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INTERVIEW

CEO & Founder iSEED

CEO & Founder iSEED

1.       It is being increasing felt that India with such a large youth population is not creating enough jobs. Do you agree and if yes, then how can the catastrophic affect that it is likely to cause, be prevented in the first place? Is scaling up micro entrepreneurships the solution?

 

It is true that there is dramatic slowdown in job creation over the past decade—61 million jobs got created between FY00 and FY05 versus less than 16 million between FY05 and FY12. The lack of economic growth is one of the main reasons for the crisis.If overall employment elasticity is 0.19, this means around 19 lakh jobs get created with every 1 percentage point hike in GDP growth—a slip in growth rates from 9% to 5% therefore means around 3.5-4 million less jobs are being generated each year.Therefore it is very important to increase the GDP as it is directly proportional to job market. Thegovernment needs to make policies which promote entrepreneurship and bring back the focus especially towards micro entrepreneurships as they are very effective in creating jobs.

 

  1. 2.       There is again a fashionable statement being made in present times that we don’t havethe jobs or job roles that will be thereafter say 10 or 20 years.  In this context, where do you think the emphasis lies both for the individual (student) and country (policy makers/government)?

 

Essentially, we live in an era where speed of change keeps on increasing. This means that the knowledge gained today, gets outdated tomorrow. Hence, there is a crying need to bring learnability and resilience in education. Students need to be made adept in acquiring new knowledge rather than just what is being taught at the colleges.  This should be the part of responsibility of academia, policy makers and government.

 

  1. 3.       Coming to some existing trends, which sectors, services or jobs hold promise of successes?

 

Traditionally, sectors such as finance, marketing and IT have been the toprecruiters in the past few years, while research and consultancy companies are the new sectors that are fast emerging and recruiting aggressively. In the coming years, I can see business analytics and internet of things as new opportunities. For India, infrastructure related jobs remains an important area.

 

  1. 4.       Your institution has been created with a special purpose though not unique, so what differentiation you offer given that a good number of very successful entrepreneurs haven’t gone to classes or courses people like you offer?

 

There is a lot of myth surrounding successful entrepreneurship and not having to attend education.  This is because of some very far and few cases of very successful entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and others. Let us first acknowledge that they were the geniuses of our time, which not many people could be. Education has proven to play an important role in bringing the knowledge and haves to the have-nots. Same is true about entrepreneurship. We find a good correlation between rise of entrepreneurship in USA and number of entrepreneurship courses offered. In India, we do not have good entrepreneurship courses as it is believed that entrepreneurship cannot be taught. We challenged that paradigm. We asked entrepreneurs and they said, it can be learnt. So, we said, if it can be learnt, it can be taught as well. Therefore at ISEED, high-level Academic Advisory Board, which constitute of Eminent Professors and Academicians from renowned International / National Universities, Colleges and Institutes came together to mentor budding entrepreneurs and startups that are at various stages of their journey. We agreed to teach entrepreneurship in much different way. So, we came up with a unique ‘idea to launch’ programme, where the essence is to create new ventures.

 

  1. 5.       If you are saying time has come for education ecosystem to incorporate entrepreneurship education at various levels, how do you see it shaping up?

 

United States of America and Israel are two counties who have build unique ecosystem of entrepreneurship education. There entrepreneurship is an integral part of curriculum in school and then in universities, which is still missing in India. They have build a solid link between university research and changing needs of people and markets. Thus, R&D at University Labs get sponsorship from corporates. Therefore, universities have incentive to innovate, incubate and commercialize their R&D.  Graduate students have ready access to entrepreneurship resources.

However, in India since there is an inadequate supply of entrepreneurship education at colleges and universities, we need to create an eco-system that encourages entrepreneurship in our country. We will have to conceptualize an education system, which encourages innovation and produces graduates who are job creators and not job seekers.

                             

  1. 6.       Lastly, what are some of the attractive offerings that you have for interested students and future role do you see for your institution.

 

To encourage entrepreneurship and the spirit of innovation, we recently announced admissions for our Post Graduate Programme in Entrepreneurship (PGPE) designed specifically for aspiring entrepreneurs. We have also launched  “Incubation Programme” aimed at start-up companies to provide them with development and commercialization support services, mentorship from industry experts and investment fund of upto INR 2 crores. The Incubation Programs lays special emphasis on promoting Girl students with 1/3rd of funding earmarked for women entrepreneurs.We do not take pride in number of students graduating from our institute but our success criteria is the number of ventures succeeding from our institute.