Rahul Bhatia, 20, and five of his friends from Jai Hind College, Churchgate, won a business plan competition conducted by the Entrepreneurship Cell (E-cell) of their college in January.
Soon, the group converted their winning idea – to sell customised hand-painted shoes – into a business venture.
“The practice of giving personalised birthday presents to friends turned into a successful business plan for us,” said Bhatia. Their shoes, sold in the price range of Rs800 to Rs1200, “easily earn” them a profit of up to 30%.
Several colleges are now grooming budding entrepreneurs. “We assist students, right from ideating to making feasible business plans and helping them discover opportunities. The number of entrepreneurs emerging from every batch has been increasing ever since we started this E-cell in 2007,” said Haseena Sayyed, head of the E-Cell at Jai Hind College.
The success stories of student entrepreneurs are spurring other students too. For Jinal Sanghvi, 20, a dearth of reasonably priced t-shirts with quirky quotes and funny one-liners pushed her to start printing her own T-shirts.
“In malls, these tees are too expensive, while those for sale on the likes of Fashion Street are outdated. So, I decided to print T-shirts with the latest fads for youngsters,” said Sanghvi, a third year student of St. Xavier’s College, Dhobi Talao. Sanghvi and her younger sister sold 35 pieces of their first set of T-shirts on Father’s Day, costing between Rs250 and Rs300.
Sakshi Kastiya found a business opportunity in her obsession for nail art. When the 19-year-old is not attending classes, she is either busy painting nails or uploading pictures of the latest nail art designs she has painted, on her Facebook page: ‘Sakshi Kastiya’s nail art’. The page, which started last July, has attracted a number of clients for Kastiya’s nail-art venture.
“I heard of nail art when I was in Class 8 and have been practising since then. Last year, a relative suggested I do this on a professional level,” said Kastiya, a third year student of Jai Hind College, Churchgate, who charges Rs40 to Rs150 per nail.