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Why MBA grads DO NOT want jobs anymore!

Last updated on: May 15, 2012 18:11 IST

Why MBA grads DO NOT want jobs anymore!


Many join an MBA programme to bag a lucrative job. But some students are skipping placement season to plan their own ventures. Rozelle Laha outweighs the pros and cons.

Though an MBA is considered a passport to a cushy job, there are many who enter business schools to hone their managerial skills to set up their own business.

So, while Siddharth wanted to be independent, Chandresh wanted to follow his emotions. Mohan chased his passion, and Jabish and Shrey wanted to start from the scratch.

Over the past few years, many institutes have put in place various processes to encourage students to start their own ventures.

These include: deferred placement, entrepreneurial cells on campus, B-plan competitions and entrepreneurship workshops, all creating an interactive platform for students, investors, bankers and established entrepreneurs to exchange ideas and understand the mind of one another.

This has resulted in some students opting out of the placement process to turn entrepreneurs.

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Photographs: M.Wadekar/Careers360


Few b-schools have data to show the increase in student-turned-entrepreneurs

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Very few b-schools maintain data to show if this number has increased after such schemes.

"There are students who, without such offers in place, would not have jumped in. But, with a little financial support and mentoring, they have got that confidence to take the plunge," shares Dr Krishna Tanuku, Executive Director (left image) of ISB Hyderabad's Wadhwani Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (WCED).

Here's a look at five young entrepreneurs from the batch of 2010-12 who opted out of the placement process, to start their own venture.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier

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Chandresh joined IIM-A to sharpen his managerial abilities

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Chandresh Maithil, IIM Ahmedabad

"One can earn a decent living out of any profession or work that one is ready to pursue diligently"

Venture: Naani Ka Ghar
Description: A chain of day care/creche/pre-schools managed by senior citizens
Location: Bangalore

Having grown up playing in his grandparents' lap, Chandresh, 28 always had a soft corner for the value of 'elderly love' in the life a child.

Aiming to bring in care by the elderly into the lives of the kids of working parents, he said 'No' to his pre-placement offer at IIM-A, and is now a step away from launching 'Naani Ka Ghar'.

This is a chain of day care pre-schools where elderly residents can contribute to child care activities with minimal support from trained staff.

The team comprises of some IIM A graduates, researchers and senior banking professionals.

Naani Ka Ghar plans to draw residents from old-age homes that would also give these senior citizens the emotional satisfaction of being closer to kids.

Chandresh joined IIM-A expressly to sharpen his managerial abilities and chose Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Creativity, Social Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, as his subjects.

Image: Naani ka Ghar and (inset) Chandresh Maithil

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The medical entrepreneur

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Siddharth B Shah (IIM-Ahmedabad)

"Having no work experience is an asset. You can create your own way that might be much more efficient and effective"

Venture: Healthcare website
Description: Online platform that provides multiple medical facilities
Location: Mumbai

Three times National Karting Champion Siddharth, 23, realised that his true calling lay in entrepreneurship.

Born to cardiologist and paediatrician parents, he grew up in a medical environment, and noticing the gaps in healthcare in India became a reflex.

At IIM-A, he analysed these and came up with a business plan to create a tech-based healthcare platform.

The website would allow people to avail multiple medical facilities, which include purchase of pharmaceutical, wellness and beauty products, insurance reimbursements, yearly health check ups, fitness tie-ups, nurse on call and doctor tie-ups amongst others.

With about 20 doctors, some pharmacies and a tech team already are on board, Siddharth is busy developing the site to be launched in July.

He shares, "If you are in an innovative venture, having no work experience is a great asset. Your mind is not confined to the present process."

Illustration: Dominic Xavier

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The hacker entrepreneur

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Mohan Gandhi Ponnaganti (IIM-Ahmedabad)

"I had no work experience. Having an experienced co-partner worked saved me from making basic mistakes"

Description: Ethical hacking software
Location: Hyderabad

The concept of hacking fascinated Mohan, 24 from his school days.

In his college days, Mohan did various security and hacking related certifications and also published some papers on security in International Journal of Computer Science and Network Security.

During his summer internship, he realised that jobs are a liability.

With a little financial support from a friend, Mohan and Nityanand (a well known ethical hacking trainer in Hyderabad)  he went on to launch Entersoft, in December 2011.

Entersoft  employs two hackers, a trainer along with the co-founders. With just two clients, they are not in a hurry to expand.

Mohan wishes to build a strong brand in the beginning years. Revenues come by training people in the domain.

In the age of cyber wars, hacking is a serious issue. "There is an opportunity to change the mindset of administrations. The only way to stop hackers is to think like them," Mohan says.

Image: and (inset) Mohan Gandhi

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The culinary entrepreneur

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Jabish Gohlyan (Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, Pune)

"Good support from incubators and professors gave the self-confidence to kick-start"

Venture: Steammo (J&R Hospitality Mgmt Pvt Ltd)
Description: Momo kiosks
Location: Pune

Born and brought up in Nepal where one can get momos in 'every nook and corner of the street', Jabish, 22, much to her dismay found that there are not many momo stalls in Pune.

The flavours at the few she did find were not up to Nepalese standards. She was quick to gauge that, Indians, not being aware of the 'real' taste of momos and are happy with the few varieties that include chicken, mutton, paneer and vegetable.

Jabish launched the first Steammo stall on the SIMS Pune campus and now plans to launch more stalls in and around Pune.

Her forte lies in the wide range of sauces and garnishes. These days Jabish is busy running trials at her momo stall in Pune and has got seven cooks from Nepal to add that 'Nepalese' taste to her momos.

Moving forward, Jabish is eyeing corporate houses and residential colleges in Pune to set up stalls and expand to other metropolitan cities.

Image: Momos and (inset) Jabish Gohlyan
Photographs: Ritesh Man Tamrakar/Creative Commons

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The e-gifting entrepreneur

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Shrey Sehgal (Management Development Institute, Gurgaon)

"Being an entrepreneur gives me a feeling of pride and joy as they do everything from the scratch"

Description: Online flower store
Location: Gurgaon

Despite being brought up in a family where everyone works in a nine-to-five job, Shrey, 27, developed an inclination towards being his own boss.

His own dissatisfaction with the service provided by an online shopping site made him realise the huge scope to perk up the e-Commerce industry in India.

Financial shortage, lack of work experience, nothing dampened Shrey's spirits and he went on to launch FlowerAura in December 2011.

Hiring people in the initial stage was a challenge as finances being limited, the pay too was minimal. FlowerAura, an online shopping site for fresh flowers, offers you to choose from a huge variety at prices that vary between Rs. 350 to over Rs. 2000.

It delivers flowers in over 100 cities all over India.

Apart from flowers, they also come up with offer packages that include flowers along with cakes, chocolates, sweets and teddy bears among others during festive seasons.

Image: FlowerAura and (inset) Shrey Sehgal

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Having some work experience before starting any venture is a good idea

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Many students believe that a lot of experience and cash in hand is needed it to start a business.

However, Prof. Tanuku of ISB Hyderabad shares that if one has good experience in creating products but has never interacted directly with the market, he or she may not understand the mindset of a consumer.

"Relevant experience is what matters and getting the same might take 20 years for someone and 10 years for somebody else," he added.

The fact that people with a few years of work experience would have an edge over a fresher cannot be negated.

"It is always a good idea to have some work experience before starting any venture. Get practical experience in sales, marketing, operations and working in teams that in turn will help build contacts, experience, and gain knowledge," advises Sanjay Anandaram, a venture capitalist and entrepreneur, himself.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

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There is no guaranteed success in entrepreneurship

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"There is no 'best' time for making such a choice. The choice of being an entrepreneur is more a call which the individual takes based on his or her risk appetite. The timing of choice is often driven by an internal drive or passion," shares Sachidananda B S, Manager at IIM-Bangalore's Nadathur S Raghavan Center for Entrepreneurial Learning.

Students say that envisioning a venture is easy.

But when it comes to opting out of placements to pursue their own start-up, numerous queries rock their mind -- how to take the idea forward, what if the venture fails to take off, how to manage finances, and so on.

Prof. Tanuku has the right answer: "Entrepreneurship is a dream and there is no guaranteed success no matter how great that business plan is."

Illustration: Dominic Xavier

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