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B-school grads shunning jobs to go it alone

March 12, 2008 12:34 IST

At this year's placement season at the Indian Institute of Management-Indore, Dhruv Bhushan and Anubhav Jain decided to don the entrepreneurial hat and launch their online venture - a book building website called ourownbook.com.

The website, launched five days ago, gives a storyline to the reader which needs to be developed. Once the plot is complete, the story will be considered for print. The site has already got over 50,000 hits and 200 members have registered.

Says Dhruv, "From writing a story, we plan to move into short stories, biographies and later films." Dhruv and Anubhav who so far have funded their entrepreneurial venture through their own savings, have expansion plans for the same.

This is simply a case in point. Apart from these two 'entrepreneurs' from the 10-year-old IIM-Indore, other B-schools too have posted impressive number of entrepreneurs during the final placements this year.'

Consider this: At IIM-Ahmedabad, 11 students opted out of placements to start their own venture. While at IIM-Bangalore, 4 students chose not to join the corporate world, IIM-Kozhikode had 5 students who decided to kick-start their own venture.

At S P Jain Institute of Management and Research in Mumbai, out of 89 students, one student decided to opt out of placements to join his own family business where he would be heading a new division.

At IMT Ghaziabad too, one student decided to launch his own business. At IIM-Lucknow, however, 6 students decided to join the league of entrepreneurs this year.

Interestingly, last year, barring IIM-A, at most of these institutes, the number of students who opted out of placements was either nil or a mere one or two. In fact, to fire the entrepreneurial spirit of the students, many institutes also brought policy changes this year.

For instance, SPJIMR brought in a policy where it stated that any candidate who opts out of the placement process to pursue entrepreneurial interests will have the opportunity to sit in the placement process for next two years.

While IIM-A had introduced a similar policy in the beginning of this year, IIM-Indore has given its students the option to sit for final placements the very next year. In fact, at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, the institute is planning to institute a scholarship for students who opt out of placements to set up their own companies.

The scholarship will take care of the financial needs of the students by way of monthly stipends. ISB is in talks with some companies to fund the scholarship. The institute too plans to give these students a two-year placement holiday where they can come opt to participate in placements after two years if their entrepreneurial venture fails to take off.

Last year at ISB, one of the companies, recruited two groups of 4-5 students as core management team to run stand alone businesses, by setting up the project from ground zero and leading it to become a success. This year too, the school may have around three such teams, which could plan a similar venture.

Said a placement chairperson, "We are happy that more and more students are deciding to go off the beaten track. We have introduced some changes in our rules this year to support such students and hope this will encourage large number of students to take up their own ventures in future."

Clearly, this placement season, B-schools not only have sky rocketing salary figures to boast about but also the entrepreneurs on their campus.

Kalpana Pathak in Mumbai
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