Entrepreneurship is not merely starting a new venture, it is a mindset. It requires a certain level of skills to be an entrepreneur. Some people are born with this mindset, others hone their skills and attitude through education. In the present scenario, the aim of education is to attain a job in a reputed company with a hefty package. Education is ending up with a good placement. After placements there are two possibilities. Either the student does not get the desired job or he does not fit into the criteria of the organisation. Any of these situations leads into unemployment or dissatisfaction from job resulting into frustration and suppression of the skills of the student.
The need of the hour is to imbibe attitudinal traits of positivity, motivation, innovation, open-mindedness, telescopic vision and a balanced approach towards life. These are the traits of an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is a person who can face challenges, a risk-taker, a decision-maker, an innovator, a visionary, a leader, one who can build consensus and lead from the front. We need employees, who have this attitude, so that they can fit in the structure of an organisation, who can make a strong foothold with their work, who can turn the tables in their favour, who are passionate and dedicated towards their work and who have the courage and determination to face what may come. Such employees are an asset to and add to the growth of the organisation they are associated with.
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Moreover, if such individuals setup their own ventures, they add to the overall growth of the economy of the nation. As is well known that the MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) sector forms the backbone of any economy, the development of this sector will result in the propulsion of the economy.
Whether it is an employee or the owner of a business, the existence of entrepreneurial mindset and skills is a requisite. This can be a hereditary trait or can be developed through apposite education. If the education system develops this attitude and skills in the students, they can change the face of the earth with their innovative ideas and vigorous energy. This puts an added responsibility on the management institutions which are at the core responsible for teaching management skills to the students. The management institutions and the faculties need to create an environment which is suitable for the next generation entrepreneurship crop. The right platform and environment can help the students develop entrepreneurial mindset and skills that will enable them to be better employees and owners of businesses. The hidden talent and skills of the students needs to be identified and honed to perfection. The management course should not only teach the skills of managing a business but also cultivate the desired attitude and mindset leading to change in overall persona of the student.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN INDIA
As is rightly said, necessity is the mother of all invention, in India basically we have need based entrepreneurship. The examples are numerous; from the known faces of Dhirubhai Ambani, Indra Nooyi to unknown faces of Remya Jose for the foot pedal washing machine, Sheikh Jabbar for the geared rickshaw, Raghav Gowda for innovating the milking machine, Ashok Kumar for the tea making machine, Balram for remote controlled burning of crackers, Usman Shekhani for bamboo peeler, Appachan for tree climbing apparatus, Md. Saidullah for the amphibious bicycle, and many more. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain Indian Cricket Team), Kishore Bayani (Future Group), Sabeer Bhatia (Hotmail) and Anil Agarwal (Vedanta) are entrepreneurs in their own settings. All these people, whether they are owners of big successfully running businesses or are into occupation or are sportsmen or are from rural backgrounds with not even basic academic credentials, have similar traits like innovation, leadership, courage, guts, determination, ideas, execution, self-belief, hard-work and the desire and passion to translate their dreams into reality.
The small and middle enterprises set up by the entrepreneurs form the backbone of the economy. According to a report "Empowering SMEs for Global Competitiveness" released by Small and Medium Business Development Chamber of India, "Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) play a vital role for the growth of Indian economy by contributing 45% of industrial output, 40% of exports, employing 60 million people, create 1.3 million jobs every year and produce more than 8000 quality products for the Indian and international markets. SME's Contribution towards GDP in 2011 was 17% which is expected to increase to 22% by 2012. There are approximately 30 million MSME Units in India and 12 million persons are expected to join the workforce in the next 3 years. SMEs are the fountain head of several innovations in manufacturing and service sectors, the major link in the supply chain to corporate and the PSUs. By promoting SMEs, the rural areas of India will be developed.
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SMEs are now exposed to greater opportunities than ever for expansion and diversification across the sectors. Indian market is growing rapidly and Indian entrepreneurs are making remarkable progress in various Industries like Manufacturing, Precision Engineering Design, Food Processing, Pharmaceutical, Textile&Garments, Retail, IT and ITES, Agro and Service sector."
The government of India is taking efforts to promote entrepreneurship. Following are some initiatives taken by the Government of India,
Entrepreneurship cell in various educational institutions and universities of India
Aim of the E-cells is to guide and motivate the students towards developing entrepreneurship skills
They organize panel discussions, conferences, workshops, lectures, camps and competitions periodically to generate awareness about entrepreneurship
Helping budding entrepreneurs during their start-up phase by mentorship programs
Channelizing creative ideas to successful ventures
Organizing annual events like Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Ventura
Networking with investors to provide opportunities for viable projects and industry to provide them experience and ability to face the challenges
Case studies, interactions with alumni entrepreneurs and business plan competitions
Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDI), Ahmedabad, promoted in 1983 by All-India Financial Institutions viz. IDBI Bank Ltd., ICICI Ltd., IFCI Ltd. and SBI with active support from the government of Gujarat.
It is a national resource institution committed to promoting entrepreneurship through education, research, training and institution building. The organisation believes that entrepreneurs need not necessarily be born but can be developed through well conceived and well directed interventions.
They provide learning programmes, various courses related to entrepreneurship development and provide support for research activities in entrepreneurship.
They aim to empower rural artisans, rural industries and village cluster industries.
They provide gender sensitization training for personnel of corporate sector to promote women entrepreneurship.
Apart from the government agencies, there are other organisations that are working to promote entrepreneurship. Some of them are as follows:
TiE, The Indus Entrepreneurs, an association of venture capitalists that was founded in 1992 with the aim of fostering entrepreneurship globally through mentoring, networking, and education.
They have various programmes like TiE Young Entrepreneurs (TYE) program and TiE Women's Forum.
It is spread over 14 countries.
They provide one-on-one mentoring from successful business owners.
TiE has chapters in India in cities like, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hubli, Hyderabad, Kochi, Pune, Patna, Kanpur, Jaipur and Nagpur.
The chapters of TiE are customized based on the need and requirement of that region.
National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN), an initiative of Wadhwani Foundation, is a non-profit organisation established in 2003 has a mission to create and support high-growth entrepreneurs, driving job creation and economic growth in India.
NEN was co-founded by IIT Bombay; IIM Ahmedabad; BITS, Pilani; SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai; Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology, Bangalore.
NEN is a community of new and aspiring entrepreneurs and has a base of 70,000 members in 30 cities.
It provides support to budding entrepreneurs through entrepreneurship education, access to mentors and experts from industry, access to incubation, funding, learning material and tools.
About 470 top-tier institutes in India are partners with NEN to facilitate in development of entrepreneurial mindset and skills on campus.
It also runs Entrepreneurship Week India, an entrepreneurship-awareness campaign.
These organisations are working towards developing entrepreneurial mindset and skills of students in colleges, universities and various other institutes. They are providing on campus support through collaboration with various universities, colleges and institutions and helping students directly or indirectly to develop entrepreneurial mindset and skills. The increase in the number of these organisations and appropriate dissemination of information will greatly help in the development of the required mindset. These organisations have to reach small cities and touch the students at the grassroot level.
IMPORTANCE OF ENVIRONMENT
To evaluate the importance of environment let us look all around us and observe nature. The seeds of a plant find their way to soil by various mechanisms and wait in dormant stage for the rains and the right temperature. The seed waits for the right environment and then sprouts. All seeds of a plant are similar, but the once that get the right environment flourish, the rest shrivel. It is all about the right kind of environment that nurtures the plant. Nature gives suitable environment. In a forest all the activities take place in perfect symphony, nature does the balancing act.
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In animal kingdom, the colony and social interaction of ants is a classic example of how nature teaches them to live and work together. Similarly, honey-bees with their Queen bees, drones and worker bees work in perfect synchronization with each other. Nature teaches them to survive, grow and develop. The team spirit of dolphins, the love and anger of monkeys, all is naturally learnt by nature.
Human-beings are also natural learners. We have also learnt so many things from nature, for example, invention of injection has taken inspiration from biting of mosquito. The art of Kungfu has been developed from actions of our daily lives. We made urea, artificial fertilizer by taking inspiration from the nodules of leguminous plants that bind nitrogen to provide natural fertilizers to the plant. Similarly, Appachan could innovate the tree climbing apparatus because of the environment he lives in and Md. Saidullah could make the amphibious bicycle because he wished to meet his love who stayed across the river and he didn't like to wait for the boat.
Entrepreneurship is innate. This is true but this is also equally true that entrepreneurship can be cultivated by the right environment and need. In the examples stated above, nature has given an environment to the persons. They did not have any academic credentials to boast of, neither they had the resources for research, but then also they were able to innovate because nature gave them the environment and generated the need for innovation. Moreover, human brain is the most fertile on earth that is always overflowing with ideas. Innovation, out of the box thinking has brought us from the Stone Age to the techno savvy age. Whatever technology is today is due to the innovations of yesterday.
Nature relates to management science. Just as nature provides the environment for innovation, similarly we can create an artificial environment for cultivating the mindset and skills imperative for entrepreneurship. We need to apply it in education. The management institutions and faculties need to generate entrepreneurs. Everything can be learnt by giving the right kind of environment. The combination of right time, right environment, right place and right person can only bring about true entrepreneurial success.
The fact of need based innovation does not only hold true in rural settings. Entrepreneurs like Sabeer Bhatia (Hotmail), Steve Jobs (Apple Computers), Steve Wozniak (Apple Computers), Buchheit (Gmail), Max Levchin and Peter Thiel (PayPal) also have done innovations when they got the right environment (case studies in Appendix 1). It is prudent to note that many of them did not have the required skills of their jobs and businesses but they had the right environment and so they learnt the skills and developed entrepreneurial mindset and became successful entrepreneurs.
After reading these case studies we realize that we are all capable of training ourselves provided we get the right kind of environment and have the motivation to do something.
ROADBLOCKS AND CHALLENGES
In India students have a misconception that by scoring higher percentage by any means will result in better job opportunities. Students link percentage directly with intelligence and job prospects. In practical life, this is not true. The biggest challenge is the attitude of the student. The students generally have the IKIA (I Know It All) attitude. They are not exposed to the real working scenario in industries and corporate sector. The students in undergraduate and post-graduate courses believe that getting a descent placement is the end all and be all of education. The importance of attitude building is not understood by the students. Moreover, they pose a high degree of resistance to change. Neither they wish to change their perception nor do they wish to improve themselves in attitude. Their passive behaviour makes it difficult for any entrepreneurship related activity or program to make an impact on them.
There are various stages in entrepreneurship namely, idea, innovation, prototype, finance, resources, consent and then commercial production. A person cannot be equally knowledgeable in all the fields, he / she can have expertise in one field and may be lacking in others. We need to device a methodology that caters to all the aspects of a personality to carve out a perfect entrepreneur.
Timely dissemination of information is not done. The information about government schemes, activities and events related to entrepreneurship, initiatives by venture capitalists do not reach the students at the proper time.
The absence of adequate and timely financial aid, inadequate capital and knowledge, dearth of suitable technology, struggle with the production capacity, unsuccessful marketing strategy, identification of new markets, limitations on modernisation & expansions, non availability of skilled labour at affordable cost, support of various government agencies to solve problems etc. prove to be roadblock for the budding entrepreneurs.
Lack of awareness about schemes, government policies, loan methods, bank schemes, legal processes, paper work, documentation, etc. make the students hesitant and scared in taking up steps to establish their own venture. Students do not have any idea about these issues. They should be aware about these issues and should have knowledge of these sectors. This will give them the required base for decision-making. As is rightly said, knowledge is power. We need to give them the environment that equips them with tools, knowledge, and awareness and gives them the confidence to take effective decisions.
Sanctioning of loans, long and tedious procedures, requirement of venture capitalists, guidance, trademark, patent and copyright related issues, research and development, society support, support from government departments, banks and other financial institutions and corporate sector are factors that prove to be handicap in development of entrepreneurial skills and mindset. The major ingredients for success in developing entrepreneurial mindset are need, opportunity, desire and passion.
In education sector we have variety of students available and wide range of education institutes are available to cater them. Students studying in colleges are at the best level of understanding as they wish to grow higher in life. If job-oriented environment is provided to them then the students will consider job as their final objective. If the environment of entrepreneurship is provided then entrepreneurs will be generated. It is imperative that cultivation of entrepreneurial environment is done to prepare a breed of students with entrepreneurial skills and mindset.
To develop or cultivate mindset of an entrepreneur in education sector, we have three stakeholders majorly, students, management institutions and faculty associated.
We have variety of students available with different mindsets, coming from different educational backgrounds like science, arts, commerce, engineering, management, etc. They have different understanding of the subjects. Faculties are at the grass root level who know and understand their students. The management institutions provide facilities and resources for the generation of desired environment. Together they can create an environment fertile for the development of seeds of entrepreneurship. They can have the entrepreneurial workshops in their institutes, seminars related to the creativity and innovation, guest lectures by successful entrepreneurs, associations with organisations like TiE, EDI, etc., develop E-cells in their institutes, etc. For financial facility they can have National and Pvt. Banks along with venture capitalists.
All the above mentioned methods are being followed by many colleges. These methods are general methods that will make the student aware of the skills and attitudes and will also help to cultivate them. But, none of these methods is parametric, none of these methods measures the presence or lack of the traits on a certain scale and none of these methods is individualistic in nature. We need a method that precisely delivers the information about the measure of each and every trait in each individual and has person specific methods to enhance the desired traits. Each individual is different and so the methods applied for the development of attitude and skills should also be different. When the attitude and skills of entrepreneur are developed then only mindset will cultivate. The power of skills, knowledge and the right tools promote the development of the right mindset.
Such methods are used in army training camps and entrance tests conducted for army wherein each skill of an individual is tested on a scale by using various forms of assessment techniques. For developing entrepreneurial mindset, the education sector will also have to develop such a rigorous and accurate method for measuring each skill and attitudinal trait.
The suggested methodology is,
Develop innovation and creativity. Give the students some situations to think upon. Use simulation and case study methodology.
For example, divide a batch of 60 students into groups of 10 students. In each group put them into a situation / task and silently observe them through glass walls or CCTV cameras. Record the full session for future reference. Identify the behaviour of each student according to entrepreneurial skills, for example, extrovert, introvert, team-member, initiator, motivator, leader, etc. Out of these 6 groups, we have approximately 10-15 students who are highly motivated, extrovert with leadership skills and rest of them having average or below average skill set.
The next task after identifying skills of each group or person is to device methodologies to work upon and improve the skills upto the optimum level.
The sessions need to continue with different kinds of situations / tasks so that different behavioural aspects of the individuals are visible. Introduce them to different sectors and situations, expose them to live projects and assign exercises that would find the loop holes. This will help in identifying the potential personality traits like leadership, team-spirit, initiative, team-builder, team-member, thinker, moderator, marketer, etc.
Next, we have to develop the traits into more specific traits. The recordings should be done of each session to measure the change in bahavioural pattern of each individual and the group as a whole.
After achieving the optimum level, students are having greater acceptability and better understanding.
Continue the segmentation process / funnel process for choosing students. The refined ones will be segregated from the rest. Device specific methods to deal with each segmented group and each member of the group.
Finally, the last lot will be remaining. Give them such an environment that they will also be motivated to think like the successful ones, the forerunners.
After getting at optimum level, throw the light of knowledge of each and every aspect of entrepreneurial development like financial part, Research and Development, marketing, government grants and schemes and legal issues like trademark, copyright, patent, successful entrepreneurial theories, etc. A person after knowing all aspects of entrepreneurial development can have a better stand from traditional entrepreneur. The traditional entrepreneur have the hidden talent, they are able to discover only one talent and not able to polish all skills. In the modern entrepreneur, we are touching and polishing all skills and giving the right kind of environment to develop.
This methodology is a systematic psycho-analysis based methodology for better and deeper understanding of a person's skills and attitudes.
By using tools like:
Real life situations
A concept wherein the individual's each action, word and emotion is being monitored (as in Big Boss)
Games that force us to think out of the box, best possible ways to do things and develop alternatives.
The main processes of this methodology are Identifying - Segmenting - Targeting.
The major part of the study is governed by perception and assumption of the observer about the participants. Any false negative and false positive perception would lead into wrong decisions. As a result, we could skip the deficient skill in a person and result in incorrect stress on other skills that require less attention. We are performing 10-12 tests on an individual in a group with numerical tabulated results, then further discerning the overall trait score by applying appropriate statistical measures. This kind of approach would result in unbiased opinion about the entrepreneurial mindset of an individual.
The suggested methodology needs to be experimentally tested at school and college level. More and more researchers need to come forward to take up this study to add and extend it. Government and private agencies should support such experimental studies so that we can generate refined individuals with entrepreneurial skills and mindset. This methodology will yield into highly motivated, energized, aware and knowledgeable individuals who are capable to cater the needs of the society and will form the backbone of Indian economy. Development of such mindset will result in faster growing economy with more business opportunities flourishing. Our dependency on MNCs will shrink and we will be a self-sustained economy. The right mindset of the youth has the power to make India a super-power.
This research paper analyses the entrepreneurial mindset in India and suggests a novel methodology to create an environment of entrepreneurship. This study needs experimental base and needs time to set standards. It needs equal contribution from students, faculties and management institutions. After successfully completing the study, we have clear-cut demarcation of skill of each individual with an idea and scope of improvement in each each individual's skill. Then we can concentrate on each skill of each individual for improvement.