B-schools need to re-think their approach to entrepreneurship education: Sanjeev Bikhchandani

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Updated on July 26, 2016
Can B-schools create successful entrepreneurs? Have Indian management institutes produced entrepreneurs that have scaled-up their companies and created wealth and jobs?

Naukri.com co-founder and alumnus of Indian Institute of Management Ahemedabad (IIM A) Mr Sanjeev Bikhchandani believes that while B-schools can foster entrepreneurship, a lot of change is required in the mindset and orientation of management institutes if B-schools are to emerge as hotbed of ideas and enterprises. That's the message coming out of the Keynote address delivered by Mr Bikhchandani at the AIMA Directors' Conclave, held in New Delhi on February 17 on the theme of 'The Spirit of Entrepreneurship'.

MBAUniverse.com was the Official Management Portal of AIMA Directors' conclave.

Said Mr Bikhchandani, "Theoretically, B-schools can nurture students to become entrepreneurs. But, barring a few exceptions like IIM A, B-schools are creating managers. B-schools need to re-think their approach towards entrepreneurship development on their campuses."

Laying stress on importance of entrepreneurship development, Mr Bikhchandani said, "The pay-offs of successful enterprise creation are huge! We create far more jobs and value than any other profession does."

Sharing information from his personal experiences at IIM A, Mr Bikhchandani said, "IIM A has produced some very successful entrepreneurs. For instance of the 175 students of my batch 35 odd have turned entrepreneurs. That's a big number! But IIM A is perhaps an exception because that campus produces 'mis-fits'  who don't want to conform to the rules and systems. That is not true with a majority of B-schools that are happy producing managers and executives."

Blaming the admission process, followed at IIMs and other top-tier B-schools, and the pedagogical inputs during the course, Mr Bikhchandani said, "IIMs admit upto 85-90 % engineers in their PGP class these days. That's a lot of people thinking alike. Where is the diversity? CAT exam filters out students from other humanities streams, since it requires higher level mathematics (upto class 12 maths in some cases). This calls for a relook."

Is it a coincidence that six out of seven large businesses, formed by my IIM A batch, are created by non-engineers, asked Mr Bikhchandani.

He also added that course curriculum at most of Indian B-schools doesn't include adequate inputs on business creation and entrepreneurship. Mr Bikhchandani recommended that B-schools ramp up their course inputs, material, cases, and other tools to deliver much richer inputs on entrepreneurship.  

Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Founder and CEO of InfoEdge (India), better known for its jobsite naukri.com, is the quintessential entrepreneur. After completing his MBA from IIM A and working for FMCG company HMM (in 1990) he took a plunge into the world of entrepreneurship. It took him several years, with many trials-and-errors, to hit upon the magic entrepreneurial formula -- that jobs is a very high interest area and Internet is the right "backbone" to enable the connection between job seekers and recruiters. Mr Bikhchandani's company Info Edge was successfully listed on stock market in 2006, and he has expanded his online business with a few more websites.

All India Management Association (AIMA) organized its 12th Director's Conclave with the theme of 'The Spirit of Entrepreneurship' on February 17, 2009 in New Delhi. The conclave saw discussion on the themes of 'Back to the Drawing Board: Designing an MBA to encourage Entrepreneurship', 'Curriculum Design to promote Entrepreneurship' and 'Industry – B-schools: Bridging the Gap'. AIMA Directors' Conclave is an important part of the annual management calendar.

MBAUniverse.com, India's leading management portal, was the Official Management Portal of AIMA Directors' Conclave 2009. Stay tuned to highlights from the important knowledge forum.