India has emerged as the fastest growing major economy in the world as per the Central Statistics Organisation (CSO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It is expected to be one of the top three economic powers in the near future. It has retained its position as the third largest start-up base in the world with over 4,750 technology
start-ups. The NASSCOM reports that around 1,400 new start-ups have been founded in 2016.
The service sector remains the key driver of India’s economic growth. According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, the sector contributed around 53.66% of India’s total Gross Value Added (GVA) of around `137.51 lakh crore Indian rupees in 2016-17 and is estimated to employ around 28.6% of the total population. Net services exports from India grew by 14.6% in the first half of 2017-18 and the sector attracted 60.7% of India’s total FDI inflows. Yet, the service sector alone cannot maintain India’s growth. The economy needs to focus on manufacturing and entrepreneurship. The Indian government and many leading private players have started focusing on the manufacturing sector. Industrial growth accelerated sharply during the second quarter of FY2018 and jumped to 6.9% from 1.5% in the previous quarter, on account of a sharp increase in manufacturing and increase in electricity, gas, water supply, and utility services. Manufacturing registered an impressive growth at 7% in the second quarter of FY18 as compared to 1.2% posted in the first quarter.
The GVA from the manufacturing sector in India grew at 7.9% in 2016-17, as per the first revised estimates of annual national income published by the Indian government. Under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the Indian government aims to increase the share of the manufacturing sector drastically and create more than 100 million new jobs by 2022.
Education has been seen as an entry into the service sector by the majority of Indians. The focus on technical education among young Indians takes them away from entrepreneurship. In such a situation, it is necessary for the government to promote entrepreneurial education. Universities and centres of higher learning are also waking up to this new reality.
The Indian government has undertaken several initiatives and instituted various policy measures to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. In recent years, a wide spectrum of new programmes and opportunities to nurture innovation has been created by the government that spreads across a number of sectors. Through the ‘Start-up India’ initiative, the union government promotes entrepreneurship by mentoring, nurturing and facilitating start-ups. Since its launch in January 2016, the initiative has successfully given a head start to numerous aspiring entrepreneurs.
The ‘Make in India’ initiative came as a focused policy aimed to promote manufacturing. It came as a powerful declaration of India’s intent to draw global players into its manufacturing ambit. It signified a noted shift from the known emphasis given to the service sector in India. The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is a policy endeavour to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, and it serves as a platform for promotion of world-class innovation hubs, start-up businesses and other self-employment activities, particularly in technology driven areas.
Entrepreneurship cells in institutes of higher education
E-Cells in engineering colleges have been influential in triggering awareness, interest, desire and action toward entrepreneurship among students from non-business communities. A large number of higher education institutions are also setting up incubation centres, with private players chipping in by rolling out start-up accelerators.
Jadavpur University, one of India’s premier universities, has taken a leading role in promoting entrepreneurial education among its students. It is scheduled to organise an entrepreneurial summit on its campus to promote entrepreneurship and increase oppurtunities for industry interface. The event is scheduled to be attended by a large number of corporate and start-up invitees. The event will give a platform to young entrepreneurs to share their ideas and business concepts in front of industry leaders. This three-day long summit is scheduled to start on April 06, 2018. It is being organised under the leadership of the Entrepreneurship Cell of Jadavpur University and encouraged by the faculty. The summit will see a large number of students from Jadavpur University taking part. Syed Sohail, Student Head, Jadavpur University’s E-Cell, said, “This is Jadavpur University’s first ever E-Summit. The fact that we are getting the support from the alumni and the authority is what is driving us. We look forward to a fruitful summit.” Sauvik Banerjjee, Vice President, Tata Industries, who will be participating in this event said, “I wish a lot of success to the whole E-Cell team of Jadavpur University for their upcoming E-Summit 2018, and look forward to the inaugural edition in Jadavpur University.”
Such efforts can be seen as attempts by seats of higher learnings to create an entrepreneurial culture. It signifies a vital shift from creating employees to creating employers. Such efforts need to be replicated in other institutions to create an eco-system that promotes and supports entrepreneurship.