The aim should be to inculcate skills in students personal and professional lives, instilling a permanent change in their behavior to focus on problem-solving, out-of-the-box thinking, experimenting, and taking calculated risks.
If ever there was a word of a generation award, the term ‘entrepreneurship’ would surely be among the top probable to win the accolade. India has over 60,000 registered startups that demonstrate converting ideas into operative businesses. However, having an outlook that an idea’s translation into a startup is the only example of entrepreneurial skills is very narrow. The typical understanding of the term is its use exclusively with the conversion of an idea or concept into a business organization. The concept is too broad to correlate with business activities merely. We need to find a way to unleash the power of the term entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship is about having the quality of innovation, problem-solving and value extraction from any circumstance or situation. Therefore, a general belief that only a business person can be an entrepreneur is incomplete. Anyone with a problem-solving approach and a zeal to take the initiative in tricky situations is an entrepreneur. Hence, a tactical sportsperson, a project manager, and even an individual taking the initiative to clean his society or address his fellowmen’s problems are all examples of being an entrepreneur.
Yes, some people are born with leadership qualities but nurturing such capabilities early on is crucial too. One of the ways can be setting up entrepreneurship cells at colleges that focus on this nurturing. The sole purpose shouldn’t just be to increase the number of business startups and unicorns in the country. The aim should be to inculcate skills in students personal and professional lives, instilling a permanent change in their behavior to focus on problem-solving, out-of-the-box thinking, experimenting, and taking calculated risks. Planting such entrepreneurial traits in students shall require a special effort from the decision-makers to eventually create a studentpreneur ecosystem in India.
So, how to inculcate the entrepreneurial spirit in the young minds? Traditionally, colleges carry out programs, webinars, and workshops for imparting training. Besides addressing individual issues the students face regarding risk management, creativity, and innovation, assisting them in resolving these mental blocks is crucial too.
There are times when logic surpasses objectivity, and an entrepreneur can read the conditions well and develop a solution based on the current problem. For instance, from an objective perspective, a group of boys playing gully cricket should make every effort to win. If a batsman is playing, the bowling team must place the field and bowl at such lengths that it makes it difficult for the batsman to survive.
However, considering the shortage of resources in a gully cricket match, the batsman could be the bat’s owner, and getting him out would mean the end of the game for good. Hence, a leader would suggest easy bowling to extend the game long enough for everyone to play. Isn’t it all about coming up with unique yet logical solutions in different situations? Learning the importance of thinking on their feet with a unique perspective would make them conquer the challenges they face in academics and professional life.
The business entrepreneurial cells will teach them how to approach the investors and conduct workshops on business plans and marketing strategies. Instead, the broader objective should be to prepare the students for the future and ensure that they understand the actual concept of entrepreneurship, risk-taking, experimentation, and develop a problem-solving approach in different aspects of their lives.
It is these entrepreneurs who focus on the entrepreneurial skills that will create the India of tomorrow not just a minuscule few of them who create business startups and an even small fraction of that lot who create unicorns. India needs an entrepreneurial revolution, not just a startup revolution.
(The writer is Co-Founder, Indian Angel Network and Founder, Quattro)
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of www.economictimes.com.)
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