To get to his office, Gautam Aggarwal, 25, has to walk only a few steps from his bedroom to his hall. The Chennai resident, a management student from the National Institute for Training in Industrial Engineering (NITIE) in Powai, has started a chain of canteens, Auraley Foods Pvt Ltd.
His company already caters to three colleges in Chennai and has a turnover of Rs 25 lakh.
“I had to convince my parents about my initiative. My father made me give him a presentation of my B-plan and only then loaned me some money for it,” said Aggarwal, who chose not to join his family business of manufacturing medical equipment.
Institutes feel that the entrepreneurship bug, though very tiny now, is going to get bigger.
“There is a certain security in a job that students don’t want to give up on, especially when they are in reputed institutes where campus placements are good. But slowly the ambition to be job creators and not seekers is seeping in,” said Ashok Pundir, dean, placements, NITIE.
At SP Jain Institute of Management Research, Rahat Jain is the only student from the present batch of 187 who took the risk of opting out of campus placements.
“I have no B-plan, but I know I want to give entrepreneurship a shot,” said the 22-year-old. “My parents were a little surprised considering people around me were getting offers of Rs 20 lakh but they supported my decision. Deferred placements also give you the option to experiment.”
But students such as IIT-B’s Ashwin Srivastava begin nurturing an idea in the first few years of college.
At 23, Srivastava already has a list of 25 clients, an office in Goregaon, and two upcoming offices in Delhi and Bangalore. “In my third year I broadly knew what my venture would be about. Seven months ago I registered my company, Incept. I have an angel investor who has already put in Rs 2 crore in the first phase,” he said.
Incept makes innovative and cost-effective office administration products such as biometric terminals for small and medium-sized businesses.
But Srivastava’s ultimate dream is: “To be able to afford to recruit students from IIT-B.”