Not all IIT or IIM students want to chase high-paid jobs. Many graduates today are taking initiatives to create jobs. In fact, a survey done by Insight, the students’ media body of IIT-Bombay, reveals that nearly 55% of its graduates switched jobs within two years of getting placed. Another 35% were considering a job switch. The survey, titled Post Placement Dilemma, was conducted by IIT Bombay among 221 alumni members, who had graduated during 2011-2013.
Asked about the rationale for such a survey, Anshul Avasthi, chief editor, Insight, says, “We realised that most of our batchmates didn’t have a clear idea of what they wanted to do in future and, irrespective of their personal qualities, competencies and passion, went for interviews with companies that came to our campus on day one of placements. We kept hearing anecdotes on repercussions of such non-thought-through decisions.” Usually big offers are made on day one of placements at campuses.
About 50% respondents in the survey who changed jobs had issues with the placement process. They said it should be ensured that students understood the job well, before applying for it. According to the survey, “Every four in five students said they wouldn’t have changed their minds even if they were given their dream jobs during placements.”
So, IITs and several IIMs have decided to encourage such young job creators. “We offer placement as one of the options. Likewise, we have created incubators to help those who wish to create start-ups,” says Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director, IIT Madras. Here are stories of some students who decided to become their own bosses.
This Goan waged a war against garbage
Age: 28 years
Institute: IIM Udaipur
Start up: Plakriti Afterlife
A final-year student at IIM Udaipur, Barretto Maclean recollects one of his campus placement interviews. “An Orissa-based company had come to recruit for a core production role. I did not give a satisfying answer to the interviewer and recounted my love for travel instead.” This was a turning point. Maclean realised that his calling was elsewhere. As luck would have it, he came across a few investors who were interested in cashing in on “decent ideas”.
Incidentally, 28-year-old Maclean was inspired by the television serial Satyamev Jayate’s episode on waste management. The Swachh Bharat campaign also kindled a fire in him to set out on the mission of making Goa garbage free. Interactions with experts associated with waste management in Goa helped him zero down on this present PET recycling plan. At Plakriti Afterlife, Maclean’s venture, indirect employment is provided to numerous ragpickers who spend their time collecting PET bottles from all over the state.
Going forward, they plan to make products for customers’ end use, out of the plastics that they segregate.
Painless medication for all
Age: 21 years
Institute: IIT Bombay
Start up: CareNX Innovations
Mumbai-based Anurag Meena is working on an innovative product in the healthcare domain. A high-salaried job couldn’t attract him as much as this idea did. He was ready to opt out of placements and IIT Bombay’s deferral policy was an added advantage. This policy allows aspiring entrepreneurs to opt out of their current year’s placement and pursue their dream. In case they fail to take off, they can come back to campus within three years to seek placement opportunities.
“In June 2014, I started working on an innovative idea of administering drugs in chronic arthritis patients. This method will be pain free and non-invasive for patients,” says Meena.
Meena is currently working on a prototype for arthritis pain management to begin with. The arthritis drug can be administered externally by bringing it in contact with the affected joints, instead of taking it orally.
“We are planning to make it an off shelf product with dosages as prescribed by doctors conventionally,” he adds.
Making loans cheaper
Age: 23 years
Institute: IIM Indore
Start up: Quvera
A football enthusiast from Delhi, Ayush Jaiswal opted out of placements at IIM Indore to explore the possibilities of creating a banking model that can help reduce the burden of repaying education loans.
Once launched, Jaiswal’s venture Quvera will become a financial platform mobilising peer-to-peer lending and borrowing. “Further, the graduates will need housing and car loans and later other loans. I feel there is a huge space to be served,” says Jaiswal.
The end beneficiaries will be the borrowers looking for loans at an affordable rate and investors looking for solid returns. The process involves intensive use of information technology, building risk management algorithms and use of social media to build a community that will care for each other. “I plan to get this live and hopefully before the present batch passes out I want to take this concept across the globe since I feel it is a scalable model,” says Jaiswal.