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Escape from classrooms

The four walls of a classroom aren’t enough. HT Education meets a number of young Indians who have refused to chase degrees and are instead taking lessons from the work they do and the people they reach out to

education Updated: Nov 09, 2011 14:41 IST
Garima Upadhyay

one are the days when Class 12 pass outs channelled all their energies towards gaining a degree and settling in a job. Today, youngsters are far more adventurous and are looking all around to satiate their desire for learning. Practical and hands-on experience are the major factors driving the student community.

From event management to dance shows and teaching to baking, students are leaving no stone unturned to explore their talents before settling down.

Varsha Chaudhary and Pulkit Bakshi, students of Delhi University, run Fabrica, a T-shirt making and designing company. “Getting T-shirts made for college is an annual affair, but every year we faced the same problems of late delivery, bad quality products and escalating costs. Fabrica was born to ward off such problems. Now, I’m not just raking in some money, I am also able to understand the nuances of running a business,” says Chaudhary.

It was a chance buy that encouraged Akshay Verma to dream of a bakery business. “It happened last year when we bought a microwave and I attempted baking. Eventually, as friends and family tasted my cakes and brownies, they encouraged me to sell them. I set up a stall in one of the fests at Kamala Nehru College. To my surprise, people received my products very well,” says Verma, a second-year student and a part-time baker. Now he plans to expand his base and change his focus college fests to canteens and retailers who can sell his products off the shelves for him. “Once that is in place, I will think of the future strategy. I am pretty sure, the concept and my talent will click,” adds Verma.

For most, their businesses emerged from efforts to seek solutions to the practical problems they faced. But for Hullas Arora, a student at Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, setting up a business was about furthering his passion for marketing. He says, “I was heavily influenced by a senior who started his venture in college and didn’t need to sit for placements because he was earning close to Rs5 lakh per annum. I wanted to explore my marketing skills and that’s how brandsbuilders.com born. I have already worked on the brand marketing strategies for SMEs (small and medium enterprises). Now, I want to target bigger names,” adds Hullas.

Loukik Arora, a final-year BPharm student, teaches children at a coaching institute. “I got into teaching when I joined college. Back then, it seemed like a good way to keep in touch with the syllabus of Class 11 and Class 12. Now as I look back, I realise that it has benefited me much more than just that. It has helped a lot in my personal growth.”
While working part-time needn’t always be about money. It is more about networking, practical exposure and working with several temperaments. “As a teacher it is important for you to understand if your students are following you, so I get to step in a variety of shoes everyday. While taking a group class helps me understand the nuances of group behaviour, classes with individuals help me figure out ways to break the ice with my students. It enhances your potential to judge people and contributes to your personal growth”, says Arora.

Those who took the road less travelled

Hullas Arora, BBS student at College of Business Studies, Co-Founder, Brandbuilders.com
We have come up a with a novel concept of brand nourishment which takes care of complete recognition, establishment and nourishment i.e. monitored and healthy growth of the brand through yet developed nine different ways exclusive of television media
Earnings vary on project basis

Varsha Chaudhary and Pulkit Bakshi, students at Delhi University, Founders, Fabrica
We run a T-shirt designing and production company. At present, we are targeting colleges, but next year we plan to expand our base and reach out to the corporates. We are also planning to launch a website where people can buy our products online too.
Earnings vary on project basis

Akshay Verma, BBS student at College of Business Studies, Part-time baker
Bakes cakes and brownies to sell during fests and special events across the Delhi University. Plans to expand his base and take the concept from college fests to canteens and retailers who can sell them off the shelves for him.
Earnings vary on sales during the fests