More often than not, students graduate and join companies in the service sector as it provides adequate financial security. Professionals tend to stick on to one job and keep working it or continue to be in the same field as they get into the habit of it and eventually get averse to change, or in some cases only choose to start a business at the age of 45+ where they believe they have gained adequate knowledge, experience and financial security to take the “risk” of entrepreneurship.
The question still remains – Why start something at 45 when you can start it at 22? Why not enjoy your professional life by working towards something you love? This is why inculcating an environment of entrepreneurship at a university stage is so important for growth and a more fulfilling professional life.
Entrepreneurship is a collection of skill sets which can be the catalyst of progress in any business. It is a skill set which cannot be learnt in one shot, and therefore reiterates the importance of exposing students to it at a young age. Institutions need to develop a robust administrative and student support to encourage its student body to build patience, think analytically and be organized.
The Indian education system less than a decade ago predominantly relied on route learning and brainless memorizing. Over the last couple of years, many private universities have revamped their learning methods. However, the change in learning methods is not enough. There needs to be a radical change in what students are learning – by providing different ways of thinking, out-of-the-box problem solving and brainstorming sessions.
One way that universities and organizations can encourage this is by organizing challenges/ competitions which require participating students to step out of their comfort zones and use non-traditional problem solving. This in fact was the thinking behind the upcoming StartNXT Ideathon (www.startnxt.ken42.com) – by providing students with such opportunities with incentives such as mentorship along with assistance to build their idea into a viable product makes students believe in themselves and their ideas more. Institutions today need to create a coherent world where the old-world pioneers and the bright young minds can peacefully co-exist with each other and give each other new things to learn. India as a country has recognized the potential of this, precisely why it is one of the forefront countries when it comes to ease of setting up a start-up, but there is still a constant need to retrace steps backward on the education timeline and start teaching students how to think and implement better. This is a sure shot way of assuring that there will be more unicorns being established in India and more importantly, it will be changing the mindset, thinking process of upcoming generations and proceed to solve world problems.
This change of mindset and thinking process can start even at home. With the gradually progressing liberalization of the Indian mindset, parents of today’s generation do not dismiss a passion as a hobby and label it as “not professional enough to pursue”. Today’s parents realise that you can make a career out of literally everything. With globalization increasing and everyone becoming more connected, the archaic ideas of jobs are becoming stagnant and overcrowded in today’s world. Today’s generation and the upcoming ones need a flow of constant new ideas to nurture and build on, with the confidence and realization that any idea has the potential to become a multi-million dollar business, no matter how small. This mindset and push only comes from the vicarious confidence which can be provided through families and universities in the formative years.
Entrepreneurship is one of the key elements of shattering glass ceilings, contributing positively to the economy and your own life and setting precedents for the upcoming generations to turn every idea into an opportunity. Do not wait for a middle age crisis to follow your passion.