Entrepreneurship has been the most abused word around according to me. Each and everyone seemingly want to start their own venture. Each and everyone think making business plans is as easy as writing a mail. Each and everyone think that getting the funds for the same will be pretty easy. Each and everyone want to be his / her own boss.
But is it really so easy? Is entrepreneurship just about starting new businesses day in or day out? What kind of people become entrepreneurs? How does one make the right business plans? Which kinds of industries and sectors one can enter? How does one get the right ideas and opportunities? There are some of the hundreds or thousands of questions which one has to consider before getting a business plan ready for a VC.
But then can one really be taught entrepreneurship? Does it have any theories or rules which one has to follow? Are there any textbooks for the same? According to me, the simple answer to all these questions is a big NO! There is no school or college or university in this world which can really teach you the way to start a business.
A person who wants to start a business may search for an idea by brainstorming with his friends, getting information from newspapers, searching for new ideas based on current products which are there etc. Has he learnt any theory for that? NO! Currently there are entrepreneurship cells across various b – schools in this country, entrepreneurship is being taught as a subject, business plans are being organized and there are also programs like the Family Business Program at SP Jain. But are these generating entrepreneurs at organizations?
In an entrepreneurship class a student is taught what are ideas and opportunities. He / She is taught about business models for various companies. Then there are also assignments of various kinds on business plans, case studies on various entrepreneurs and their stories etc. etc. But has a person really learnt to start a business from this? Has he / she gained the confidence in his idea from the same? Has he / she taken this subject just so that he has nothing else to study? Is the aim of the subject to encourage people to start businesses or just give some gyaan? Your guess is as good as mine.
And this is the reason, I personally don’t seem to understand the role of an entrepreneurship subject at a B – School. One can’t start developing ideas or business plans just by learning some theory regarding the same. And this is the reason I wonder what do entrepreneurship institutes and programs teach us in this country.
What is needed is to build a culture wherein more and more people are encouraged to start businesses. Already top colleges like IIMs, ISB etc. have allowed students will to opt out of placement and start their own jobs, placement opportunities in the ensuing years in case their businesses fail. Having entrepreneurship cells at colleges would help if they have business plans organized and supported by VCs rather than ones which are known to give big prizes and forget everything else.
In a country where the number of small and medium scale businesses grows faster than one can snap his / her fingers, entrepreneurs do have a chance to enter. But unless a culture of entrepreneurship can be built in this country, no one would want to enter the tough and risky world of entrepreneurship.
And till the time we keep teaching ideas, opportunities, business models and such theories at b – schools, no one would be really interested. All they would do is by heart the theory and vomit in the exam.
Interestingly, a famous person has said that an MBA going on to becoming entrepreneur can be the biggest disaster ever!