the aim to foster the grassroots technological innovations. Early start-ups emerged from engineering colleges and a culture of research and innovation gave birth to the new attitude of taking calculated risks for trying out new ideas.
Even the global recession of 2008, couldn’t cramp this surge for entrepreneurial endeavours. Today, India has the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world. According to a report published by InnoVen Capital, Indian start-ups witnessed a year-on-year increase of 6% in the early-stage funding in 2020 (despite the Covid pandemic) to achieve the 279 million USD mark. The year 2021 has seen the emergence of 42 new unicorns in India and the number is going to rise in 2022, if we go by the trends.
At the heart of this start-up revolution sweeping across India are B-schools who are giving precedence to a culture of nurturing entrepreneurial acumen rather than mere academic prowess. Here is how B-schools are emerging as a powerhouse for start-ups in India.
Government Policy Intervention
Policy intervention by central and state governments has created a momentum and acceleration for the start-up culture in India. In 2015, the Startup India campaign was announced to promote industry-academia partnership and incubation and funding support to encourage management graduates to begin their own companies. A special I-MADE program was launched under this initiative to help Indian entrepreneurs build 10 lakh mobile app start-ups. In 2016, the government launched the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) to promote an ecosystem of entrepreneurship in colleges and MSME sector. Additionally, Ministry of Education has established Institution’s Innovation Council (IIC) to build a culture of innovation in higher educational institutions. As a result of these policy interventions, the B-schools today have restructured their programmes to incorporate innovation and entrepreneurship related activities on campuses. Events like Hackathon and workshops which test innovative competencies are organized periodically to inspire students and nurture entrepreneurial talent.
Incubation facility on B-school premises
Incubation facilities have been created in B-schools either by self-sponsorship or in collaboration with incubation facilities on other campuses in the vicinity. An incubation centre is a place where aspiring entrepreneurs are provided with resources, means and guidance to try out their new innovative ideas for start-ups. It provides the atmosphere for experimentation, innovation and refinement of raw ideas into implementable plans. Incubators also help the entrepreneurs to connect with angel investors to secure initial seed funds. Business schools, along with governments, have pushed vigorous incubation policy for the start-up culture in India, leading to a 15-fold growth in the last ten years.
Extended placement support for budding entrepreneurs
Management graduates aspiring to embark on their own entrepreneurial ventures previously had to forego the placement support from B-schools. But over the years, business schools have made their placement support more flexible. Now, the students who desire to launch their own start-ups have the backup of extended placement support, which sometimes spans the period of 3 years or even more. This works as a great assurance and catalyst for those willing to take calculated risks in trying out the feasibility of their start-up ideas. In case the start-up doesn’t take off, the graduates have the option of availing the placement support for a corporate job.
Change in ranking parameters
The parameters for ranking B-schools have changed over the years. With the founding of National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) in 2015, the criterion for ranking has now changed from excellent placement records to nurturing entrepreneurial excellence. Likewise, the Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) rewards the institutions that promote innovation in their education ecosystem. B-schools that rank high on ARIIA are deemed distinguished institutions.
Aligning With the Vision of Nep 2020
The National Education Policy 2020 lays out a new and forward-looking vision for India’s higher education system. From institutional restructuring to creating optimal learning environment for students, the policy aims to overhaul the learning ecosystem in a way that will bolster the start-up culture. According to the policy, the institutes of higher learning have to support the local ecosystem by providing solutions to their problems. This will lead to creation of jobs and starting of new businesses etc.
NEP 2020 also lays emphasis on research and innovation integrated with entrepreneurship. It envisions the formation of National Research Foundation (NRF) for catalysing research and development in all fields. Its full implementation will reinforce the position of Indian business schools as powerhouses for start-ups.